Wedding Cakes and Much More at Arlington’s Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery
Dec 12, 2017 12:32AM
● By Melanie Heisinger
Business is sweet at Heidi Allison’s Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery in Arlington’s revitalized downtown area. The mom and entrepreneur, along with her crew of 12, is crafting 6 to 10 wedding cakes each week and, she says, that’s just half of their business. “We also bake cakes for birthdays, showers and other special occasions, make cupcakes and cake balls and we have recently added coffee and a breakfast menu for our customers,” says Allison.
She says she first discovered she loved baking and decorating when she was in high school, but it was just a hobby. Following college at UTA and beginning a career in advertising in Dallas, word of mouth about her confectionary concoctions began spreading. “I was baking cakes on the side for friends’ weddings and events and people began discovering it and wanting me to do things for them,” she says. “It just progressed from a hobby to baking fulltime at home.”
So in 2010, she moved back to Arlington and opened up Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery in The Shoppes at Brownstone Village. She quickly outgrew the initial space and ultimately took over a whole 3,500 square feet there. But ultimately, even that was not enough space for the burgeoning bakery.
“We really needed more kitchen space,” she says and in January of this year, the bakery moved to its new location along Front and East Streets where the Urban Union development is taking place. She says the new location and its 4,500 square feet have been a great move and business continues to flourish.
Cake BossSugar Bee Sweets Bakery can design just about any cake or confection, but Allison says one of their specialties is couture cakes in a vintage, southern style. Allison says about half of their business remains with wedding cakes, another quarter is special occasion cakes such as showers and birthdays and the remaining quarter of business is from their retail offerings of coffee, breakfast scones, cupcakes, cake balls and other treats.
Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery is open 6 days a week and 11-hour days are the norm. “I’m very active managing production, meeting with brides and clients and ordering supplies among other duties,” she says. It’s not unusual for them to handle 50 custom orders per week while also baking 100 cupcakes and 150 cake balls.
The shop itself is very open and spacious with a clean white paint look throughout. There is plenty of room to meet with clients and many examples of cakes and styles to review. A glass counter shows off fresh scones, cupcakes and cake balls. A few little wooden tables and chairs offer a brief respite while nibbling on the goodies.
Allison is always forward thinking and has even begun renting out some of her shop’s open space for art classes, yoga classes and baby showers. She says in the next 5 years she can even see Sugar Bee Sweets having “satellite locations in Mansfield, the mid-cities and even Dallas.”
Word of mouth continues to generate business for the shop but so did being featured on an episode of the Cooking Channel’s “Cake Hunters” program last year. Allison is also active promoting the business on Facebook and Instagram.
Sweet TreatsWedding cakes are front and center at Sugar Bee Sweets. There’s far too much detail to share here, but customization is the word. There are the classic vanilla and chocolate, and numerous butter cream fillings to choose from. There’s also cakes and cupcakes available in flavors including almond cake, butter cake, lemon cake, Red Velvet cake, Italian cream cake, coconut cake, tiramisu cake, German chocolate cake, strawberry cake, carrot cake, pumpkin spice cake and island spice cake. Cakes can be topped with iced buttercream (traditional finish) or rolled fondant (satin finish). There are more flavors available for the cake balls. The breakfast menu includes a variety of scones, muffins and croissants. Sugar Bee Sweets also sells local Urban Alchemy coffee and serves espresso, cappuccino and latte.
On our visit the selection was almost overwhelming, but it was a good problem to have. It seemed reasonable to start with something from the breakfast menu before moving to the sweets. The Bacon, Cheddar, Chive & Jalapeno scone was a crumbling piece of heaven. The scone’s lightness and freshness were clear and present. A cup of coffee was the perfect complement. Now it was time for sugary treats.
This sweet trip began with classic and traditional Red Velvet and Carrot Cake cupcakes, Birthday Cake, Strawberry and German Chocolate cake balls, a soft, gooey chocolate chip cookie and, the favorite of all the indulgences, the Toffee Crunch cupcake – possibly the best cupcake I’ve ever eaten.
For more information about Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery visit www.sugarbeesweets.com or stop by for coffee, breakfast and sweets Monday through Friday beginning at 7:00 a.m. and Saturdays starting at 8:00 a.m. Sugar Bee Sweets is located at 201 N. East Street in Arlington.