Baked goods “without all of the hard feelings”–with this mission statement, Sage Cakery seemed like something I had to experience! The newly opened Sage Cakery, the passion of owners Nikkie Byrd and partner Kurtis Esworthy, greets you with the energy of the sage leaf logo and a positive vibe. Rows of innovatively flavored cupcakes, fancy espresso machinery and cafe seating promise a happy and relaxing experience.
“I like to be part of people’s good moments…making them smile,” Nikkie revealed. They searched for the right location for a long time, signed a lease, waited for the building to be built and then took four months for their build-out. Joining Kiddie Academy and Papa John’s Pizza, they are among the first tenants at Landon Crossing, a commercial center that includes the historic Landon House at the corner of Urbana Pike and Fingerboard Road.
Byrd’s bakery background began in her teens when she ran Buttercream Shoppe out of her home, baking for family and friends and decorating cakes. “I love being crafty and creative,” she said. “I’ve been decorating for a long time, and it’s a unique medium to work with. I like baking, but cake decorating is my passion!”
A native of Monrovia, she graduated from Urbana High School in 2001. At that time, her interest in health and wellness was
growing, so she enrolled in herb school. She felt a bit burned out with baking and wanted to incorporate healthful qualities and herbs into her recipes. “I like to create new flavors…have fun with a basic recipe,” she said.
About five years ago, she got serious about opening a bake shop—and knew it had to be in Urbana. “A lot of people have encouraged me for a long time to take this leap. … I just needed to go for it!”
She hopes the bakery and café will be a warm, comfortable, feel-good place where people will come to hang out. They plan to offer meals made with ultra-healthy ingredients, including salads, soups and sandwiches. Sometime within the next six months, they hope to be serving breakfast and lunch.
“People who pushed me to do this know me for my cakes,” Byrd said, but the shop also creates cake pops, dessert bars and cookies in addition to signature cupcakes with buttercream frosting. The sweet bites come in a variety of flavors, happily leaning to the exotic with choices such as cardamom pear, turmeric chai spice, vegan chai, and maple and fenugreek. I sampled a delicious cardamom pear, and it is highly recommended!
Sourcing of premium ingredients is paramount to Byrd, and she strives to obtain the freshest available including as much organic and local as possible, non-GMO and select European ingredients. The coffees are from Dublin Roasters in Frederick. Frontier Co-op, of which she is a member, provides her tea and spices. She likes the transparency of their sources, certifications and use of fair trade.
The business is about 50 percent walk-in and 50 percent custom cake and online orders. They do weddings, birthdays and all sorts of events–large or small. Delivery can be arranged for large orders. She is busy with a lot of custom wedding orders currently and emphasizes that the more notice the better. She doesn’t want to turn anyone down.
Before the end of summer, the duo plans to host some family-friendly events, including one called “Rainbows, Sprinkles, Unicorns & Glitter” and perhaps another with a superhero theme. In keeping with that sage energy, Byrd said, “I consider myself an artist! I would like to create something like an herbal bon-bon–a treat that would satisfy the sweet tooth and be completely good for you. Maybe with sunflower butter and astragalus root…incorporating herbs in a tasty way.”
Visit Sage Cakery at 3401 Urbana Pike, Suite E2, 240.341.2710, or online at www.sagecakery.com and on Facebook.