Cakes dressed in a sweet cream cheese frosting will soon spark joy for Gainesville residents — Nothing Bundt Cakes is expanding its reach in north-central Florida.
Amber and Derrick Robinson, the owners of the new Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise, will open a store in Butler Esplanade, located at 3228 SW 35th Blvd., in February 2022.
“Every time I hear someone talk about how much they love the cakes, I get energized and I get even more excited,” Amber said.
The idea to apply for a store sprouted from their love for entrepreneurship, Amber said. From 2015 to 2021, the couple owned Florida Fun Bikes, a local nighttime store that rented out party bikes to Gainesville residents.
But after having two kids, the couple decided to sell the franchise and prioritize their children. They still wanted to own a franchise but wanted more family-friendly hours. Nothing Bundt Cakes offered them flexibility.
“It just became more of a burden,” Amber said. “We never wanted to let our customers down.”
The news was no surprise for Amber’s relatives.
During her years at Arizona State University, Amber said she received a Nothing Bundt Cake pastry as a gift and immediately fell in love with the store. She gave Derrick a red velvet bundt cake for his birthday. And it was the best he’d ever had.
Prior to the good news of a new location, Gainesville residents had to drive more than 50 miles away to the closest Nothing Bundt Cakes store in Jacksonville.
The two make trips to Jacksonville every couple of weeks.
“It kind of reminds me of home,” she said.
Amber said Butler Esplanade was the ideal location because of its high traffic and growing popularity.
“Before we signed our lease, we knew we were going to be in Butler Plaza,” Amber said. “I want to feel good driving into work every day.”
Construction for the store is set to begin in November and will cost anywhere from $430,000 to $650,000. Amber said she’ll work there full time but hire between 12 and 18 other store employees.
“We just want people who want cake,” Amber said. “Everyone has a reason to celebrate.”
Unlike Amber, her husband Derrick will do more behind-the-scenes work.
Derrick, a former MLB player for the Cincinnati Reds, bounces between Arizona, Kansas and Florida, because of his job as the coordinator for the Kansas City Royals. So, he has less time to dedicate to day-to-day operations than Amber.
Grand opening details are not finalized, but the first 100 customers who enter the store will receive free bundt cakes for a year, Amber said.
Annie Whitehurst, the 38-year-old executive director for the Levy County Schools Foundation, hosts an Evening of Excellence every year to celebrate the school’s teachers and employees. In May, she traveled to Orange Park to pick up cakes from the franchise.
Whitehurst took a bite out of a toothsome white raspberry cake for the first time in July 2020, when she was with her family in Tampa. She’s been hooked ever since. Her kids frequently indulge in the cakes too, eating confetti, marble and white chocolate flavors.
“You walk in and it’s so happy and celebratory,” Whitehurst said.
Customers can pop in for an after-school snack, a birthday gift or an appreciation gift, she said.
While prices fluctuate based on the franchise, people can enjoy nine classic bundt cake flavors at the Gainesville location: chocolate chocolate chip, classic vanilla, red velvet, white chocolate raspberry, confetti, carrot, lemon, marble and pecan praline.
Seasonal bundt cakes are offered, with pumpkin spice complimenting the 2021 autumn air.
“Come one, come all,” Amber said. “Come get some cake.”
Elizabeth Scott, Director of Community and Events at Butler Enterprises, 30, is excited to welcome Nothing Bundt Cakes to the plaza.
Scott created an online survey in March to see which store the Gainesville community is most anticipating to join the plaza. Nothing Bundt Cakes took the cake.
She said she has a running joke in her family that if a family member wants to be greeted with open arms, he or she must bring 12 “bundtlets” to a family gathering.
“We’re just overwhelmingly excited for them [Robinsons],” she said.
Contact Faith Buckley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @_faithbuckley
Faith is a third-year journalism student specializing in sports media. She hopes to one day work as a play-by-play announcer for the National Hockey League.