By Travis Rogers Jr.
LOYAL — Many gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Sweet Retreat Cake Boutique on April 15 in Loyal.
Business owners Hilary Hoffman, 24, and Jared Zemke, 26, decided to open their own cake shop after working together at the bakery of Festival Foods in Marshfield.
Originally, the Sweet Retreat Cake Boutique was going to be Hoffman’s shop, and Zemke was going to help her get started, but demand for their sweets exceeded their expectations, and Zemke is now fully on board.
“Everyone asks us that,” Hoffman said. “Marshfield is too expensive, and there is a lot of competition.”
“We needed a certified kitchen,” added Zemke, “and we didn’t want to just build a certified kitchen in our garage, so we started looking.”
Their search took them to downtown Loyal, where they learned that Hoffman’s step-aunt owned a building on Main Street.
When Hoffman and Zemke saw the building, they knew it was right for them. It had been a Verizon store with lots of unfinished space in the back. The rent was very affordable, and there would be room to grow. The affordable rent allows Hoffman and Zemke to keep their prices low.
“We love hearing people say, ‘That’s all?’ when they hear their total,” said Hoffman.
Though planned to be just a cake shop, the Sweet Retreat Cake Boutique now makes breads, doughnuts, cupcakes, and pies, and the menu continues to expand.
“We started off (with) just two breads,” Zemke explained. “Now we have seven breads, and we’ll be adding more.”
The cake sales also took off. Hoffman and Zemke had 13 cake orders on their first weekend and 20 orders every weekend thereafter. The cake business is so good that they are looking to hire another cake decorator.
On the day of the grand opening, Hoffman and Zemke unveiled the first of their gourmet doughnuts: maple bacon and Oreo crumble, but their signature doughnut is called the Honeymooner.
“That’s the official doughnut of Loyal,” said Zemke.
“There was a bakery here 20-30 years ago called Fleischmann’s,” related Hoffman, “and the Honeymooner was their famous doughnut.” The Honeymooner is a raised ring doughnut covered with chocolate icing, has cream in the hole, and is topped with a cherry.
“Some of our best customers are the folks who remember Fleischmann’s,” Hoffman said. “They are happy to have a sweet shop back in the neighborhood.”
The Sweet Retreat Cake Boutique is open from 6:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and is closed on Mondays.