By Karen Ngyuen and Daphne Young
The Cakery—located at 1944 University Ave—widely known for its creatively detailed cakes, is Oxford’s go-to for unique cake requests. The Cakery’s consistency of imaginative cake production and five years of service to the community leaves customers in anticipation for their special occasion.
Kelli Russell, the owner of The Cakery, hopes customers recognize when a cake is The Cakery’s work by the distinctiveness of the art and writing put into the dessert.
“I want people to know that that’s our cake,” she said. “I feel like we have the specific handwriting and the style that people recognize.”
Ever since she was a little girl, Russell knew that she wanted to create things with her hands. Working at a Bakery called Emily’s at the time she was deciding what to do in life, Russell realized how much she enjoyed making cakes. After Emily’s closed down it opened up an opportunity for her.
“There wasn’t anywhere in Oxford to get cakes besides Kroger, Walmart, and people baking from their homes. Baking is a lot of work and you need an assembly line. I felt inspired by the fact that Oxford needed a place like The Cakery. My personal inspiration is the art of it,” she said.
The creativity it takes to make a unique dessert may have sparked Russell’s initial love for cake designing, but the positive reactions she gets from customers seeing their cake for the first time only enhanced her passion for the hobby.
“The moment I realized I loved doing this was when I see that the customer is happy with their cake or when I get pictures of the kids loving their birthday cakes. It makes it worth it because this is a really hard job, but when you get somebody that’s really happy or see the pictures on Facebook or have people send them to you it makes the long hours worth it,” Russell said.
As Russell shares the process of making a detailed cake, she makes it no secret that the job is long and tedious. All of the employees at The Cakery work together to form the perfect cake for their customers. It starts with the customer filling out a ticket with their name, time and date, what flavor cake, and how detailed they want their cake to be. The manager then checks the tickets to make sure it’s all correct. The baker bakes the cake and measures the size. From the baker, the cake goes to the fridge on to the person who puts the icing on it. It goes back to the fridge, and the next day Russell decorates it.
Making detailed cakes comes with having fairly unique requests from the customers. Russell shares that throughout the years, the Cakery’s products leave a very special and memorable impression.
“One of my favorite ones that we just did was a galaxy-looking cake and it had cats on it. Last semester we had a request for Colonel Reb riding a turkey for Thanksgiving, so that was fun too. We had one that was a zombie unicorn for Halloween,” Russell said.
The imagination behind the cakes at The Cakery is a huge reason why the employees love their job so much, they said. The consistency of their originality is what makes customers come back time after time.
“We’ve gotten to where we do better if people don’t give us as much direction. They can give us a color scheme and idea and we can kind of run with it, and I think that’s what our regular customers know – that we can do better if we can just be creative,” she said.
Apart from the business aspect of selling the cakes, Russell does her best to get The Cakery involved in as much community work as possible.
“We try our best to give back. These next two weeks when they open up the farmer’s market we always donate a cake. St. Jude’s ‘The Taste of Oxford’ is also something I love being a part of. There was the CASA run we donated about 250 cookies. So we donate as far as giving back to the community,” she said.
The Cakery documents a plethora of the cakes they have made throughout the years via their Instagram page @thecakeryoxfordms. For more information about The Cakery, follow this link to their Facebook page.