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The Cake Courtesan Brings High-End Cakes to Bowie

Bowie's only artisan cake studio builds designer cakes with height and drama.

The past nine months in Bowie have been just a little sweeter, thanks to the addition of The Cake Courtesan, an artesian cake studio that opened up in Bowie Plaza back in March.

Operated by sisters Stacie Cole and Sharon White, The Cake Courtesan is the first high-end cake design studio in Prince George’s County. It specializes in wedding cakes and 2-D and 3-D cakes. White, who is the head baker and cake designer, said she tends to stick to more modern trends.

“We go for cakes with presence and dramatic effect,” said White.

Cole and White are no strangers to the baking business. The sisters ran Nostalgia Cupcakes in Annapolis for about three years before closing up shop to open The Cake Courtesan in Bowie.

“Our business models was always to move towards cake, so we decided to close down the Annapolis shop and focus on cakes,” said Cole, who is the shop’s business manager.

The sisters, who both live in Prince George’s County, decided to open the new shop in Bowie because they saw a market for a high-end cake shop.

“We chose Bowie because the area is very underserved with choices of cake design,” Cole said.

All cupcakes for sale in the shop are baked fresh each day, and all of White’s cakes are made from all natural ingredients. This makes her cakes a bit more expensive than some competitors, but the she said the flavor and quality are worth it.

“You don’t have to settle for preservatives and additives in cake,” White said.

Even wedding and occasion cakes are baked just a few days before the events. No cake coming out of the shop has ever been frozen, said White.

In addition to their artisan cakes, The Cake Courtesan also sells assorted confections including brownies, cookies and cake truffles, daily. There is also a daily rotation of cupcakes in dozens of flavors, including salted caramel, cookies and cream, Mississippi mud pie and bestsellers key lime and lemon berry.

While it is true that there are no other high-end, artisan bakeries in Bowie, they do have some competition from a more traditional cake shop, The Cakery. The Cakery has been in Bowie since 1996 and has inspired a lot of brand loyalty, said White.

The Cake Courtesan is doing something new and different, though, and White hopes more locals will give the cutting edge shop a chance.

“Let us show you who we are,” said White.

The Cake Courtesan is located in Bowie Plaza at 6926 Laurel-Bowie Rd. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Custom cakes require two weeks advanced notice. Call the shop at 301-464-1080 for details.

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Jenni Pompi (Editor) December 04, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Has anyone ordered a cake from The Cake Courtesan or tried their cupcakes? Tell us what you think!
Katie Fisher December 04, 2012 at 05:32 PM
For White to say, "Let us show you who we are," really sticks with me... considering when I came in to get pricing/flavors/ideas for a baby shower cake for a friend, and I waited in the lobby for a good 10 minutes (meanwhile I can hear someone on a personal sounding phone call in the back). When a woman finally came out, with a phone still attached to her ear she answered my questions in short answers like I was a bother. Needless to say I ended the conversation and left without all the answers I needed. I will keep giving Cakery my business. High end cakes mean nothing when you can't even give customers common courtesy. I have NEVER been treated like that by Cakery, ever. First impressions mean everything... especially in Bowie where businesses come and go quickly.
Bowie Mike December 04, 2012 at 07:34 PM
I heard recently that the retail store hours will be eliminated at the end of the year, and that they will see customers via appointment only. It might be worthwhile for you to check on that Jenni. I have been in the store several times over the last year, and it was clear to me that the retail storefront was more of a distraction to them. It could have been used as a tool to introduce customers to the people and products so that on the occasions when someone wanted a high end cake, they would view the business favorably. Unfortunately, I don't think it worked out that way, and I think closing the storefront is a smart move. I know of people from the community that asked the Cake Courtesan for help with a fundraiser at a nearby school earlier this year, and they were turned down by the Cake Courtesan. Every other vendor at Bowie Plaza offered support for the school fundraiser. It could have been something small - maybe a certificate for a free cupcake or two, and it would have created some favorable publicity for the store. The person in the store explained that they were already known to the Bowie community, so no additional publicity was necessary. Very strange. After I heard that story, I never went in the store again.
Cara December 05, 2012 at 08:22 PM
I, too, have gotten the cold shoulder when buying cupcakes from the Cake Courtesan. I first thought it was because I used a Groupon, but I experienced it again when I paid full price. Had the exact same experience as Katie - waited a bit, got the woman with the cordless phone stuck to her ear, was rung up as though as I was bothering her by giving her business, and that was it. It's a shame because their cupcakes are delicious! But if they can't be bothered with customers who aren't giving them several hundred dollars for a cake, then I can't be bothered with them. I'll get my cakes from the Cakery and my sweet treats from Mama Cocoa's Delights - where their employees are even sweeter than their baked goods!
Stacie Cole December 06, 2012 at 02:17 PM
We at The Cake Courtesan strive to meet our customer expectations. As a business owner, I understand the need to make adjustments to staff. We appreciate your patronage and hope that you will allow us to show you "who we are" in the future.
WG December 06, 2012 at 02:41 PM
They are really great. Did you think about making an appointment to make sure they are dedicated to you? Always highly suggested in many businesses
Val December 09, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Haven't been there, and really don't plan on it. The Cakery is great and the owners are Bowie residents - even sweeter!
Donna Alexander December 16, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Cupcakes are dry and not very good. Customer service goes a long way. If they are not willing to show me common courtesy, I'm happy to take my business elsewhere. "The person in the store explained that they were already known to the Bowie community, so no additional publicity was necessary." Not a very smart move, they really must not understand that word of mouth is more powerful than FB.

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