By Mark Ambrogi
Gwendolyn Rogers was the hit of every party and get-together with her baked goods and cooking.
Soon the Broad Ripple resident was encouraged to share her gift with the masses. It took three years to build and remodel an old house before she opened the Cake Bake Shop, on 6515 Carrollton Ave., in Broad Ripple.
Carmel residents don’t need to go far to get the real thing as Cake Bake products became available at Kroger on 1217 S. Range Line Rd. this summer.
Margo Rozelle, deli/bakery merchandiser for The Kroger Co., came up with the idea.
“As a organization we’re looking to develop relationships with local businesses,” Rozelle said. “I saw an article in the paper and saw something on TV. I went down a couple of times and sampled the product. I went back to the office and everyone said, ‘Oh my God, this stuff is great.’”
She then requested a formal meeting with Rogers and the two hit it off immediately.
“When we first started talking I wasn’t sure if I was just going to put a couple of cakes in there,” Rogers said. “When I got in here, it was going off the shelves pretty quick so we thought maybe we should throw in some pies, maybe we should do cookies, maybe we should do some brownies and lemon bars. So now we have almost everything we make at the store at Kroger.”
Rozelle said the space for Cake Bake items will be expanded soon. Rozelle also hopes to include the items in additional Kroger stores in the future. The bakery goods are transported daily by the Cake Bake refrigerated delivery van.
“My bakery never stops,” she said.
Prior to the last few years, Rogers just cooked for her family and friends. So many people took notice that she began to think about turning her passion into a career.
Rogers won the best chocolate cake at the Cake & Bake show in London in 2013. The 30 contestants were picked from 3,000 applicants.
After she won the contest, she made a cake for Elton John and the band for a concert in Paris
“They invited me to go backstage and to sit front row center for two nights,” Rogers said.
She will be on six episodes of Simply Good Food TV in England.
The Cake Bake’s Southern Style Caramel Cake is now on the menu at St. Elmo Steak House.
“That’s a big achievement for me because it’s my husband’s favorite restaurant,” she said.
Her Cake Bake box and cupcakes are featured in “Dumb and Dumber To.” Her husband, J.B. Rogers, was a producer and assistant director on that film and has worked on several of writers Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s movies.
“I flew to Atlanta five different times and I got the job,” said Rogers, who has three sons. “I never went without a cake. I made Jim Carrey a fabulous Gluten-free chocolate cupcake.”
Her business plan called for eight employees. She now has to meet the demands. Every recipe at the Cake Bake Shop, which serves lunch, is from Rogers.