New Bakery Brings Made-from-scratch Desserts to Carmel
Photographer: Brandy Hornback
When Sandra Newkirk was young, she spent her free time hanging out with her grandmother, a professional baker in Latvia. She loved the process of mixing messy flour with sugary goo to create beautiful pastries that taste delicious. Her grandmother encouraged her love of baking by spending days with her, in the kitchen, teaching her how to whip up treats.
Newkirk attended culinary school in Latvia and, after graduating, took her first job as a line cook. Later she became the head chef in a 4-star restaurant.
At the time, Newkirk’s cousin was living in Indianapolis. This provided the perfect opportunity for Newkirk who wanted to visit and explore the US for a year. It was here she met and married her husband and chose to make Indiana her home.
Working in a high-end restaurant was stressful for Newkirk. Not wanting to head back into that type of job, Newkirk knew she wanted to focus on baking, as it is less stressful and can be a calming experience. In 2014 she opened a bakery. However, her kids were small, the business was getting very busy and she made the decision to focus on her family and close up shop.
As her kids grew, her time opened up and she was ready to jump back into the baking business. Newkirk recently opened Luxury Cakes at 254 Veteran’s Way in Carmel.
The neighborhood response to the new bakery has been great.
“People here pass along the word and support me,” Newkirk says. There is construction outside my store but people make sure they get here. Our community is wonderful.”
Luxury Cakes specializes in macaroons, giant cookies and different style cakes for all occasions. The macaroons filled with Italian buttercream are a best seller. Everything is made from scratch, there are no preservatives or chemicals added to the pastries. Any leftovers that are free of allergens (particularly peanuts) are donated to churches and food pantries and are placed in kid’s lunches the following day.
Currently, Newkirk manages all the operations by herself. She dreams of one day hiring a crew of stay-at-home moms. When she was raising her own small children, she found it hard to find work that would accommodate her busy schedule and provide a focus that was just for her. She wants to provide the opportunity to busy moms who may only have short periods of time to work to come in and help out at the bakery.
Newkirk’s favorite part about owning a bakery is seeing how pastries and cakes make people happy and help make positive memories.
“If someone comes in and is having a rough day, they get a pastry and say it makes them feel better,” she says. “That makes my day.”
Luxury Cakes is located at 254 Veterans Way Suite F. You can give them a call at 317-603-9772 or visit them online at luxurycakes.net.