Despite challenges associated with the current economic situation, Heaven Scent Cakes has found success in Bartow and the surrounding area by providing cakes and baked goods for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and other celebrations.
“In this economy, small businesses have been struggling — not that this hasn’t been difficult for us, because we’ve sacrificed a lot as a family — but the growth and the opportunity is still there,” said owner Tara Gore. “My husband was in construction and so we’re used to being self employed, but I was a stay-at-home mom, and when the tables turned in the construction industry I started doing cakes from home and it boomed. So we felt this may be a different avenue for us.
“This was just another way for our family to continue with our entrepreneurial spirit. With the business I was doing at home I just felt there was a need that we could fill.”
The original Heaven Scent Cakes location recently completed work on a major expansion adding 1,500 square feet to the West End Commons storefront at 650 Henderson Drive.
In June, the Gores made another leap, this time into the growing trend of specialty bakery stores offering a simple menu centered around cupcakes. With a new found popularity, cupcakes have garnered their own reality T.V. show — Cupcake Wars on Food Network — and now their own Cartersville store, Heaven Scent Cupcakes at 402 E. Church St. next to Moe’s.
“We specialize in specialty cupcakes. We offer 19 different varieties of cupcakes in our case, which we try to keep regularly stocked,” said store manager Greg Gore. “Here, we’re offering a lot more seating, about 25 seats. It’s more family oriented, people can come sit down and enjoy a cupcake, watch T.V., listen to music, free Wi-Fi, coffee, Blue Bell ice cream.
“The summer was awesome. It was really neat for us to see such a great response, especially those first couple weeks. We were making 200 or more cupcakes every day. ... But now we’re really excited about the holiday season. Things picked up for Thanksgiving a bit and we’ll wait and see how Christmas goes.”
Greg Gore, son of Tara Gore, is just 20 years old and took a break from college to head his parents’ new store — a sacrifice his mother is proud of and one Greg is using as a learning opportunity.
“It’s an experience for sure, especially at my age, to be able to run a store like this,” he said. “It’s something most people my age don’t get a chance to do. I went to college for one year, but I’ve probably learned more about business here than I would in a year of school.”
To the west, in Paulding County, another Heaven Scent Cakes employee is helping the brand grow by opening a bakery in Dallas, at 220 Main St. With a grand opening scheduled for today, store manager Shelby Doyle will be open just in time for tonight’s Christmas parade through downtown Dallas.
“We have quite a bit of customers from Floyd, Cobb, Paulding and Cherokee counties,” said Tara Gore about existing out-of-county customers. “So when I happened to hear about a bakery that had closed I was just going to look at the equipment, but the bakery was precious and it was already set up. So I talked to Shelby about it — and I do hate to lose her, because she’s an asset to our store — but I don’t want to limit anyone who cares to grow.
“She’s really just got a knack for what we do and she’s got a great initiative, she’s very creative.”
Now operating three locations, Heaven Scent Cakes has big plans for the future, but the Gores’ first priority is serving those close to home. Tara Gore expressed her hopes to franchise the business and is interested in hearing from any prospective partners in that endeavor. As for the company’s local footprint, she plans on maintaining and improving the locations they have now. Already doing business with the partners of LakePoint Sporting Community & Town Center, Heaven Scent Cakes is looking forward to growth associated with the Emerson project and is continually working on growing wedding and special event business.
Heaven Scent Cakes, 650 Henderson Drive, Suite 501, is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Heaven Scent Cupcakes, 402 E. Church St., is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday during the winter months with extended hours in warmer weather. For more information, search for either store on Facebook or call 770-606-0890 for Heaven Scent Cakes and 470-315-4528 for Heaven Scent Cupcakes.