BY Megan Schmitt
Last Friday, Central alumna Molly Allen opened a bakery in downtown Ellensburg. Cake FYI features cupcakes, cakes, cookies, bagels, coffee and Allen’s favorite baked goods: pretzels.
“Cake FYI can also be a destination spot to hold events such as birthday parties and other gatherings where you can decorate your own cupcake,” Allen said.
Allen said Cake FYI is a “made to order” bakery. Customers can order cupcakes and cakes however they like them. She said she likes to try out different things with her cakes. She usually starts with a base, and then pairs different flavors and toppings together. Allen doesn’t name her cupcakes because she is constantly changing them.
Allen wants people to know that Cake FYI isn’t just a cupcake shop. Everyday, fresh, soft pretzels are available in a variety of flavors. She has salted, cinnamon, garlic Parmesan and a pizza flavored kind. There will also be many different kind of bagels.
The shop opened May 23, at 7 a.m., followed by a ribbon cutting with the Chamber of Commerce, at 12:15 p.m. All customers who stopped by the shop that day received coupons to use on his or her next visit.
“I heard about Cake FYI on Facebook and wanted to come check it out. There were so many choices of baked goods to choose from,” Jen Geyer, a customer at Cake FYI, said.
May 24 was Cake FYI’s grand opening. Attendees from around the community enjoyed live jazz music from 6:30-9 p.m. by the Moses Lake band Swingshift. Specials throughout the day featured half-off items each hour and a coloring contest for kids.
“It’s a good spot for people in Ellensburg to come,” Kevin Hansen, longtime friend of Allen, said. “There will also be internet and board games for customers to enjoy.”
Allen graduated from Central in December 2012, fell in love with the town and knew she wanted to stay. She graduated with a degree in English, a minor in linguistics, and a certificate in professional writing.
“I knew I wanted to bring a bakery to Ellensburg,” Allen said.
During her time at Central, Allen said she knew there wasn’t a sweet shop downtown and always kept in mind that she should open one of her own.
Allen, originally from Tuscon, Ariz., said if she hadn’t moved to Ellensburg to go to school, she probably would have never had the opportunity to open her own shop.
“I started baking when I was about 10-years-old and grew up baking with my grandma,” Allen said. “In high school, when my family would leave the house and I would be alone, I would try out different recipes and have something baked for when they got back home.”
Allen said her mom would critique her and give her tips on what she did well and what she could improve for next time.
In 2011, Allen won a National Recipe Development contest called “So you want to be a Cake Spy?” which was put on by a well-known baking blogger Jessie Oleson. Allen beat out 500 other submissions.
Oleson’s blog inspired Allen to start her own blog, CakeFYI.com. Her blog was the catalyst to open her own bakery.
The blog was a major hit, and she was able to sell her goods through special requests before the store opened.
“My most popular baked good is my banana caramel cupcake. I could barely get pictures of them because they would get eaten so fast,” Allen said.
She also worked as a managing editor for two online magazines, Boys Club and Best Friends for Frosting, and worked as a cake decorator in Safeway’s bakery.