Olivette Cake-Maker Specializes in Birthdays, Weddings

A disappointing experience with a birthday cake prompted Shannette Redd to start her own business, Cakes by Nette.

Cakes by Nette is tucked away in a small shopping center in Olivette.  Shannette Redd, who owns the business, displays pictures of her masterpieces on the wall. But her creativity doesn't stop there. She can create a cake out of just about anything a customer envisions. 

 How did Cakes by Nette come about?

When my daughter was 2 years old, I bought a cake from a local bakery that I did not like, and I vowed that day to make her cake for her third birthday. I never dreamt about doing it, until I had the disappointment from my daughter’s birthday and then saw a woman teaching a cake decorating class at a local Michaels store.

How would you describe your business to potential customers?

I would say we are a specialty bakery, we would do a half-sheet cake if wanted, but our specialty is the 3-D cakes. We have customers that bring in pictures of things they wanted done, and I am able to do it. 

What do you offer a customer that is unique or different from other bakeries?

I would say we specialize in the 3-D cakes, and each order is a custom design. I have pictures of past cakes to show my work and give ideas for those hoping to find what they are looking for. We offer bids and require at least two weeks’ notice for our custom cakes, as we do fill up fast.

What do you like about running a small business?

There is an element of being personable that I am able to offer to each of my customers by getting to know them one-on-one. I also have children, so it is flexible.

What do you like least about running a small business?

I would say the long hours. It is only me, and I do not have the help to take over, but I prefer it this way, so that I am a part of everything. I am here early, and I stay late.

Has the economy affected your business at all—positively or negatively? Or has it stayed the same?

I would say in a positive way—although the economy is bad—because people are still going to have parties, and I have found that people are not going to deny their kids and family members of a special party for a special occasion or big milestone. It has not hurt our business at all.

Who is your target market?

I would say anyone having a party of any type, or wedding, and especially women. Women are the ones primarily planning and throwing the party and looking at all the details.

What is your most popular item/service?

Birthday cakes by far are the most popular, although I do a lot of wedding cakes. We also just started offering a new product during our cocktail happy hour that has become really popular. We sell a variety of alcohol-infused cupcakes, called Cocktail Cupcakes, every other Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m.

What were you doing before you started your company?

I was in corporate America, working as an administrative assistant. For seven years, I worked full time and would do cakes on the evenings and weekends out of my house. Three years ago, when my business took off, I was able to quit my job and move my bakery to this location.

WHAT Cakes by Nette WHERE 9639 Olive Blvd. in Olivette HOURS Closed on Sunday and Monday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday MORE INFO Go to the Cakes by Nette website or call 314-989-0961


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