The oh, so sweet and scrumptious scratch-made goodies coming out of Gillette’s new-kid-on-the-block bakery Sweet Cakes are more than worthy of a stop (or 10).

By: Steph Scarcliff   Photos: Taylor Helton

It’s 3 a.m. on a Tuesday. Inside the shopping center at the intersection of 4th Street and Highway 59, friendly and understated Sweet Cakes owner Samantha Beckley prepared miniature cheesecakes and Gillette’s only Keto cupcakes from scratch. The former U.S. Postal Service Rural Route 84 driver buzzed from blender to oven and back, stopping only to laugh heartily when asked about the jobs she’s held over the years — from working the assembly line at an AC manufacturing company’s warehouse to analyzing mineral samples at Black Thunder Coal Mine, among others. About three years ago, the busy wife and mother of four turned her passion for baking into a business, and business is good.

The Sweet Stuff

Most of the offerings at Sweet Cakes, including custom, made-to-order cakes and cupcakes and everyday flavors like Peanut Butter Cup, Cookie Monster, Cookies and Cream and Luscious Lemon, not to mention Strawberry Cheesecake Macaroons, Keto Bites, Keto Bars and Keto Cookies and so much more, are all made in-house by Samantha herself. Her two staffers are her little sister Alexis and her mom Tanya (who made the counter that holds the glass case where Samantha’s “sweet cakes” are displayed). 

“It’s a lot of work,” she said, “but it’s also like having a built-in quality control system in place.”

Samantha said she hopes to grow both her list of sweet treats and her sweet staff before the busy holiday season, but noted that for the time being, she feels blessed to have a hand in every batch that leaves Sweet Cakes’ kitchen. 

Sweet Beginnings

Samantha set out to make her daughter’s first birthday cake in 2010. “It was a Tinkerbell cake,” she recalled. “Nothing extraordinary, really. But everyone loved it.”

Decorating cakes quickly became her Zen and she found contentment in the focus it demanded. She said, “I don’t need to think about anything else except what’s in front of me.”

She admits to never really thinking too much about the profitability of cake baking and decorating and said it wasn’t until more recently, when her husband Sean, a compressor operator at Pegasus, encouraged her to open the storefront, that she’d even considered baking and decorating more than simply something she loved doing.

But after running Sweet Cakes from home for a few years, the business had outgrown their family kitchen, and she needed to expand. Her husband was the one who told her it was time.

“Sweet Cakes would have never become a thing if it wasn’t for my husband, pushing me towards my goals, and being supportive every step of the way. He knew when we first started dating six years ago, (that) baking/decorating was a hobby of mine,” she said.

By: Stephanie L. Scarcliff

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