Icing On the Cake
Cake Bake Shop Celebrates Grand Opening of New Carmel Location
Photographer: Brian Brosmer
When patrons walk through the French doors of the Cake Bake Shop Carmel, located on the upper deck of the Carmel City Center, it’s evident that the fairy-like cottage space is like nothing else in town — just ask its owner, Gwendolyn Rogers.
The combination bakery, bar and restaurant opened on July 1 after more than two years of planning. Rogers designed her new location to resemble that of the Cake Bake Shop Broad Ripple, which is located in Broad Ripple Village. However, the full-service bar is exclusive to Cake Bake Shop Carmel. Its Broad Ripple location still has its usual beer and wine license and sells a lot of champagne.
“I designed the whole exterior of the building to resemble a little bit with what Broad Ripple is, so it’s still a white house and it’s got French doors,” Rogers says. “So, it has that warm, homey feeling. I’ve taken a very large space and separated it into different rooms with different ceiling heights to create a home kind of experience. It’s very similar to Broad Ripple — it’s just a little bit different. And it’s prettier!”
Transport to Paris
Rogers designed her new Cake Bake Shop location to resemble that of Vienna or Paris. She also ensured it was spacious and could accommodate more people, as reservations are booked up weeks in advance at her Broad Ripple location.
The 154-seat Carmel shop is nearly triple the size of its Broad Ripple location, which can seat only 36 patrons.
“The tables are bigger, and it’s just a lot more spacious,” Rogers says. “The seating is more comfortable, and it’s just beautiful. You’re not crammed in sitting next to someone else. You feel like you’re in Vienna or you feel like you’re in Paris. You sit on the outdoor covered patio with the fountain and the flowers and it’s just beautiful. There is nothing like it anywhere.”
Rogers was heavily involved in its design and construction and truly made it her own.
“I wanted to design my own space,” Rogers says. “I didn’t want to go into an existing building. This was a brand-new building that was just going under construction before I even started with the design. I wanted to just build it from the ground up because I knew exactly what I wanted, and I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like. It was a lot easier to do that with a brand-new construction situation.”
In addition to a bigger space and lengthier alcohol selection, Cake Bake Shop Carmel also features an extended menu.
“We’ve got beautiful signature cocktails,” Rogers adds. “We have gumbo that I’ve been making for 25 years because I’m from New Orleans.”
The new location is run by award-winning chef, Dan Nichols, who was previously with Quaff ON! Bloomington.
Other menu options include Crab Cake with Rémoulade, a homemade fresh blue lump crab meat lightly breaded with panko crumbs, sautéed in olive oil and clarified butter, Pasta Puttanesca, freshly chopped tomatoes, garlic, capers, Kalamata olives, anchovies, roasted eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes and basil, tossed in spaghetti pasta and Filet Au Poivre, a seared 12-ounce filet mignon sautéed with crushed black peppercorns, cognac, rosemary, basil, garlic, shallots, green peppercorns and heavy cream.
It’s menu also features salmon, a ground sirloin burger and ice cream that is made fresh every morning. Additionally, its Carmel location serves 12 different flavors of its iconic layered cakes.
Also exclusive to its Carmel location is a chocolate fountain.
“We have a chocolate fountain machine that literally just spits out melted chocolate all day long. We fill up little cups and top it with whipped cream,” Rogers says.
Passing It to the public
After completing her two-year project, Rogers describes opening Cake Bake Shop Carmel to the public as a relief.
“It was a relief, and what I mean by that is I’ve been working on it for so long that it was such an incredible feeling to finally have that underneath me and I finally accomplished that,” Rogers says. “I wouldn’t say you’re ever finished because I think it’s an ongoing process all the time. Just to be able to open the doors and to be able to have guests come in through the front door and enjoy what you’ve been working on for so long is so rewarding. It’s so gratifying to make people happy and to see them all come in with smiles on their faces is just the best reward ever. It’s nice to pass it off to the public.”
As for its hours, the shop has the same hours as its Broad Ripple location. However, it’s subject to change.
“If there are events, we’ll definitely stay open longer,” Rogers says. “I’m going to start the same as my Broad Ripple hours and just kind of see what the crowd is like in Carmel because I’ve never had a business there before. If it’s busier, we’ll stay open and if it’s not we’ll stick to our original hours.”
The Cake Bake Shop – Carmel is located at 800 S. Rangeline Road. The shop is open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Its Sunday hours are 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. To reserve a table, visit exploretock.com/cakebakeshop-carmel. Making a reservation is not required, as they accept walk-ins, but it’s highly suggested. For more information, and the full menu, visit them online at thecakebakeshop.com.