The Tri-Citizens need a little more cake.
That’s what Julie Zirker believes.
She is co-owner of the first Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise in the Tri-Cities.
It opens at 110 Gage Blvd., Suite 200, in Richland in late June.
“We need a little more joy and a little more cake. They are interchangeable,” she said.
Zirker and its sister-in-law, Julie Dawes’ bakery, will make nothing but Bundt cakes, pun intended.
It may seem like a limited business plan, but the brand has been in business for 25 years, with over 410 locations nationwide and a hallmark on their icing pattern.
“They do one thing and they do it very well,” Dawes said.
Nothing Bundt Cakes sells 10 different flavors of daily fresh baked Bundt Cakes: Strawberry & Cream, Snickerdoodle, Red Velvet, Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Raspberry, Lemon, Confetti, Carrot, Classic Vanilla, plus rotating flavors throughout. throughout the year such as Lime, which is a new flavor that will debut when the Richland site opens. A gluten-free option is also available.
Cakes are available in four sizes: 10-inch, 8-inch, cupcake-sized Bundtlets, and bite-to-dozen-sized Bundtinis. Cakes can also be two-tiered for weddings and other special events. Each features a real thick cream cheese frosting petal or drizzle pattern.
Although the cake mixes are sourced from headquarters in Addison, TX, Nothing Bundt Cakes prides itself on using fresh eggs and butter from more local sources.
A wide selection of Bundts will be available daily from the bakery, no pre-order required, but craft cake toppers themed around holidays and celebrations throughout the year can also be specially ordered for any occasion.
On the spectrum spanning grocery store cakes and high-end custom artwork, Dawes said Nothing Bundt Cakes offers a niche in between.
“You can come in and get a (pre-made) cake… It’s personalized and good quality and delicious and it’s made to order.”
The store also sells party supplies such as candles, cards, balloons and more, as well as small gifts — “to give us a one-stop shop,” Dawes said.
The selection is handpicked by Zirker and Dawes.
“Bakeries have a very nostalgic side; it looks like your grandma could work there,” Dawes said.
Despite being a franchise, she said everyone should feel like a special, one-of-a-kind place.
The duo plan to employ 15-20 people and said people have already emailed and stopped by to place orders.
They are also excited because their children are teenagers, so the whole family will have more opportunity to get involved and learn valuable skills through day-to-day business operations.
“We are both lifelong Tri-Citians…and this is our way of bringing joy and happiness to our Tri-City community,” Zirker said.
In the business of joy
Nothing Bundt Cakes started in Las Vegas with two home bakers, Dena Tripp and Debbie Shwetz, in 1997.
“I first tried (Nothing Bundt Cakes) in Spokane,” Dawes said. “And then every time we went to Spokane, we just had to get their cake and I was like, ‘Wait, why don’t we do this? ”
A former florist, Dawes joked, “I’ve always been in the joy business.”
Zirker was a stay-at-home mom and then worked in medical billing for the past five years.
“One thing that Julie and I share is this entrepreneurial spirit. Owning my own business is something I always wanted to do, but I wanted the right relationship and the right franchise… the stars kind of align and here we are,” she said.
The couple embarked on the path to becoming business owners in the spring of 2020.
They said the Nothing Bundt Cakes company was thrilled to hear from someone in Tri-Cities as they had watched the community grow and diversify rapidly.
The sisters-in-law, however, took a step back as the Covid-19 pandemic intensified.
“Nothing Bundt Cakes ends up being a company that does a lot of delivery…a lot of their bakeries never close, so the next year…we felt comfortable moving forward,” a- she declared.
The pair said finding the right space was tricky and took a few months.
They finally found the perfect fit in the 2,900 square foot suite formerly occupied by Mezzo Thai, which reopened as Soi 705 at The Parkway in Richland in early October 2021.
Dawes and Zirker said the high-visibility location doesn’t take long to upgrade.
“We all want to bring joy and eat cake,” Dawes said.
Bundt history lesson
Bundt cakes exploded in popularity in 1966 when a Bundt cake called the “Tunnel of Fudge” took second place in the annual Pillsbury Bake-Off.
Pillsbury was then overwhelmed with more than 200,000 requests for Bundt pans, according to the Minnesota Historical Society Press.
Minnesota-based Nordic Ware was poised to capitalize on demand.
The American-made cookware company, founded in 1946 in Minneapolis, began manufacturing Scandinavian cookware.
In the early years of the company, friends Rose Joshua and Fannie Schanfield of the Minneapolis Jewish-American Hadassah Society approached co-founder Dave Dalquist to see if he would recreate a lightweight modern version of a kugelhopf cake shape in traditional German cast iron.
A cast aluminum version was born and registered under the name “Bundt”. The unique shape of the pan features curves emanating from a hollow center point.
Following small production in 1950 and poor sales, Nordic Ware considered discontinuing the pan.
However, after the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-off, Nordic Ware increased production to 30,000 Bundt pans per day, according to an article by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association.
The company says its Bundt pans are in 75 million homes around the world.
Some of his originals have won places in the Smithsonian collection.
There is even a National Bundt Day on November 15.
A soft opening of the new bakery is planned for the end of June, with a grand opening to follow a few weeks later. A specific date depends on the completion of the construction.
The grand opening celebration will be a three-day event featuring a ribbon cutting with the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, Bundt cake giveaways and a charity donation to be determined at press time. .
“We’re going to give and share a lot of cake,” Zirker said.
Nothing Bundt Cakes: 110 Gage Blvd, Suite 200, Richland; 509-392-7196; nothingbundtcakes.com; Facebook, Instagram. Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday;
10am-6pm Saturday; close on Sunday.