Baking cakes isn’t all sprinkles, pink frosting and tutus.
At least, that’s what the owners of Rock City Cake Company, a new bakery in downtown Charleston, want to prove.
“We’re all pretty much rockers. We love rock ’n’ roll,” said Morgan Morrison, one of the bakery’s co-owners. “We’re the tattooed, black wearin’ rock stars that like to bake cakes.”
Morrison, along with co-owners Cortney Marsh and Jason Tye, officially opened the bakery on Capitol Street last week.
Morrison and Marsh originally opened the bakery in 2013 in their hometown of Logan. But, after facing the effects of a struggling economy and a little bit of fate, the two decided to make the move to Charleston in their dream location: Capitol Street.
“When the coal mines go down, sadly, a lot of small business are going to suffer from that. The type of business we’re in — it’s a luxury. You don’t have to get a cupcake, you don’t have to get a custom, tiered cake,” Morrison said.
“We had a super stressful day one day. It was like, ‘OK, what are we going to do?’ We were just like, ‘Let’s go to Charleston. Screw it, let’s get some dinner and get our mind off this bad day.’ We actually drove down Capitol Street. Lo and behold, this building was open. It was like the worst day ever, and it was kind of like fate that we found it.”
The two purchased the building and started moving in this October.
After hitting several road bumps — including having to get creative while moving in their 5,000-pound oven — Morrison said the three owners are finally living their dream and continuing to grow.
Rock City Cake Company’s slogan is “Good enough for rock ’n’ roll.” Take one glance inside the Capitol Street bakery and the rockstar atmosphere is evident.
Guests are greeted by guitars, drums and rock posters hanging on the brick walls.
The new bakery has a lobby with tables and chairs for guests to sit and enjoy their treats, an upgrade from the shop in Logan, Morrison said.
The bakery’s large dessert cases are filled to the brim with cookies, cupcakes, cake balls, peanut butter balls, fudge, long johns and donuts.
But cakes are where Rock City thrives, Morrison said.
Rock City Cake Company takes custom cake orders for parties, special occasions and events.
Marsh, who attended culinary school for baking, can make anything from a simple sheet cake to a tiered, 3-D cake that moves, Morrison said.
“We don’t turn down any order,” she said. “Our thing is cake. Most of the big, sculpted, 3-D, tiered cakes, use fondant. Cortney can do it flawlessly in butter cream icing.”
And if they don’t know how to make it, they’re going to learn, Morrison said. That’s half the fun for the three bakers.
“We all kind of have a passion for what we do. It’s fun to get back there, throw a bunch of stuff into the bowl and try to invent things every day. We try to keep it new, exciting and fresh.”
For now, Morrison, Marsh and Tye are the bakery’s only employees. They’re working tirelessly day and night to keep the bakery running and the cakes coming — many nights sleeping in the back office.
“We’re staying up all night — these cases take about 12 hours to fill up. Then we’re working the front all day. In the evening time, we have about four hours tops to get some sleep. I have a futon back in the office,” Morrison said. “That’s an awesome problem to have.”
In the future, Morrison said the three hope to continue to grow, hire more employees, offer live music in the shop and most importantly — be comfortable.
Despite the long hours, little sleep and road bumps they’ve hit since October, Morrison said the success Rock City Cake Company has seen in the first few days makes all of their efforts worth it.
As customers came into the bakery on a recent Wednesday and asked how Morrison was, she answered each time with a simple “I’m living the dream.”
And she truly believes that.
All of the owners do.
Seeing a satisfied customer carrying out boxes filled with their products makes every late night, every bump in the road entirely worth it for Morrison, Marsh and Tye.
“If I’ve learned anything, it’s that some days are really gonna suck. It’s not always gonna go as planned. At the end of the day, no matter how stressful it is, just that one pleased customer, just seeing a line full of people in your lobby makes it all worth it,” Morrison said.
“It’s something to be proud of. It’s such an accomplishment. You can dream of things and say, ‘One day I’m gonna do this or I’m gonna do this,’ but I’m doing it. People ask how I’m doing and I say, ‘I’m living the dream.’ That’s what I tell them — because I am. That’s what keeps me going.”
Rock City Cake Company is located at 241 Capitol St. and is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.