How The Cake Bake Shop Came To Life
Gwendolyn Rogers at 55, has had a passion for baking and cooking her entire life. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1965 she had a tough childhood. Coming from a torn family, and growing up in a dysfunctional home, she was forced to raise herself. She put herself through school waiting tables and having multiple restaurant jobs as a prep cook, busser, dishwasher, cook and hostess. Then with the loss of her brother, her distant Father and the struggles of tying to support herself through school, the only place where she found happiness, solitude and peace, was in the kitchen.
She met her husband in 1990 in Los Angeles where she was working as a male modeling agent and casting director. She was married in 1995, moved back to Sun Valley, Idaho, (where she lived from the age of 6-18), and had three boys, all the while cooking for her family and friends. They decided to move to Indianapolis after the passing of her Father-in-Law, and the horrible event of 9/11. She was in her late 40's when they started over, moving to a new city with three little boys. She didn't know anyone, didn't want to make new friends and that is when she decided to bake full time. After baking out of their rental house for over eight years she knew it was time to find a place to bake, she had outgrown her tiny kitchen. With no money to invest into opening a retail shop, she went from bank to bank being turned down for a loan. After two years of trying to find investors, with everyone telling her no, one bank finally decided to give her the chance. They granted her a loan for $200,000 that she would have to pay back within three years. She was hoping this cake shop idea would be strong enough to keep her family from going bankrupt. She knew she did not want to have a shop in a strip mall, she wanted the homey feeling that a house would give, so she went looking for the perfect spot. She found an old dilapidated house on Carrollton Avenue around the corner from where they lived. The owner of the building agreed to let her turn it into a bakery. Two years later, after designing, remodeling and building, she opened her first Cake Bake Shop. She started with herself and one employee. Gwendolyn was baking all the cakes, cookies and pies, running the cash register, delivering food, washing dishes. It was a huge success from the day the doors opened. She immediately had to hire more employees. She never advertised, doing all of her own social media to announce what she was making that day which then created a line out the door.
To bring more charm to her shops she also decorates them for the seasons. Spring she has flowers everywhere with a full size cherry tree in the main dining room. For Christmas she has beautifully lit Christmas trees and thousands of twinkle lights. Her first shop was so busy and she had to turn customers away due to the small size of the cottage. The kitchen had 300 square feet and could only seat 30. After five years and a lot of work she decided it was time to open a second location so she could accommodate more customers. Her bakery was also exploding in popularity across the country from O, The Oprah Magazine to Williams-Sonoma. Gwendolyn spent two years designing the second location, over 4,500 square feet, seats over 150, has a 2,000 square foot production kitchen just under the restaurant, is a full service restaurant with a full bar. It is located in Carmel, Indiana and is booked 3-6 months in advance. She paid off her loan within the first year of opening.
When you arrive you walk through French doors, sparkling chandeliers over head, antiqued mirrors, French inspired furniture, beautiful seasonal decorations, gorgeous cakes on French porcelain platters topped with glass domes. Gwendolyn's shops offer the most incredible experience from ‘The Best Quiche You Will Ever Have’ to homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, even a true French Croque Monsieur. Behind the kitchen window you can see the master bakers gently sieving non-bromated flours from Vermont, there are large pots of French & Belgian Chocolate melting on the stove, cakes baking in the ovens and decorators frosting the most exquisite cakes.
Gwendolyn’s Cake Bake Shop's have become the destination of Indiana for celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and all the special occasions life offers.
'Dream it, Do it'-Marty Sklar.
Gwen..You are unbelievable!!! Honestly the best cake ever!!! My guys looooooved it. Keep that one on your menu!!! Can't thank you enough. Highlight of the day:) Your the best! Thanks.
Peter Sidwell, TV host of Britains Best Bakery
Cake Bake Shop...love it, amazing chocolate cake!!!! I would fly the pond for a slice of that.
Gwendolyn has been baking since she was six years old and over the last 49 years, she has created hundreds of cakes for weddings and has baked for many celebrities. Gwendolyn and her shop have received multiple awards & recognition for excellence. Before creating her shop in 2012, she won ‘Best Cake’ at London’s Cake & Bake Show at the Earl's Court Convention Center for her chocolate cake, she was awarded 2nd place in Valrhona’s ‘Show us Your Chocolate’ by judges Florian Bellanger & Jaques Torres, and Martha Stewarts American Made showcased her Cherry Pie.
Since her shop opening in 2014 she has been recognized for the following:
Food Networks 'Guilty Pleasures', 'O, The Oprah Magazine' December issue 2019 featured her on Oprah's Favorite Things 2019 for her Blueberry and Maple Walnut Crumb Cakes, Gwendolyn’s Mint Chocolate Chip Cake was also chosen by Oprah Winfrey featured on her famous ‘O’ List in the April 2018 edition of ‘O,The Oprah Magazine’. Her cakes were featured on the Rachael Ray Show with Adam Glassman and Gayle King, her shop was awarded 'Certificate Of Excellence' from Trip Advisor 2019, 'Diners Choice' 2020 & 2019, ‘Best Of Indy 2018’ ‘Best of the Midwest-2017’ by Midwest Travel Magazine, the winner for ‘Best Bakery’ in Indiana by Indy’s A-List’ 2017 & 2016. Preceding, Gwendolyn was voted ‘Best Apple Pie’ by Channel 4’s RTV6, voted ‘#1 Cakes in Indianapolis’ by Best Rated, voted ‘Top Spot’ to visit in Indianapolis by Top Spots.
In 2016 & 2017, ‘Winner Best Bakery’ in Indianapolis by Indy’s A-List, awarded ‘Certificate of Excellence 2016’ by Trip Advisor, voted ‘Best Chocolate Chip Cookie’ in all 50 States by Tripping, ‘Best of the Midwest-2016’ by Midwest Travel, voted ‘#1 Bakery in Indiana’ by Trip Advisor, voted ‘Top 5 Bakeries in America’ by Central Restaurant. Featured as ‘Best of Indy’ with her Millionaire Cake on the cover of Indianapolis Monthly, rated ‘Top 10 Best Things To Do’ in Indianapolis by Zagat (#2), recommended by The Conrad Hotel as ‘Top 5 Must Do’s’ while visiting Indianapolis.
In 2015, was awarded ‘Top 25 Best New Restaurants’, voted ‘Best Desserts in Indianapolis’ by Indianapolis Monthly, won ‘Best Local Pie’ by B105.7, voted ‘Coolest Places to Eat in Indy’ by Yahoo Food, named ‘Must See Destination’ by Visit Indy.
Locally, Gwendolyn partnered with Kroger Stores and opened a Cake Bake Shop in their newly remodeled market in Carmel, her eclairs were featured at Le Meridian Hotel, and her cakes have been featured on the menu of St. Elmo Steakhouse. She is also the number one gift card seller for Costco in the state of Indiana.
Gwendolyn has many articles written about her. She has been featured in Indianapolis Monthly’s ‘Best Of Indy’, Tea Time Magazine, Victoria Magazine, Carmel Magazine, Midwest Living, Sophisticated Living, Indianapolis Monthly, Indianapolis Star, Traditional Builder Magazine, Pattern Magazine, Go Midwest Magazine and has appeared on Food Network, Hallmark’s Home & Family, Fox 59, RTV6, Indy Style, Eat Drink Indy, Smiley Morning Show, Tony Katz Radio, MSN, HGTV, Entertainment Tonight, Barstool Sports with Shaun Latham and Just Jenny Show in New York.
Her talents have earned her national attention from many celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Elton John, Dick Van Dyke, The Jonas Brothers, Hugh Jackman (his birthday cake), Justin Timberlake, Bob Seger, Luke Combs, Rachael Ray, Paula Deen (her 70th & 72nd birthday cake), Matt Damon, Diane Keaton, Jim Carrey, Ina Garten (her 70th birthday cake), Steve Martin, Martin Short, Garth Brooks, Tricia Yearwood, Tan France, Alison Janney, Academy Award winning Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortensen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Marty Sklar Family, Deen Brothers, Carla Hall, Jane Seymour, T.J. Miller, Allison Janney, Buddy Valastro, Marc Summers, Michael Symon, Mario Batali, Leslie Mann, Finn Wittrock, John Cena, Paula Abdul, Nathan Morris of Boyz II Men, Def Leppard, Andretti AutoSports team & winner of the Indianapolis 500, 2017 Takuma Sato, Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts), Matt Hasselbeck (ESPN), Ron Livingston (Office Space, Loudermilk), James Hinchcliffe (Indy driver), Alexander Rossi (Indianapolis 500 Winner 2016), Zac Brown Band, Jim Nantz, John Cougar Mellencamp, Shia LaBeouf, Kate Mara, 2Cellos, Jane Seymour, Scott Dixon (Indy driver) and Ashley Spencer (Olympic Gold Medalist) and most recently Thomas Keller of French Laundry & Per Se and Robert Irvine from Food Networks ‘Dinner Impossible & ‘Restaurant Impossible’. Gwendolyn was nominated for the Starkey ‘Entrepreneurial Woman Award’, and is also a part of Simply Good Food TV in England with Peter Sidwell of Britain's Best Bakery.
As Oprah Says in the December issue of o, The oprah magazine- Favorite things 2019!
Gwendolyn's Crumb Cakes Are One Of Oprah's 'Favorite Things'.
Blueberry & Maple Walnut Crumb Cakes.
Can you hear me purring? Unbelievable. Fantastic. Luscious. decadently divine
Dear Gwendolyn - the baby shower was great fun and your cake was fabulous!! No one had the heart to cut into it because it was so beautiful. But, when I finally sliced and served it, the response was a unanimous one- best chocolate cake ever!! It was just delicious, and the frosting was so light that no one left a drop on their plate. I had several people ask me for your business card, so I showed them the pink ribbon & card. I would say you will have quite a few new customers.
Gwendolyn Partners With Williams-Sonoma & Pottery Barn. Over 37 Of Her Cakes, Cookies & Pies Are Now Available Under The Williams-Sonoma's Brand.
Gwendolyn has been an inspiration to many and has spoken at numerous events such as the JCC, IUPUI Kokomo, Junior League’s Holiday Mart, Edge Mentoring, Dell Woman’s Leadership, Oasis Group and Indiana Design Centers ‘Setting The Table For Good Design’. She has even walked the runway to help raise money for ‘Dress For Success’, helping place women in the workforce.
She has been featured on Oprah Winfrey’s ‘O’ List in the April 2018 edition of ‘O, The Oprah Magazine’, Food Networks ‘Guilty Pleasures’, Hallmark’s Home & Family making her Chocolate Silk Pie and joined Marc Summers on the tasting stools of ‘The Chew’. Her cakes have been in such films as ‘Man Down’ with Shia LaBeouf, ‘Dumb & Dumber To’ w/ Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels & ‘My All American’ with Aaron Eckhart.
Gwendolyn partnered with Lenox to create her own line of fine china exclusively for the Cake Bake Shop. Her French rolling pins are handmade in Dorset, Vermont.
Her trademarked ingredients for her cakes Pixie Glitter®, Pixie Fetti®, Pixie Color®, Pixie Flavor®, Pixie Sugar® & Champagne Glitters® are Gwendolyn’s new items that are available in beautiful glass jars. She partnered with Jean Charles Boisset of JCB wines in France to create her own 'Rosé Bubbles' sparkling wine.
Custom holiday ornaments have been hand sculpted and painted by master artists in Poland of all her top cakes. All of her retail items are now available in the Gift Shop.
Williams-Sonoma & Pottery Barn Teen
Gwendolyn is excited to announce her partnership with the national brand Williams-Sonoma & Pottery Barn Teen. Her famous cakes are now available on the Williams-Sonoma & Pottery Barn Teen website. Also excited to announce her partnership with Costco. Cake Bake Shop gift cards are now available in all Costco’s in the state of Indiana and her shop has the highest selling gift card in the state to date with over 1 million dollars in sales.
Gwendolyn's second Cake Bake Shop location in Carmel City Center has been open since July of 2019. Gwendolyn's restaurants and bakeries have been awarded 'The Best of The Best 2020'. Each location has a booking time of 2-3 months in advance.
Amazing! Thanks so much for the best cake for my mom's 80th last week! I am finally catching my breath!!! This is the first time I had no left overs...disappeared! I really wanted some the next day!!!
ahhhhhh. ohhhhhh. I think I know what heaven tastes like. Oh Gwen, your baked goods are magical.
Oprah's 'O' List
Gwendolyn's Mint Chocolate Chip Cake Featured on Oprah's 'O' List!
Three layers of French chocolate cake with Belgian chocolate ganache, mint chocolate chip buttercream topped with a pink silk peony.
Meet My Family
My husband and I have been married for 25 years and we have three boys. My boys have always been my best food critics and have helped me in the kitchen baking and cooking since they were little. They are the reason why I love to cook. It fills up our kitchen up with love, laughter and good food. We have always had dogs, meet our new puppy Huxley. He is a English creme retriever and a huge help in the kitchen.