By Rebecca Maynard
Just in time for the holiday season, shoppers in downtown Berryville were treated to one more beautiful storefront, an elegant pink sign and a sparkling winter scene with trees and reindeer.
The storefront of 11 S. Church St. belongs to Kelsey Cakes Boutique, which had its grand opening in December and already has many customers returning for more of their favorite sweet treats.
Owner Kelsey Mussett attended culinary school and has worked for Wegmans and privately owned bakeries, but she always knew what she wanted to do one day. “I had my own creative style, and always knew I wanted to work for myself,” she said.
Mussett attended master classes in Alexandria with Maggie Austin, an internationally known pastry chef whose clients have included royalty. She has created custom cakes out of her home kitchen for several years and will continue to offer them for all occasions, including Valentine’s Day, birthdays and holidays. Customers should order cakes a week ahead for regular occasions, but wedding cakes should be booked six months out.
Popular custom cakes she has made include Sesame Street characters and a unicorn cake, and she is currently making for Valentine’s Day a strawberry white chocolate cake baked with white chocolate chips and layered with vanilla bean butter cream, freshly sliced strawberries, white chocolate ganache drizzle — topped off with a strawberry butter cream finish, white chocolate ganache drip, and hand-dipped white chocolate covered strawberries.
Everything is made fresh daily and from scratch, Mussett said. Her frosting is butter cream, never made with Crisco. In addition to custom cakes, she offers a variety of flavors of cupcakes, cookies, cookie sandwiches, brownies, mousse cups, tartlets and more.
For those who crave a drink along with their baked goods, options include hot chocolate, coffee, cake lattes, crème frappes and frozen cocoa.
As time goes on, Mussett looks forward to offering gluten free, low carb and vegan options, as well as pet treats, the proceeds of which she would like to donate to local shelters. She also plans to offer outdoor seating in the warmer weather and has invited a community panel of tasters to test out new flavors and ideas.
Mussett’s day begins in the early morning in order to provide fresh baked goods for the day, and she often works late into the night. Her mother, stepfather, and boyfriend have all been temporarily assisting in the store, and she has recently hired two employees.
Currently, the bakery is open Wednesday through Saturday, from late morning to 6pm, and she hopes to be able to increase her hours soon and open on Sunday. Mussett is also working on a website, where she plans to include photos, tips on cake cutting and daily menu options.
While selling cakes from home, Mussett spent time examining possible locations for her store before finally settling on Berryville.
“I love Berryville,” she said, adding that she now lives in town and can walk to work. “I knew I wanted someplace with old architecture, not a strip mall, and it’s such a charming town; it reminds me of a Hallmark town when it’s decorated for Christmas.”
She has also enjoyed interacting with customers and fellow business owners. “Everyone is just so nice,” she said.For information, visit the Kelsey Cakes Boutique Facebook page, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.kelseycakes.com, or call 540-955-8125.