The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

October 8, 2012

The Little Bake Shop serves up smiles and success

OTTUMWA — One day it’s strawberry banana cupcakes, coffee cake and cinnamon rolls. The next day it’s chocolate chip buttercream cookie sandwiches, raspberry croissants and lemon meringue cupcakes.

Every day brings new surprises and yummy treats to The Little Bake Shop.

Open for just three weeks at 201 E. Second St., Ottumwa’s newest bakery is taking the town by storm. What started with special-order cakes and six flavors of cupcakes has already grown into coffee, cake balls, cookie art, cinnamon rolls, cake pops and breads.

“I expected things to grow slowly, but we came out fast and furious,” owner Melissa Little said.

Keeping the case stocked has been a challenge from day one, Little says. Her goal is to sell out each day so all of the items are fresh every morning. On their first Friday, they sold out by 11:30 a.m. Last week was much better, she said, as they’re learning how much of each item to bake each day.

“This week, people have been calling in for a variety box. ‘I want two of whatever flavors you have.’ So we have them all boxed up and ready when they come in,” Little said.

This type of customer service has been a hit with everyone. When the bakery opened, it soon had 75 likes on Facebook. By Sunday night, it was up to ---.

Part of the draw that Facebook fans have found is the way new menu items are released. The night before, Little will post what can be expected in the shop the next day.

“I post every night,” she explained. “I didn’t one time, and got all sorts of calls.”

On Wednesday, Little takes cupcake flavor requests for Friday. Recent flavors straight from local residents include Snickers, peanut butter and jelly, pumpkin and even french toast maple bacon. That devoted cupcake lover even sent Little a recipe.

“When someone makes a request, they’re so excited to see it in the case,” Little said.

While she doesn’t have a baking background (although her great-grandmother was a baker), Little does have a business background. After spending the wee small hours of the morning baking, she’s an instructor at Indian Hills’ career academy in Fairfield.

Little recently met with Chef Gordon Rader, culinary arts program department head at Indian Hills, and he invited her to talk with some of his students. One thing led to another, and she now has three interns who’ll be spending time in the bakery.

“We have one this week, and she helps with cake balls, learning techniques and decorating,” Little said. “But they’ll come and learn the business side as well. To run any successful business, there are certain things have to know. They’ll have to have a business background in some form.”

The daily changes and exciting things that are happening in The Little Bake Shop are all the encouragement Little needs to start each new work day.

“I’m so excited to come in and see what we can come up with today,” she said. “I don’t want customers to just come in and have a cupcake. I want to create an experience that they’ll remember.”

The Little Bake Shop

201 E. Second St.

641-954-9033

www.facebook.com/thelittlebakeshopottumwa

1
Text Only
Ottumwa
  • Urbandale comes back to beat Ottumwa Midwest BOONE — Ottumwa Midwest led by seven runs in the fourth inning, but Urbandale National put together a furious comeback to steal the victory, 12-11, on Friday at the 9-10 Year Old Little League State Baseball Tournament. The top of the first saw Ottum

    July 25, 2014

  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0625 OTT Riverfront Renaissance color photo -L -M Riverfront Renaissance begins mapping out ideas

    OTTUMWA — It was serious work to play with stickers and maps Tuesday evening. Concentration was on more than 70 faces as colored dots found their way up and down several maps of the river flowing through downtown Ottumwa. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National