Richland’s Frost Me Sweet Bistro & Bakery is casting off the lingering effects of the pandemic by adding a new bakery, as well as a drive-thru cake-shake business on Wellsian Way.
The new location will provide much-needed workspace for Frost Me Sweet’s bakers while allowing owners Megan and Jason Savely to make a business out of the cake-based milkshakes their staff enjoy behind the scenes at their bistro restaurant at The Parkway.
The Savelys signed a 10-year lease for the former Folded Pizza Pie restaurant, 421 Wellsian Way, to house the expansion.
Frost Me Sweet will move its bakery, which is near its bistro in The Parkway, in April. Frost Me Sweet Cake & Shake will begin selling over-the-top cake-based milkshakes in mid-May.
The Cake & Shake business is secondary to the building’s real purpose: It will enable Frost Me Sweet to ship its products anywhere in the nation.
With the new kitchen, it can secure a special license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Megan said the bakery’s dessert-of-the-month club is limited to local deliveries.
Megan, who has been featured on several Food Network programs, gets regular pleas from fans who want to order her goods. She hasn’t been able to accommodate the requests because shipping takes a special license.
“This space will let us get that license,” she said.
Megan said she’d been looking for larger quarters for the bakery for years. But a construction project to expand the bistro into a neighboring building and then the pandemic made the building search a low priority.
“We just battened down the hatches during Covid. Now that we’re through it, we said, ‘Let’s get back to the game plan, to what we were doing three years ago,’ ” she said.
The old Folded Pie spot, which closed abruptly about a year ago, offers the perfect mix of commercial kitchen and room for bakers and decorators to operate.
“There’s not a whole lot we need to do with it,” she said.
Pizza ovens were removed, and baking ones added. It already had dish space and the sanitary equipment for a food service business, such as floor drains and a finished concrete floor.
“This new space has tons of power. It has the kitchen already in there. We’re just freshening it up. It was a little outdated. We’re cleaning it up,” she said.
The old dining room will give way to cake decorators. Cake shakes will be served through the drive-thru but there will be no inside dining.
Megan said the Frost Me Sweet crew made cake milkshakes with cake, icing and ice cream for itself for years, but never put them out for sale to customers. The concept is taking off and she’s hopeful the Tri-Cities will embrace the sugary mashup of two birthday party staples.
“They’re really, really good,” she said, calling it a “really extreme milkshake.”
She hasn’t finalized prices yet, saying they will depend on working out what type of packaging to use. Frost Me Sweet’s cake shakes will be served with ample chunks of cake on top. That means finding the right packaging to accommodate her vision.
Once she nails down packaging, she will have a better feel for sizes and pricing.
“Packaging is the biggest hurdle right now,” she said.
She anticipates offering large and small versions.
The menu will feature two fixed versions, a confetti milkshake (funfetti sprinkles and chocolate confetti cake), and a cheesecake milkshake (featuring New York style or fresh local berries).
There will be three weekly features drawing from what she called an unlimited list of ideas. There will always be a vegan and a gluten-free option too, she said, most likely with coconut-based ice creams.
She’s giving the cake shake business time to develop an audience. If Tri-Citians embrace the idea, Frost Me Sweet could open an additional sit-down location.
Megan and her husband Jason opened the original Frost Me Sweet in 2010 after Megan’s love of baking overtook their home. They leased space on Thayer Drive and later moved to The Parkway, where their bakery became a popular bistro and restaurant.
In 2018, the couple purchased the neighboring building and renovated it to accommodate the growing bistro business. The bakery operates in tight quarters a few doors down.
The Parkway businesses stand out for their mint green décor. For the Wellsian Way location, Megan is embracing a slightly different vibe. She told her designer she wanted a “retro Miami Vice” feel with an emphasis on “beachy.”
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