Craving something sweet? Need a cake for your special occasion? Whatever your sugary needs may be, Piece of Cake in Evansville is the local bakery you’ve got to check out. This family-owned shop has a staff that’s just a sweet as the desserts they serve! We spoke with one of the owners, Cate Sisco, to learn all about what makes Piece of Cake so special.
Before the Bakery
Cate Sisco and her younger sister Kristi opened Piece of Cake 21 years ago. Opening a bakery was the perfect endeavor for two women who have been baking practically their entire lives. In fact, Cate has several memories of baking and enjoying sweet treats with her family as a child. “My mom, my dad, and both my grandmothers baked. One of my favorite memories is going to my dad’s mom’s house where she had a coffee can on top of her refrigerator. You knew that can was filled with sour cream cookies,” says Cate. “Now, we all make those cookies. Not just me and my sister at the bakery, but our other siblings – we have another sister and two brothers. It’s truly a family recipe and that’s a memory that all of us kids have.”
Another precious memory that has influenced Cate’s love for baking occurred at Thanksgiving when she was just 12 years old. “I was with my mom’s mother, and I was put in charge of baking the pie. I think we had 30 guests that year. So I was baking the pie and my mom, my grandma, and three of my aunts were sitting there telling me what to do. I don’t even think I had a recipe in front of me,” Cate laughs. “I made all of the pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving that year, and that’s a memory that I’ll never forget.”
Opening the Bakery
With a lifetime of experience baking for family and friends, it’s no surprise that Cate and her sister eventually opened up a bakery of their own. “Kristi and I took a decorating class at my son’s school when he was in 2nd grade, and we enjoyed doing it so much that after his class we signed up for another class at the local craft store. We then took another class and then another all within a six-month period,” says Cate. “We started doing cakes for other people. Also at the time I worked part time at a restaurant, and I started doing cakes for people there. I found myself needing time off from work so I could get these cakes done, so I kind of shifted gears.”
Now, Cate and Kristi had the baking and decorating experience, and they had the people who were willing to buy their cakes. What they needed next was a place to set up shop. “I was driving down the street nearby our house, and I saw a building for sale. They agreed to rent it to us, we got a really good deal, and before I knew it we were opening a business,” says Cate. “We got a small business loan from the small business association here in town and then opened up. We’ve moved three times since opening – each time staying on Main Street. My son now works here in customer service, and my daughter, who was two years old when we opened the bakery, is now a cake decorator. My sister’s husband works with us also. So it’s definitely a family business. We have lots of employees that we consider family, too.”
The Transition From Hobby to Full Time Business
While Cate was ready to get things going right away, there was definitely a bit of a learning curve when they first opened up Piece of Cake. “You know, you think you know what you’re doing when you open a business. I had run restaurants and things like that to help prepare me. But, in the beginning especially, there were just two of us, and we worked a lot more hours than I had anticipated,” says Cate. “What you think is going to happen and what actually happens are two different things. But overall, it’s been fantastic. If we have a sick kid or want family time over the holidays, we’ve always been able to do that.”
Cate is no stranger to transitioning and adjusting to change. “As our downtown area grows, we’ve adjusted our hours. When we first opened downtown, there were very few businesses, but over the past 15 years we’ve really seen that grow. We’ve adjusted by opening earlier and closing a bit later. Also, now we do lattes and micro-roasted coffees. Our menu has changed with the times and with what goes on in our town,” says Cate.
Golden Moments Over the Years
Piece of Cake Bakery is an award-winning bakery. They have won the Evansville Courier and Press Reader's Choice Award several years in a row. Yet, their special moments with customers stand out to Cate just as much (if not more!) than the awards. “I was just on the phone with a lady and she said her son was turning 12, and we’ve done every single one of his cakes. She said wouldn’t go to anyone else,” says Cate. “We have done more than 2,000 wedding cakes since we’ve been open. Your wedding is one of the biggest days of your life, and we get to be a part of that. Sometimes, we’ll do a wedding cake and then the next year we’ll do their baby shower cake and then the first birthday. We have lots of clients like that. We’re interacting with people on some of their most special occasions.”
A True Evansville Local
“I was born here and raised here, so Evansville is truly my hometown,” says Cate. “I remember being a kid and coming downtown with my dad when he worked down here. So, it’s really neat to see businesses that were open when I was a kid that are still here. It’s also great to see the revitalization that’s been happening downtown. Buildings that were closed are now open. So yes, Evansville is our hometown and we care about what happens here downtown and in our city. This is a place we love and a place we call home.”
When you shop at locally-owned businesses like Piece of Cake, you’re helping people like Cate and Kristi continue a beautiful family legacy. That’s just one of the benefits of shopping local! You can find Piece of Cake, and other local Evansville businesses, on Towny – your FREE resource for exploring Evansville, choosing local, and building a robust economy. Find Towny online or on your phone!