Dreamcakes closes its doors after pandemic, staffing, inflation struggles
HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - The pandemic, staffing shortages, and rent prices are all pushing yet another local small business to close.
Homewood staple Dreamcakes closed their doors on August 13, but not before loyal customers rushed to get their sweet tooth fix. At 10 a.m., customers lined the street, hoping to get some of the last few sweets the bakery would create.
Dwight and Jan Potter own Dreamcakes and they said throughout the almost 13 years their store has been open, they’ve created over a hundred flavors. Jan’s favorite: Wedding Cake. Dwight’s favorite: Caramel Sea Salt Mocha.
“Really aren’t many places that I know of that do them like this,” said Josh, a customer waiting in line. “It’s going to be a loss for sure.”
The Potters announced on August 9 they were officially closing up shop.
“Feels like it happened really suddenly but it was a slow, gradual decision that we had to make -- that this was not something we could overcome,” said Jan.
They say it all started where many small businesses felt pain: from the pandemic.
“We had a year, year and a half worth’s of weddings we had booked cancel,” said Dwight. “Of course, nobody ever thought that would happen.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic struggles started to slow, they dealt with the labor shortage. They say it was difficult finding people that could work in the shop. Finally, the cost of nearly everything rose.
“Recently, the cost of all of our ingredients have either doubled or tripled,” said Jan. “An increase in rent was way above what we were expecting. It was just kind of like, we can’t make this work anymore.”
The heightened rent was like the straw that broke the camel’s back. In a post, Dreamcakes wrote: “We were unable to reach an agreement with our landlord to renew our upcoming lease.”
Because their Homewood location houses their production kitchen, the Potters say both stores will be closing, but not before thanking their loyal customers.
“We’ve been so blessed to have such a big part in the community and just been a small part of the celebrations of people’s lives and so we’re just very grateful,” said Dwight.
While Saturday was the very last day for the Homewood store, there’s still a chance to get some Dreamcakes. Their Hoover location will be open on August 17 and after that, both stores will be officially closed.
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