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Covington Cake House Moving to Pike Street

After nearly a year in a storefront in the former Affordable Wedding Creations space on Madison Avenue in Covington, Buttercup Cake House is on the move. The bakery, owned by Bridget Ryan and Angela Bernert, will be moving to 222 West Pike Street, just across the street from The Market Lofts and The Pulse. Specializing in wedding and birthday cakes, the bakery will offer smaller pastries and desserts in the new space along with coffee and other beverages. Recently, The River City News sat down with Ryan and Bernert to discuss the reason for the move, plans for the new location, and their favorite offerings at Buttercup.

RCN: You've been operating on Madison Avenue for about year. Why the move? 

Ryan: The building did change ownership, but we thought we would need more space eventually. It would have been a good fit for awhile, but it would have needed a lot of updates, a lot of updates, and we were just terrified to put everything we've worked for into the space and then be asked to leave at the end of the year when our lease was up. We did have an option to buy early on, but we were so new and didn't want to get into another large commitment on top of starting our own business. It was just too much risk at the time. When we started looking around, (the space on Pike Street) just seemed like a good fit. It is on the corner. It is open and there is room for people to come in for coffee and a pastry of some kind. We would not have been able to do that from the Madison location.

RCN: How has business been going this first year? 

Ryan: We are doing well - knock on wood. We've had a lot of repeat business in the short time we've been there since June of last year. In that short amount of time, we've had a lot of people come back, a lot of referrals. We're doing okay but we could always be busier. We can always do more business. We can always make more money. (Laughs)

RCN: How did you get into the baking business?

Ryan: I have been decorating cakes and have been in this business for over 20 years. Angela, who went to pastry school at Midwest Culinary Institute, and I met at our previous job and last year we found out it was going out of business, so we started to formulate a plan. I was there almost nine years and she was there for almost six. We did marketing pieces, so we decorated cakes all day, every day. 

RCN: How did you come up with the name Buttercup Cake House?

Ryan: At our last job, we were working on things we probably shouldn't have been working on and brainstormed some ideas. We liked how it sounded. "Cake House" was not one we heard before and we thought it sounded cool. We thought broads would like it. (Laughs)

RCN: What are some of things you'd like to do now that you've moved to a new space?

Ryan: We want to get more involved in the community. We haven't found our footprint yet and we're not exactly sure how to get ourselves ingrained in the things that are happening down here. We did the Bazaar last year, so that was a good step for us and we met a lot of people. We are doing a Mother's Day event at the farmers market. We have to figure out what other sorts of things we can do to make this one of those spots people in Covington want to come to. I also think we'd like to get into some wholesale business - offer desserts to the restaurants around town to buy from us wholesale. Hopefully, in the next six months to a year we've developed that kind of business as well.

RCN: What types of items will you offer at the new location and what can customers expect to pay?

Ryan: Brownies, scones, muffins, cookies, coffee cake. We'll also have coffee which we didn't have before. We also offer cakes of all different varieties as well as blueberry and banana quick breads. The pastries will be $0.75 and up.

RCN: What is your favorite?

Ryan: We love the brownies, the cookies, and the cookie cakes. She and I are the same that way for sure.

RCN: How have you gotten the word about your wedding cake business?

Ryan: We've done Bridalrama twice and we're going to do the Northern Kentucky Bridal Fair in June. We use social media - Facebook is where our clients primarily go. We do it all. We have an okay following of just not our friends, so we're gaining some steam which is nice.

RCN: This has been a tough space for businesses in the past few years. How do you plan on making Buttercup work? 

Ryan: We definitely have a plan, but we're going to have to see what people like and what they buy. They may not buy something just because we like it. At those times, we need to ask ourselves, "What do we have to change? What do we have to tweak?" You have to adapt.

RCN: When do you expect to open? What type of hours will you keep?

Ryan: Our grand opening is on May 27.  Right now, we're thinking we will open at 7:30 a.m. We'll be here earlier on Tuesdays and Wednesdays because we probably won't be as busy in the evening. We'll stay later on Thursdays and Fridays for pickups and that sort of thing. If people are coming in, we're going to stay here.

- Staff report/Photo by Chuck Beatty