It started with a carrot cake.
“It’s such a good recipe,” said Kathy Hotaling of Fulton. “Everyone had it and said, ‘you should open a bakery’.”
So she did.
Kathy’s Cakes and Specialty Treats opened on Cayuga St. in a part of the former Montgomery Ward/Goldberg’s Furniture building that developer Doug Caster is turning into apartments.
The store features a rotating selection of baked treats such as cookies, brownies, pies and specialties. It also provides custom-decorated cakes for special events.
“I always enjoyed baking,” she said. She honed the skill during 8 years of being a stay-at-home Mom, while people kept telling her how good her baked goods were. Finally, she took the hint and began to organize a bakery.
Hotaling said she gathered and tested recipes for a year while she put the business together.
“The first day, I was overwhelmed. I was like, ‘Wow!'”
And business has stayed steady since then. Downtown office workers and senior citizens from Towpath Towers come in for a pastry and coffee, while others come in to ask for something special.
“The response to people ordering cakes has been wonderful,” she said. “To see their faces, to have a child come in, and the smile from ear to ear when they see their cake is just wonderful.”
And if you’ve got a special recipe but don’t have time to make it yourself, Hotaling said she’ll make it for you. Just bring in the recipe.
It’s a labor intensive business. The store employs at least five part-time staff. It’s also a family affair. Hotaling’s mother-in-law works part-time, her aunt keeps the books and her daughter is, she said, “learning how to bake”.
She hopes to add deli products soon so folks can get not just dessert, but a meal, too.
The hours can be long — she went from not having an alarm clock to training herself to get up before the alarm goes off at 4:00 a.m. — but the smile on her face as she talks about her business lets you know it’s worth it. “I absolutely love it,” she said.