Occasionally Cake in Mt. Vernon delivers more than beautifully decorated cakes to the community. For co-owner Sabrina Campbell, her bakery is helping make her hometown a sweeter place to live.
Campbell and her business partner, Marcia Crandall opened their storefront in 2009. Sheer determination and a desire to bring a “nice place” to her community are the tools Campbell believes helps her bakery succeed in a failing economy.
“One of the things that was really important to me in opening the shop was the proximity to home,” said Campbell. “I’m raising my children here. I wanted to be able to have a business that would be good for the community that they grow up in, that they could be proud of… and where we could help support local schools and other local things.”
Like many business start-ups, Campbell’s cake decorating began as a hobby. Upon discovering her good friend Crandall made cakes as well, they began an evening ritual of baking and decorating—which led to the opening Occasionally Cake three years later.
The bakery sits on Route 1 across the street from the Roy Rogers owned by the late Jeff Todd. A community leader in his own right, Todd set the bar high, according to Campbell, for everything he did for the community.
“It was a huge loss,” said Campbell, speaking of Todd’s recent death. “I mean, there’s no way I can fill his shoes, nor will I try. I need to make my own shoes, as his sister says, but he was a great example of selfless service to the community.
“When the community needed something, if he could do it, he did it. I try to adopt the same thing. We do what we can here, which is not as much—but we are still growing.”
Although Campbell wishes she could do more, the bakery has already raised almost $4,000 for the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, donates unsold cupcakes to local homeless shelters and provides cakes for local charity events. Occasionally Cake’s November promotion gave a local homeless shelter a percentage of sales from their holiday pumpkin rolls.
“When I look back, I think how wonderful it is that I’m able to do this,” said Campbell of her donations. “My husband and I think that the first principal of wealth is to give back. So for me, if I want to establish a kind of wealth in my life—and not just monetary wealth–but I think wealth of my well-being, of my soul, I think giving back is the best way to do that.”