CARMEL, Ind. — Social distancing brought an end to many planned Spring events, which has had a major impact on the wedding and event vendors who rely on big events for their livelihood.
But at Classic Cakes located at 1752 E. 116th Street in Carmel, they’ve found a sweet way to say “Thank You” to healthcare workers and kept their business going through some creative new programs.
We’re headed to Carmel to have our cake and eat it too on this trip “In Your Neighborhood.”
“Weddings are about half of what we do here,” said Megan Ritz, Cake Curator and Owner of Classic Cakes. “The other half is party orders for holidays, for birthdays, anniversaries or whatever is going on. But everything kind of shut down and stopped.”
Fortunately, Ritz and Classic Cakes were able to act fast and incorporate some new programs that would allow the business to keep going. So, now, they are still doing about 100-125 cakes per week, but these cakes are much smaller… with 10-20 servings, rather than hundreds.
“We were looking for two things with all these new programs: How can we be useful and how can we spread joy,” Ritz explained. “And this was kind of the pinnacle of that being able to give cakes to everyone around the city, around central Indiana and then do it in a fun and unique way.”
And one of those unique new programs is their “Cake Fairy” program, where customers can have a surprise cake delivered right to someone’s front door by a giant pink inflatable unicorn.
“We were kind of joking about doing a unicorn because we had seen the videos of inflatable dinosaurs and stuff and thought it would be a fun way to get people talking about Classic Cakes, but also spread some joy and be silly,” explained Ritz.
Classic Cakes has already done a Facebook call-out to ask what neighborhoods people would like the Cake Fairy to visit. But Ritz says ordering online or by phone is still the most popular way for customers to send a cake.
“You can order one for yourself. You can send one to a neighbor, a family member, a friend, coworker,” Ritz noted. “We’ve had teachers sending them to students and students sending them to teachers.”
And the deliveries are just as special for the folks making the deliveries as it is those receiving the cakes.
“My favorite is when you can hear the kids screaming ‘It’s here it’s here!’ from inside and you can see them running past the windows and jumping up and down,” said Ritz.
Another new addition is their “Cake It Yourself” program offering is do-it-yourself take home cake decorating kit.
“It is an 8-inch cake so it gets you about 20 servings. It comes pre-iced…then you get 4 bags of colors and then you get a little container of sprinkles,” she said. “So you have everything you need to play and create something beautiful.”
Customers can choose from any cake flavor, but if you aren’t the most experienced cake decorator, just check out some of Ritz’s “Tutorial Tuesday” videos on the Classic Cakes Facebook page.
“You can watch those videos and see exactly how you do it right or you can just free for all and have fun… I did a tutorial video with my 3 year old and he showed everybody how to use a fork to decorate a cake,” said Ritz.
Her “Tutorial Tuesday” videos cover a variety of topics, from decorating techniques, to steps for making the perfect cupcakes, baking tools, and more. But for Ritz, the videos have given her an opportunity not only to enjoy getting hands on and decorating herself, but also helping get her through this tough time through getting in touch with others, virtually.
“I feel like the videos help me connect with people quite a bit,” she explained. “So I get to hear from people and actually get responses back.”
But one of the sweetest things Classic Cakes is doing is delivering free cakes and cupcakes to healthcare workers and first responders.
“We’ve been able to donate 30 cakes and 300 cupcakes so far,” Ritz said. “We’re also collecting donations to send them to hospitals and first responders who are really keeping our country alive right now.”
However, that doesn’t even count their biggest delivery to date this past Saturday, where the Classic Cakes team dropped off 3,000 cupcakes for the entire staff at Riley Hospital for Children— which was made possible through some very helpful donations and dedication from a team of truly sweet hearts.
“This has been really fun for us to be able to give back even when we’re struggling,” said Ritz.
Four Things You Need to Know About Classic Cakes:
- After events were cancelled and social distancing was mandated, Megan Ritz (Cake Curator and Owner of Classic Cakes) was able to implement some new programs at Classic Cakes to keep them going and bring joy to people around central Indiana. Their programs include the “Cake Fairy” cake delivery program, “Cake It Yourself” do-it-yourself take-home cake decorating kits, “Tutorial Tuesday” Facebook live videos and cake donations for healthcare workers and first responders.
- This past Saturday, Ritz and her team delivered 3,000 cupcakes (for free) to the staff at Riley Hospital for Children. It was their biggest batch of cupcakes to date and was made possible through some helpful donations. “People can go on our web page and donate… We’ve had companies donate. We’ve had vendors we use for products donate ingredients for us,” said Ritz.
- If you’re looking to order a cake, they always have pre-decorated cakes available in store for purchase. But if you want to order something and are not sure what flavor to choose, Ritz has a few personal favorites to suggest, like the deluxe carrot cake and her favorite— the black velvet cake. “[It] is a chocolate pound cake with chocolate chips and with our chocolate ganache filling mixed into the batter and just a little bit of coffee to boost that chocolate. It’s amazing,” she noted.
- Although times are hard, Ritz says she feels fortunate that people are still ordering cakes. But when it comes to wedding and big event vendors, she noted that not all are so lucky. “Even if it’s just texting your vendors or the ones that you want to work with and finalizing details,” Ritz suggested. “Anything to keep things moving forward is very beneficial right now [to help keep these vendors going]. And if you have deposits already paid, if you can afford to make payments, please do that as well.”
For more information about Classic Cakes, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out their Yelp profile. You can also connect with them on social media via Facebook and Instagram.