Over 30 years ago, Rosa Wilson began baking cakes out of her home in Hopkins for friends and family to supplement her income. Her specialty was Red Velvet Cakes. Over time, her baked goods became so popular that she and her husband, Vessel, had to quit their jobs and bake full-time. They outgrew their kitchen, and decided to open a bakery in Columbia.
The couple, along with their daughter Kristi, decided to team up with a local attorney who owned a building suitable for a bakery. On April21, 2011, the family opened Sweet Temptations Bakery on Main Street.
Sweet Temptations quickly became one of the Midlands most popular bakeries. Customers flocked to the store for the Wilson’s signature pound cakes, sour cream & butter cream cakes, cupcakes, cookies and brownies.
Although the Wilsons developed a loyal following, the business relationship with the attorney soured. Daughter Kristileft the business over 18 months ago. Her parents eventually left as well.
“There was a bad partnership, and me and my parents had to walk,” Kristi recalled. Kristi got a job at a Caribbean restaurant, followed by jobs at Bi-Lo and Food Lion. But she still loved baking, so she decided to open her own bakery. So she secured a building and quit her job a Food Lion in May 2019. She decided to name the bakery Cakes L’Amor, which is French for love.
The bakery officially opened on June 5, 2019. The company celebrated their Grand Opening with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony last Friday (November 1).
Cakes L’Amor sells the same great baked good that the Wilson family has become famous for. Kristi has over 20 flavors of cakes, such as lemon pound, butter pound, key lime, pineapple and butter cream. These cakes can also be topped with at least six different flavors of icing. They also have a line of what they call “splash cakes.”
“The summer splash cake is key lime and lemon,” said Kristi. “We also have the tropical splash, which is strawberry, pineapple and lemon.”
Cakes L’Amor also sells a variety of brownies, cookies and blondies. A new item on the menu are the banana puddings. The desserts come in two flavors: with bananas-only and with strawberries.
In addition, Cakes L’Amor continues the Wilson’s tradition of making customized specialty cakes for all occasions.
“We also specialize in customized cakes,” said Kristi. “It could be just a simple decorated cake or we could do shaped cakes in different forms.”
Regular cake prices typically range from $25 - $55. Kristi says that special order cakes should be ordered at least 48 hours in advance, and wedding cakes should be ordered two months in advance.
With the busy holiday season, Kristi urges clients to get their orders in early.
“For the holidays, we request a two-week notice. Outside of the holidays, it is a two-day notice,” she said.
During the holidays, Cakes L’Amor is offering a new special.
“For the holidays, once you place your order, we'll give you a gift certificate for 10% off,” Kristi said.
Cakes L’Amor will be offering more specials on a regular basis.
“We will run random specials, so follow us on Facebook and Instagram,” Kristi said.
Kristi says that long-term, she would like to open a second location, and maybe include a restaurant. It is just a way to
fulfill her goal of keeping her customers happy.
“I love to see how kids and adults react over something you took your time to do,” she says. “That keeps you going and wanting to do something more.”
When asked why she and her family has developed such a loyal following over three decades, Kristi says it is because they enjoy what they do.
“I love to cook and I love to bake,” Kristi said. “You got to enjoy it, and make sure that you are courteous to your customers and keep your product on top.”
Cakes L’Amor is located at 5708 North Main Street, Suite F, in Columbia, SC. The bakery is open Monday – Friday
from 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., and from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Orders can be placed by calling (803) 569-6500. To learn more, visit Cakes L’Amor on Facebook and Instagram at CakesLamor.