At Frosted Cakerie in downtown Joplin, Missouri, owner Kristen Radaker Sheafer operates a cut above ordinary bakeshops. Her cakes, cookies and desserts are sleek and modern, with frosting techniques that range from abstract watercolors to bold rainbow drizzles topped with playful unicorns. Frosted Cakerie opened in 2016 after a successful Kickstarter campaign, but Sheafer is open to the public just one day a week. The daring business strategy might seem half-baked, but her Instagram account offers an endless flurry of teaser photos that keeps customers devoted to the cake shop’s unconventional schedule, and her fan base just keeps rising.
What inspired you to open Frosted Cakerie? I actually don’t have any formal culinary training. I’ve been baking since I was about 6 years old, taught by my mother and grandmother. My background is in design, but I found sitting behind a computer 40 hours a week to be draining rather than inspiring. I’ve always loved making beautiful food, and cake design has provided a very hands-on outlet for that creativity. I chose to work with sweets because I love the opportunity to dream up exclusive works of edible art for the significant events in people’s lives. I find beauty in the temporary nature of what we do; we try to never make the exact same design twice.
How is social media integral to your business plan? We have the advantage of having a visual product that people enjoy seeing. The inspiration for our social media comes directly from the cakes we create with our clients. For the cakes themselves, we draw inspiration from the client’s vision, event decorations or invitations, Pinterest boards, or even their favorite piece of clothing or artwork. Social media is our most effective means of promoting our business: A bride’s friends will tag her in a wedding cake, or moms will share photos of their children’s birthday cakes and that’s how we get the bulk of our business – basically online word-of-mouth.
Why did you decide to open to the public only one day a week? We may only be open on Wednesdays, but we do most of our business on Friday and Saturday. We have the privilege of custom orders being our bread and butter, as well as our main passion. Wednesdays allow us to meet our customers, interact with the community and let people taste what we offer without having to purchase an entire cake. The rest of the week, we’re busy baking and designing wedding cakes, baby-shower cookies and birthday-party treats. We simply wouldn’t have time to give each order the attention it deserves if we were worried about keeping the front of the shop stocked with assorted treats daily at this time, but it may be something we consider in the future. Apart from the design of the cakes, our number-one priority is making something that tastes at least as good as it looks. We bake everything fresh from small batches within a few days of the day it will be eaten. We use local ingredients when possible; my current obsession is Edgewood Creamery’s Milk & Honey fromage blanc, made in Purdy, Missouri. We also use their incredible cream-line milk in all of our cakes and frostings.
Frosted Cakerie, 124 S. Main St., Joplin, Missouri, 918.504.3245, frostedjoplin.com