First of all, there’s Gwendolyn Rogers, who owns two locations of Cake Bake, an elegant shop serving an enormous array of sweet creations. The Carmel branch, which was decked out in brilliant-white decor for Christmas when I visited, is located right off the bustling Carmel City Center.
Rogers tells the story of starting her business with $100 in seed money that she borrowed from her young son. It didn’t take long for business to boom, though. Cake Bake has become a regional draw, with people putting a visit to the shop on their bucket lists.
Along with the decadent cakes, the shop serves a full menu of chic but homey breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare. I loved the creamy wild mushroom soup-of-the-day, served with toasted French baguette, and others in my group raved about the towering slices of quiche. And we all enjoyed the lavish charcuterie board, piled high with fresh-tasting olives, creamy cheeses, and briny artichoke hearts.