25 Sweet Memories from CakeSpy Shop

CakeSpy Shop

Hello Sweet Readers!

If you've been reading CakeSpy over the years, you MUST know that in 2009, I opened a retail store in Seattle. Called CakeSpy Shop, it was a center for selling my artwork (as featured on this site) and other awesome artists whose work I love.

Cakespy shop

It certainly was a labor of love, but as time went on, the work that went into having a brick and mortar store, in my opinion, began to take away from my *real* passion--writing about, and drawing pictures of, sweets! I'm talking about the administrative stuff, not the awesome customers, of course! 

The rent on the store was pretty pricey, too. After maintenance, etc, it was about $2400 a month. Considering the cost of producing items and the fact that I had to pay other artists for their work, that means the store had to make a whole lot more than that per month. I am happy to say it always did -- the store never *lost* money for me. But considering the amount of hours I put in, I never really made much. So it sure is nice to lessen the pressure of paying that much every month!

Cakespy shop

Plus, after I came out with my cookbook, the gallery aspect got very confusing with branding. People would come in expecting a bakery, and as many wonderful things as the store was, it was not that! 

So, last month we closed the doors on the store. It was a bittersweet moment. Sad, because I will miss all of my wonderful regulars--but also really wonderful, because I feel that it was such a brave and big thing to do, and I think that the experience of running a retail store is sort of like what they say about living in NYC--if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. Likewise, if you can operate a retail store--you can do ANYTHING.

So while I am going to continue to make the world a more awesome place, from now on it will be without a retail storefront. You can certainly still shop online, though!

And, to say thank you to everyone who was part of the dream that was CakeSpy Shop, here's just a small collection of some of the sweet moments that stand out in my memory!

    CakeSpy Shop Opening Party
  1. The opening party. It was epic! There were cupcakes with my art on them, provided by Trophy Cupcakes!
  2. pievcake
  3. Painting a mural on the wall.
  4. Sign outside of shop
  5. Having a sandwich board and the freedom to come up with clever things to bring in customers.
  6. New sign!
  7. Buying a Neon sign for the store!
  8. Cover girl
  9. Having my photo taken for the cover of Seattle Woman Magazine.
  10. DSC01970
  11. Having the store featured on TV!
  12. DSC07509
  13. Hosting amazing, standing-room only events such as Cake Versus Pie.
  14. Hosting bake sales to raise money for good causes! I had several over the years, and was able to raise thousands of dollars for good causes. Go me!
  15. Emmett and Porkchop
  16. My customers. Porkchop in particular had a special bond with Emmett.
  17. Bakerella, Phuong, me
  18. Bakerella came to visit!
  19. So did Cake Gumshoe Phuong (pictured with me and Bakerella)
  20. DSC02707
  21. Getting to see, firsthand, the power of my art.
  22. Doing a side by side brownie tasting.
  23. Kristin of Meringue Bake Shop came to visit!
  24. The joy that came from leaving sweet treats out for customers (I would leave a little table with treats on it outside of the door!)
  25. Emmett models the new Ryan Berkley prints
  26. Having the opportunity to showcase such amazing artwork as that by Ryan Berkley!
  27. Joy the Baker, and Me
  28. Joy the Baker came to visit!
  29. And she returned!
  30. Macaron, with crochet macaron
  31. Sweet moments such as this, with Alicia Kachmar.
  32. Melisser and Sara
  33. A fantastic book signing with Melisser Elliott!
  34. Betsy of Java Cupcake came to visit!
  35. Jenn of JustJenn came to visit!
  36. Visitors did things like draw cartoons of the experience.
  37. Margaret and me
  38. I know I've mentioned some specific people, but in general, the fact that so many people made it a point to come visit the store was beyond meaningful to me.Signing books!
  39. My book launch party for CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life! Possibly one of the proudest moments of my life, there was a line out the door, rainbow cake, and my family from NJ was present. I drew a unicorn in every copy purchased. It was such a wonderful day. 

Cakespy shop

Thank you so much for making my store so wonderful! Continue to shop online, here.

Cake Byte: CakeSpy Shop Re-Opens!

Here's a sweet dispatch from CakeSpy Shop in Seattle!

Alright, friends! After a short stint of closure due to flood damage...We are OFFICIALLY re-opened for business!! The shop is looking awesome, and we are even introducing a few new items!! Check these out:

Magnets with Ryan Berkley art!

Hamster Pillows!BFF necklaces!

Anyway, don't take our word for it--come in and check it out for yourself!
Also, we will be celebrating all of this awesomeness at our 2nd Thursday Art Walk this month, and you can RSVP here: http://www.facebook.com/events/326964947352233/. The store is located at 415 East Pine Street, Seattle WA 98122.



Save the Date: Joy The Baker at CakeSpy Shop on March 17!

Want the recipe? Come buy the book!Save the date, sweeties.

Joy the Baker is coming to CakeSpy Shop in Seattle!

We are THRILLED to be hosting this extra-special event for our dear friend, Joy the Baker! Join us to celebrate Joy and her first cookbook at CakeSpy Shop on Saturday, March 17th! Come hang out with Joy, CakeSpy founder Jessie, and the winner of the "So You Wanna Be a CakeSpy?" contest, Molly Allen!

Want to learn more about the book? OK.

Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes is a celebration of butter, sugar, and cream--all of our favorites! Everyone is just looking for an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast, and this book is reason enough to indulge. With 100 recipes and photographs, like Avocado Pound Cake to The Best Chocolate Bundt Cake, the Joy the Baker Cookbook is designed to be fun, approachable, and meant to make you feel like a wizard in the kitchen.

Joy will be here to tell us all about her awesome new book, answer questions for her fans, and of course have a stack of books to sign!

Date: March 17

Time: 3-6pm

Location: CakeSpy Shop, 415 East Pine Street, Seattle; 206.325.1592

Check out the Facebook invite here. Oh, and you might like to hear the interview with Joy and CakeSpy together, too!

CakeSpy Official Book Launch on October 13 in Seattle!

OK, sweeties. Consider this your official reminder: this Thursday is the Official CakeSpy Book Launch Party at CakeSpy Shop in Seattle!

I will be there. My parents (from NJ) will be there. I will have books to sell you. And there will be cake.

Here are the details.

What to expect: an informal open-house type setting where we will have cake and treats (I will have 4-5 types of sweets made from recipes in the book!), alcohol (woooo!), original artwork as featured in the book on sale in the gallery, and my lovely little self on hand to sign the books which you should plan on buying. 

  • Date: Thursday, October 13 (this is also the night of the Cap. Hill art walk!)
  • Time: 6pm-9pm
  • Location: CakeSpy Shop, 415 E. Pine Street, Seattle, WA; online at cakespyshop.com

But wait, there's more! Because I hate being at an event and waiting for people to arrive fashionably late (don't make me wait all alone in my party dress, people!), I would like to give you an incentive to come early: the first three guests will receive a FREE copy of the book!! That's right. You just mention this post and if you're one of the first three, you'll get the book at NO COST. And I will still sign it for you.

But even if you can't make it to this awesome event of the century, there are more chances to get your hands on my book over the next few days in Seattle:

For the rest of the tour dates, click here! To purchase the book in advance, visit cakespyshop.com or hit up Elliott Bay Books. Or win a copy here.

Save the Date: Official CakeSpy Book Launch Party at CakeSpy Shop on October 13

People. It's happening.

My book is out. It's called CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life. It rules. It's available for purchase. And on October 13 at CakeSpy Shop, at 415 East Pine Street in Capitol Hill, Seattle, we're gonna have a party to celebrate this momentous occasion.

If you're not in Seattle, don't despair: it's also the kickoff of my lovely and amazing Tour de Sweet book tour, which will span the entire nation (lucky you!). And I sincerely promise to draw a cupcake, unicorn, or robot in every book, free of charge. Um, the books you still have to pay for though.

But back to the launch party at the store.

What to expect: an informal open-house type setting where we will have cake and treats (I will have 4-5 types of sweets made from recipes in the book!), alcohol (woooo!), original artwork as featured in the book on sale in the gallery, and my lovely little self on hand to sign the books which you should plan on buying. 

  • Date: Thursday, October 13 (this is also the night of the Cap. Hill art walk!)
  • Time: 6pm-???
  • Location: CakeSpy Shop, 415 E. Pine Street, Seattle, WA; online at cakespyshop.com

For the rest of the tour dates, click here! To purchase the book in advance, visit cakespyshop.com.

Seeking Sweetness: Daily Snapshot, The CakeSpy Book Has Arrived At CakeSpy Shop

CakeSpy Note: if you follow me on facebook or Twitter, you probably know I'm partial to observing (and sometimes adding) sweetness in the natural world and urban landscape. Here's where I post a daily feel-good photo or image, for no particular reason other than to showcase these sweet little nothings, in hopes that they'll make you smile.

Well, would you look at that. My book! It has arrived at CakeSpy Shop! You can go ahead and buy it! Also, come and see me on my upcoming Tour De Sweet Book Tour!

Seeking Sweetness: Behind the Scenes with This Charming Candy

So, if you've ever seen my store (CakeSpy Shop, conveniently located at 415 East Pine Street in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood), you're probably already familiar with the wares of This Charming Candy, a Seattle-based purveyor of creative and delicious lollipops.

When you come to the shop, you'll see something like this:

But in case you've ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes, I'll give you a sneak peek.

Recently, I went to their culinary studio in North Seattle, and they allowed me to take a few shots of the sweet process. Well. I was too late to see the candy mixture being mixed, but I did get there in time to see it gently cooling and hardening in molds:

...but you should know that as with any art, there are always the leftover bits--like an artist's palette littered with little bits of this and that color, here's a small rainbow of cast-off sugar:

...and once the lollipops are at the right consistency, they're ready to be packaged with sleeves and ties, on deck:

...and then we'll have packaged lollipops!

...and now, if you head on over to CakeSpy Shop at 415 E. Pine Street in Seattle, you can buy a fistful for yourself. Or call us at 206.605.3589 - we do mail order too!

For more about This Charming Candy, visit their website. 

Sweet Times: Snapshots from Pie Stand with Kate Lebo

Photos: Kate LeboIf you've never been to one of the bake sale events that are held at CakeSpy Shop every month or so, you are missing out. Don't believe me? Well, luckily I have cold, hard, delicious photographic proof from the latest event, Pie Stand featuring a plethora of delicious pies by Kate Lebo.

Check out the slideshow here, and after viewing it, make sure to save the date for the next upcoming bakesale, on August 20th, featuring sweets by Megan of Bake it in a Cake! To stay updated about future events, be sure to "like" CakeSpy on Facebook; that is the best place to stay updated!

Cake Byte: Pie Stand Featuring Kate Lebo at CakeSpy Shop on August 6

Pie Stand returns! This time, the famous pie-maker Kate Lebo is selling pies by the slice at CakeSpy, the sweetest space in Seattle. She'll have slices and hand pies for sale, including a couple fresh fruit and gluten free pies. Pay no attention to that "end at 4" time listed--she'll be open until she sells out (which she will!), so come sooner rather than later. Kids and small dogs welcome. We'll also have her book of pie lore and poetry, A Commonplace Book of Pie, for sale at the shop.

Kate's note: This is a good time to get your whole pie orders in, so let me know now if you'd like to take a whole pie home.

The Menu:

Peach Bourbon hand pies
Vanilla Cherry hand pies
Mumbleberry Pie
Rhubarb Ginger Pie
Peach Cherry Galette
Fresh Fruit & Marscapone Pie
Lemon Shaker Pie
Apple Bacon Roquefort Pie
Asparagus Chevre & Thyme Pie

Fresh slices are $3-5, whole frozen pies are $35 for one, $60 for two. Cash only for the pie, please!

Details: Saturday, August 6 at CakeSpy Shop; 12pm Til we sell out.

CakeSpy Shop is located at 415 E. Pine Street (at Summit) in Capitol Hill, Seattle; cakespyshop.com. Please note the shop is not a bakery, it's a space for people who love baked goods. See you there!

Seeking Sweetness: Impromptu Jumbo Ice Cream Photo Shoot

Photos: Surber DesignsOne of the best parts about owning a store is having totally sweet, unexpected connections with customers.

And recently, I had a really special one. It involved two cute girls who came into my store. They were visiting from out of town, and had made CakeSpy Shop a destination. Naturally, I already liked them. 

They were very taken by the store's decor, especially my jumbo ice cream cones. And this led to a conversation about ice cream, and I advised them that they should visit Bluebird Ice Cream, where I recently completed a mural. And I'm not sure how it exactly happened, but we all decided that they should take the ice cream cones with them. The only stipulations? "Be sure to bring them back, and promise that you'll send me the pictures," I said.

Would they ever come back? I trusted they would.

And they did, and they bought stuff (I told you I liked them!), and they sent me the pictures of their great ice cream adventure. Here they are. Credit goes to Bethany Surber (Surber Designs) for the great photos, and to Kristen for being the cutest ice cream cone model ever.Twirling with an ice cream cone is a delight!Hello, Bluebird Ice Cream!Hello, CakeSpy Mural!Hello, rest of mural!Thank you Bethany and Kristen for making my day a little sweeter!

Cake Byte: Artist Reception with Kelly Brownlee at CakeSpy Shop on July 14

What's totally sweet but a little saucy too?

The artwork of Kelly Brownlee, that's what! And (lucky you) this talented Seattle-based illustrator is going to be showing work at CakeSpy Shop in July!

Now...The art will be up all month but the reception (and your chance to meet the awesome artist!) is on the art walk eve of Thursday, July 14th, 2011!

Here's a description of the show, from the artist:

Summer brings sunny days and sweet nothings whispered on a porch as the sun fades after a long and lazy day. Kelly J. Brownlee's original all new works of art for "Sweet Nothings" are inspired by play on words and anthropormorphic sweet and savory treats, this time, with a summer theme sprinkled in! Cakewalks, chicken strips, and unicorns may never again look the same.

And here's the artist's bio: Kelly Brownlee is a local freelance illustrator who balances her time between her clients, making fanciful wearable items and showing her work at local and national venues. She is currently showing artwork in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Come to the artist reception at CakeSpy Shop on Thursday, July 14th from 6-8 p.m.; the artwork will be up from July 5th through the end of the month! To see more of Kelly's work, visit her website here.

Cake Byte: New CakeSpy Wedding Stamps by Taylored Expressions!

Like, totally sweet! It's time for a new batch of rubber stamps created by our own Head Spy Jessie in collaboration with Taylored Expressions! The newest set has a wedding theme, because everyone knows love is totally sweet.

You can get ideas for projects like the card shown above, here; to buy the stamps, which retail for $21.95, visit tayloredexpressions.com!

Cake Byte: Several New CakeSpy Card Designs

Oh, hello, friends.

I thought that just in case you were feeling rich this week, I would share my updated sheet of cards. I have several new styles by popular request, including several of my popular quote illustrations, as well as Teacher, Battle of the Buns (Hot Dogs Vs. Hamburgers!), and "Donut Worry, Be Happy".

You can order them a la carte in the online shop; for a bigger, more beautiful view of the entire sheet, click here.

Order CakeSpy Cards and more at cakespyshop.com. They're available at the CakeSpy retail shop too, 415 E. Pine St, Seattle WA 98122!

Cake Byte: Sneak Peek of the Rampage Toys Art Show at CakeSpy Shop

So, if you're in Seattle, you're probably already planning on coming to CakeSpy Shop this thursday, May 12, for the Capitol Hill Art Walk featuring artwork by another awesome Seattle cupcake artist (no, I'm not the only one): Jon of Rampage Toys!

And we've been baking up some magic at the store--not only has Jon done a full installation of paintings, vinyl toys, and prints, but we've also done a few collaborative pieces, AND he did a wall painting as part of the installation!

Here's a peek at how it happened.

Hour 1: beginning with a pencil sketch, and starting to paint in the cupcakes.

Hour 2: Cupcakes become more realized.

Hour 3: Cupcakes get frosted!

Hour 4: Finishing touches!

...meanwhile, downstairs, I was busy at work on our large (24x30 inch) collaborative piece (see picture, top). It's kind of a cupcake meets Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters scene! Yes!

You can see this magic and more for yourself--there will be an artist reception at CakeSpy Shop, 415 E Pine, Seattle WA on Thursday, May 12 from 5-8 pm; the show will be up all May long. For more of Jon's work, click here.

Cake Byte: Bakesale for the South at CakeSpy Shop on May 14

Have your cake and donate too!

That's right: we're going to have another delicious fundraiser at CakeSpy Shop in Capitol Hill! This time, the proceeds will all go toward the Red Cross to aid relief efforts for the tornadoes which have recently ravaged the deep South.

If you'd like to Volunteer as a baker, please click here.

If you'd like to buy baked goods, your job is easy: simply come to CakeSpy Shop and buy stuff on Saturday, May 14, from 11 a.m. till we inevitably sell out!

To reiterate: deliciousness, good cause. May 14, 11 am til ? at CakeSpy Shop, 415 E. Pine Street (near Summit), Seattle WA 98122.

Cake Byte: CakeSpy and Rampage Toys Art Collaboration

Um, OMG. You know how that totally sweet art show with Rampage Toys is coming up at CakeSpy Shop?

Well, there are going to be some collaborative pieces done by Mr. Rampage (Jon) and Mlle. Spy (Jessie)--we are combining our cupcake awesomeness on two very special pieces, one of which is pictured at the top of this post! If you believe what Jon says, it says "Forbidden Love" below the image. 

Here's the 411 on the show:

This show will showcase paintings and toys from Seattle based character designer Jon Malmstedt - RAMPAGE TOYS!  Jon's work focuses on fun and colorful creatures that just so happen to be monsters.  Expect scenes of urban destruction a' la the classic films 'Godzilla' and 'Mothra', but with a bent in the direction of silly - instead of Godzilla think 'giant cupcake that has no arms.' The show will include paintings, custom vinyl toys, handcast resin figures and a couple collaborative pieces done with the Cakespy herself - something for anyone who loves monsters, cupcakes, monster cupcakes or all of the above! 

The reception will be on Thursday, May 12, 5-8 p.m. at CakeSpy Shop, 415 E. Pine St., Seattle WA 98122. Shop for Jon's work in advance here.

Cake Byte: Bakesale with Jen Seaman at CakeSpy Shop Tomorrow!

This isn't one of Jen's cupcakes, but it is a sweet indication of awesome to come.Guess what, Capitol Hill? You've got a great opportunity to carb-o-load in a most delicious way tomorrow.

That's right: it's time for another Bakesale at CakeSpy Shop!

Here's the 411:

Jen Seaman, who is a comic by night, amazing baker by day, is going to be hosting a bake sale at CakeSpy Shop! Come on by and pick up amazing goodies like maple cupcakes with bacon and mini apple butterscotch pies, and I hear a rumor about creamsicle cupcakes, too!

If you can't make it (so sad) you don't need to despair, though. She also sells her baked goods at People's Republic of Koffee in Seattle.

Come by tomorrow, Saturday, April 30, 2011, 12 noon til we inevitably sell out! The location is CakeSpy Shop, 415 East Pine Street, Seattle WA.

Cake Byte: The Piecycle Bakesale At CakeSpy Shop, Sunday, April 3

Buy pie from this cute boy. (photo courtesy: Trung Le)Have you been curious about The Piecycle, Seattle's pie-by-bicycle delivery service in the University District, but don't live in the delivery zone?

Well, lucky you. For one day only, today, from 12 til he sells out (and he will sell out, I promise) The Piecycle's Max will be selling pie by the slice at CakeSpy Shop on Capitol Hill!

He will be baking up a limited amount of pies, so be sure to come early, because these sweet slices are bound to sell like hotcakes. Hot pies? Whatever. It's delicious.

Follow The Piecycle on Facebook here; on Twitter here; buy his pies from 12 til they sell out at CakeSpy Shop on Sunday, April 3, at CakeSpy Shop, 415 E. Pine St., Seattle WA 98122.