Success is sweet, indeed.
Nothing Bundt Cakes ( NBC; NothingBundtCakes.com ) specializes in those desserts that were parts of our childhoodsbut has expanded the sweets in several ways, including flavors and sizes. There are eight- and 10-inch cakes as well as tiered cakes, bundtlets and even bite-sized bundtinisall in flavors such as red velvet, marble and chocolate chocolate chip, among others. ( The flavor in rotation is peanut butter chocolate chip, and the samples at the door provide a delectable introduction to NBC. )
( Business partners Dena Tripp and Debbie Shwetz met in the late 1990s, starting Nothing Bundt Cakes as a side project. Now, there are franchise locations in almost 30 states. )
Recently, I talked with Erika Young, the owner/operator of the Chicago location at 1953 N. Clybourn St. ( Like all other locations, it's cash-and-carry, so don't plan on pulling up a seat and lingering. )
"I was a global marketing manager for United Airlines and my business partner was out of town and he had gone into a bakery to see what the hype was all about," said Young about how she got involved in Nothing Bundt Cakes. "We consider ourselves foodies and went to one together. We tried, like, four different kindsand that was it.
"I was inquisitive about the retail and I couldn't get it out of my head," Young added that they each did research on the company ( without the other knowing )and found that restaurant desserts came up short: "I just wanted more of that cake. So we looked at franchising opportunities, and here I am a year and a half later." She loved it so much that she bought the Chicago territory, and has plans to open more locations.
When asked if she has a personal favorite, Young cited the cinnamon swirlbut also said it depends on the time of day. "During the morning, it's probably cinnamon swirl or pecan praline or the carrot cake. Any other time, it's chocolate, chocolate, chocolate."
And responding to the question of what the company offers in this health-conscious age, Young said, "I feel I'm a great face for the company. I'm very fit and I take a lot of pride in my appearance. I work out four to seven days a week, and I eat what I want because I feel it's about balance." ( Side note: Young is a lithe exercise fiend who recently took part in a "dryathlon," which consisted of running, cycling and rowing for 45 minutes each. So that's why it may look like she eats celery instead of cake. )
It's also good to keep in mind that Nothing Bundt Cakes covers practically every occasion, from holidays ( note that Mother's Day is coming soon ) to birthdays to graduation. Young cocked an eyebrow when I brought up divorce parties, an increasingly popular eventbut added that Nothing Bundt Cakes could certainly customize a cake for that.
And don't look for Nothing Bundt Cakes to expand beyond those delicious bundts. Young said, "One thing I like about this company is that we do one thingand we do it perfectly."
There's no argument here.