Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nothing Bundt Cakes - New to Sacramento

 
In my opinion, bundt cakes and pizzas have something in common. They originated in another country, but Americans have made them all their own. No one does pizza in more variations and better than Americans (yes, Italian style is good in its own right),  and no one has created an entire world of bundt cakes like we have. Americans love bundt cakes because they are easy, decorative, and delicious. It's no wonder that a new successful franchise, Nothing Bundt Cakes, has been opening stores nationwide while other businesses are closing.


I first came across Nothing Bundt Cakes last May when I was at my reunion in Dallas. I was staying with a childhood friend and noticed a gift certificate they had on their counter. Later I came across the actual storefront when I was driving around their suburb. I quickly looked up the website and found that it was offering franchise opportunities. I almost even participated in one of their recruiting conference calls.

Someone else who was busy looking at the Nothing Bundt Cakes opportunity was Cameron Diviak. Diviak and his partner, Greg Leuterio, were in banking and looking for something new to go into. They visited the closest stores to us, in the Bay area and Reno, and then met with the Nothing Bundt Cakes founders at corporate headquarters in Las Vegas. Everything they heard and learned was encouraging and in December they opened their first store in Roseville with hopes to open another in Folsom soon.



The Nothing Bundt Cakes store is located close to REI and the old Home Expo (across from the Galleria Mall). The signage on the building is simple and the Galleria Blvd address could confuse you in finding it. Once inside you find a bright, cheerful store with lots of color. In front of you is the display case with some finished cakes and bundtinis. The rest of the store is filled with gifts and those other items you need but might have forgotten to get - candles, decorations, and cards.

taste testing the bundettes
The menu consists of nine standard flavors. Diviak said the top sellers vary in different regions of the country, but for them they have been (in order) Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Red Velvet, and then Lemon and White Chocolate Raspberry. Some flavors are seasonal. In December they featured Pumpkin and coming in the future will be flavors such as Almond Poppyseed and Lemon Raspberry.

I got to taste the Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Lemon, White Chocolate Raspberry, and Cinnamon Swirl. All were very moist. A staffer asked which one I liked best as she was packing them up for me to take home. I honestly couldn't pick - they were all good. I will say my least favorite was the #1 seller, the Chocolate Chocolate Chip. The reason? Because I make the Killer Kahlua Fudge Cake (also known by some as the Better Than Sex Cake) at home and theirs just can't compare.  Diviak says that the Cinnamon is not a big seller until he puts out samples. Once people taste it, they order it. I had to agree that it was a great sleeper flavor. It had just a nice hint, not overpowering, touch of cinnamon.


There are several sizes of cakes to choose from. The littlest are bite-sized bundtinis, then mini-cakes called bundtettes, and then cakes of either 8 or 10 inches. They can also do things like create tiered cakes with the 8 and 10 inch rounds. All of the cakes are topped with a cream cheese frosting. The standard, thick "petals" are easy to pull off if you are a non-frosting person like myself. You can also get it drizzled, light drizzle, or even extra frosting for an additional fee.

I asked about how the cakes were made - did they come pre-mixed? Diviak explained that the dry ingredients come from corporate, but the dairy and eggs are all purchased locally and the cakes are mixed and baked on site. There are no preservatives or additives, just fresh, whole ingredients.  He said the founders even went through over a hundred vanillas before finding the organic vanilla that they use now. The cakes are super moist and stay fresh on countertop for a good three days and refrigerated for five. They can also be frozen.

What about vegan or gluten-free? At this time they do not offer either. Both are being looked into by corporate, but, in the case of gluten-free, they need to take into account cross contamination and how to ensure that the cakes would be  absolutely safe for people with the severest forms of celiac disease. Diviak even ensures that he explains to peanut allergy customers that although they don't use peanuts, they do use pecans and wants them to be sure they are OK to eat them.


decoration book

I was surprised by how creative they get with the decorating. Although the cakes themselves are the same cake and frosting, the ribbons, flowers, and other trinkets they put on top can create some spectacular arrangements.The back room has a wall dedicated to all colors of ribbons and fake flowers. Whether it is for a birthday, a sports team, or baby shower, they have a decorative cake that will be sure to please.

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