Monday, December 5, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 40
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Santa Maria Sun / Eats

California franchisees bring Nothing Bundt Cakes to Santa Maria

CALEB WISEBLOOD

Slot machines. Poker tables. Bundt cakes. 

Husband and wife Tom and Terre Downey hit the jackpot in one of these arenas during a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, when they were introduced to a hip bakery in town.


MUCH A-DOUGH ABOUT NOTHING
Nothing Bundt Cakes offers baked goods of various flavors and sizes, including full cakes, Bundlets (muffin-sized cakes), and Bundtinis (bite-sized cakes).
PHOTO COURTESY OF AMY LAWLER GOOD

It happened about two decades ago. The couple was visiting their son, who lived in Vegas at the time and was working at a bar. When the Downeys arrived, their son told them he frequently noticed patrons bringing in baked desserts from Nothing Bundt Cakes—founded in Vegas in 1997—to enjoy at the bar with their libations.

“People brought in these cakes. … He said, ‘You have to go there, you have to go there,’” Terre recalled. “So we went to the original store. … They weren’t even franchising yet.”

The Downeys owned a flower shop in Southern California at the time but were looking for a career change. After trying Nothing Bundt Cakes, the couple met with the original store’s owners, asked about franchising opportunities, and got their contact info on a waiting list of sorts, Terre explained.

Let them eat cake
For more info on Nothing Bundt Cakes in Santa Maria, call (805) 345-2777 or visit nothingbundtcakes.com. The bakery is hosting three special events, between Thursday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 10, to commemorate its grand opening. The bakery is located at 499 Betteravia Road, Santa Maria.

“Two years later, we got a notification,” said Terre, who then met with the brand’s founders again for a formal interview—and won their approval.

Terre and Tom opened their first Nothing Bundt Cakes location in Thousand Oaks about 16 years ago and have opened a handful of additional locations since then. Over the years, the Camarillo-based couple has sold some of their previous locations to other franchisees. 

Today, they own locations in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The latter county is home to their latest outlet in Santa Maria.

“It was always the plan to kind of extend along the Central Coast, and we just love Santa Maria,” Terre said. “The people are nice, and it just seems like a lot of franchises are coming in here.”


BUSY BEES AND BUNDTS
The staff at Nothing Bundt Cakes in Santa Maria has been busy since the store’s successful soft opening in November. The new bakery will host some upcoming events to commemorate its official grand opening, starting with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 8.
PHOTO BY CALEB WISEBLOOD

The Downeys’ new Nothing Bundt Cakes location opened in November on Betteravia Road, in the Enos Ranch West shopping center, which brought several new businesses to Santa Maria over the past year. 

“It’s a good spot to have a bakery,” Terre said. “We’ve been so busy.”

With more than 460 franchised and corporate bakeries across the country, the Nothing Bundt Cakes brand has become widely known for its bundt cakes, Bundlets (muffin-sized bundt cakes), and Bundtinis (bite-sized bundt cakes), all baked in-house with dozens of designs to choose from.

“Santa Maria is really accepting it. We didn’t know we had so much brand recognition here already. So many people know of it,” Terre said. “We thought we were really going to have to build the recognition.”


DYNAMIC DUO
Terre (left) and Tom Downey (right) currently own Nothing Bundt Cakes locations in both Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Their new bakery in Santa Maria’s Enos Ranch West shopping center marks the duo’s latest venture.
PHOTO BY CALEB WISEBLOOD

With a successful soft opening, the Downeys are planning to host a string of events to commemorate their Santa Maria store’s official, grand opening. The festivities will begin with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 8, co-hosted by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce.

On Friday, Dec. 9, Nothing Bundt Cakes will hold a special fundraiser sale, between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Mid Central Coast—20 percent of all sales will be donated to the organization.

The couple has held similar benefits for other chapters of the nonprofit—dedicated to providing various services to youth and teens—in the past.

“Families are very important to our brand,” Tom said. “We do a lot of giveback to the community. We do a lot of fundraising.”

The grand opening celebrations conclude on Saturday, Dec. 10, with a special offering that starts at 10 a.m. The first 50 guests at the Santa Maria store will receive a voucher for a year’s worth of free Bundlets. 

Over the past month and half, Tom and Terre have been spending a lot of time in the Santa Maria Valley, living out of their suitcases at a hotel while preparing to open the store. Their first impression of the area is that they wouldn’t mind living here someday.

“The vibe of this place is amazing,” said Tom, who described Santa Maria as having a refreshing, small-town feel. “This is a wonderful city. … People are friendly. I’ve never been honked at once here.”

Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood has never honked his car horn on purpose. Send comments to cwiseblood@santamariasun.com.










Weekly Poll
What do you think about a farmworker resource center in Santa Barbara County?

It's a great way to create a network of collaboration and reach people in need.
It's been needed in the county for a long time and should have been made earlier.
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