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VOL. 128 | NO. 253 | Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tasty Treats

Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise opens in East Memphis

By Michael Waddell

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Nothing Bundt Cakes opened its doors to a welcomed holiday rush late last week, as the bakery franchise made its entry into the Memphis market.

Nothing Bundt Cakes franchisee Amy Lupo has opened the bakery's first Memphis-area store along Poplar Avenue near its intersection with Interstate 240 in East Memphis. 

(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)

The new carryout bakery, at 5679 Poplar Ave. near its intersection with Interstate 240 in East Memphis, specializes in Bundt cakes featuring custom concept cake decorations.

“Most of our orders this morning have been for people picking up cakes for gifts,” said co-owner Amy Lupo on a busy first morning of business. “We have more than 40 different decorations so we can suit any occasion, and we have cakes in the case ready to go at all times.”

The bakery opened one week before Christmas to try to take advantage of the holiday rush.

“We really wanted to be open by the holidays, and it was a huge push to get the construction finished in time,” said Lupo, who cites work by Grinder Taber & Grinder Inc. to the complete renovation of the shop’s interior in time.

Lupo first tried Nothing Bundt Cakes in March of this year when she was visiting her mom in Plano, Texas.

“I loved the cake and the sweet mom-and-pop nostalgic feel of the store,” said Lupo, who co-owns the bakery with her husband, Chris, who also owns Internet application developing company Graphic Resource Center Inc.

“I called my husband that afternoon and told him that I thought we really needed to open one and he thought I was crazy, but here we are.”

Las Vegas-based Nothing Bundt Cakes was founded in 1997, and the company began franchising in 2007. Today there are 82 Nothing Bundt Cakes bakeries open in 19 states, with the closest locations to Memphis being in Nashville, Franklin, Tenn., and Huntsville, Ala.

“Our franchisees are not only an integral part of our growth strategy, but they are also an integral part of connecting to the community through the love of the handmade Bundt cake,” said Dena Tripp, Nothing Bundt Cakes co-founder. “We look forward to a successful partnership and becoming part of this city.”

Lupo previously co-owned a children’s consignment store, but she had no background in baking so she spent 24 days in Dallas completing training at one of the company’s regional operations centers.

“What sets us apart I think is the nostalgia of its being a Bundt cake, the quality of the cake, the customer service, the welcoming environment and the creative solutions we have to meet any need for any occasion,” said Lupo, who opened with a full staff of nearly 20.

The top four selling flavors are chocolate-chocolate chip, red velvet, white chocolate raspberry and lemon. Other flavors include pecan praline, gingerbread, carrot, cinnamon swirl, marble and white chocolate. Four sizes range from single-serving Bundtinis to larger Bundts that serve up to 18 people and tiered cakes serving up to 26 people.

Lupo expects the bakery’s central location to help sales.

“The look of the building matches with the interior of our store, and we love the visibility both eastbound and westbound on Poplar,” Lupo said.

The bakery’s official grand opening festivities begin with a ribbon cutting with the Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 15, and including a Memphis Child Advocacy Benefit Day and a “Bubbles and Bundts” tasting event on Jan. 17.

Twenty percent of the bakery’s sales will benefit the Memphis Child Advocacy Center, helping victims of sexual abuse become children again.

“We’re excited to be able to give back to the community,” Lupo said. “We look forward to being able to plan more events with Memphis Child Advocacy Center in the future.”

“Bubbles & Bundts” will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and various Bundt cakes will be paired with sparkling wine.

Then on Jan. 18, the bakery will give away free Bundtlets for a year (one per month for 12 months) to the first 50 customers with purchase.

The bakery is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday and is closed on Sundays.

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