For many years, I’ve dreamed of opening a baking supply store. The concept has had many iterations in my mind, and I’ve pursued other endeavors along the way (hi, Treat Bake Shop), but to this day, my vision remains. And throughout, I’ve had fun exploring all the great stores already out there. Below is a list of my favorites. But I know there are more (hidden) gems to discover. So, in the comment section below, please let me know where you love to shop. It’s all in the name of research.❤️
Country Kitchen SweetArt – Fort Wayne, IN
Founded in 1964, this is a fourth-generation family business with years of experience at its core. They carry over 14,000 items, including all of all the cake decorating essentials, PLUS baking-themed gifts, apparel, and gourmet foods – they even having baking items for your pet! The “Blog” and “Ideas” section of their website provide amazing information and tutorials. (I especially love their cake photography tips.) And the current owner, Autumn Carpenter, has created quite a name for herself in the industry: writing cookbooks, creating a line of products, and offering an online cookie decorating course via Craftsy.
King Arthur Baking Company – Norwich, VT
I mean, a baking store in rural Vermont – need I say more?!? King Arthur’s brand is synonymous with quality and the company is greatly respected by the baking community. Being a flour company at heart – their flour is (one of) the best available! – King Arthur’s expertise lies in bread baking, so many of the products they offer support this craft. But the store, complete with a café, bakery, and renowned baking school, will have any baker swooning.
NY Cake – New York, NY
This is the store people pilgrimage to (I, myself, made a point to stop when I was lucky enough to be promoting my cookbook in the city back in 2010). And, being in New York, it’s also the store all the magazines and celebrity pastry chefs/bakers shop at. Another family-owned business, NY Cake was founded in 1991 (but really, even earlier, as the Mom started the business selling decorated cakes & teaching classes out of her home). They expanded the store into a “flagship” in 2018, adding a café, bakery, and cake academy. They also have a 20,000 square foot warehouse. Net net, if you can’t find it at NY Cake, you probably can't find it at all.
Pastry Depot – Atlanta, GA
Opened in 2017, pastry chef Frances Coffey saw an opportunity to make the professional pastry tools and ingredients she was using in restaurant kitchens available to the general public. And with her selection of high-quality chocolates, purees, tart shells, feuilletine, gold leaf – and so much more – home pastry chefs can now easily pass themselves off as pros!
Sweet Life Cake Supply – Miami, FL
This store excels at social media, which is how I originally came across it. The 3,600 square foot space is bright, cheery, clean & organized – and with over 5,000 products, capturing that aesthetic is no small feat. And as if running a storefront doesn’t keep you busy enough, the cofounders also created SoFlo – Southern Florida’s Biggest Cake & Candy Expo. Sweet Life’s Instagram profile states “We Sell Cake SUPPLIES, Not Cakes!” – and they appear to be excelling at doing just that.
When in Wisconsin:
Vanilla Bean – Madison, WI
Vanilla Bean holds a special place in my heart, as I would visit it frequently when I was living in Madison 15-ish years ago. I would go there to shop and be inspired, and I also took a handful of their classes. They offer a large selection with some unique, hard-to-find items in a light-filled, friendly setting. Pre-COVID, you could rent one of hundreds of character cake pans (a great cost-savings option for that pan you’ll probably use only once), but I’m unsure if that service is still offered.
Superior Equipment & Supply – Milwaukee, WI
This is not your typical retail experience, as it’s a warehouse setting intended for the restaurant industry. But it’s open to the public, so take advantage! They have a large, impressive selection of baking items at amazing prices. So, what you may lose in ambience, you make up for in selection, price, and helpful customer service.
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