Laura Ehringer sees growth in Laura’s Bakery and Cake Studio, based in White River Township, with the community’s support
Laura’s Bakery and Cake Studio celebrated its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on March 9. The business has grown tremendously since it established the retail location in December, and owner Laura Ehringer says that’s due to more than just her baking and decorating skills.
As a full-time counselor at Whiteland Community High School for the past 10 years, Laura says she understands the importance of being a good listener and showing her customers that they are not just another number. She says she enjoys when a customer doesn’t know exactly what they want in a cake, because she can talk with them and discover the solution to make each person happy.
“I really want to be tied into the community,” Laura says. “I want it to be a family bakery. They’re not just getting something that’s been shipped in. We live here in Greenwood. I want to really tie it in with the Greenwood crowd. If they call they can talk to me. I want it to be a personal service.”
Laura says she has loved baking since she was a child, but her interest grew with the birth of her oldest of two daughters. She decided to bake a special cake for her daughter’s birthday, decorating it by hand. She began making cakes for family and friends. As requests increased, she says her husband, Mike, asked why she wasn’t doing all of this work for money. They started the business out of their Greenwood home a little more than a year ago, concentrating on cakes and renting a kitchen so they could be licensed by the board of health. They became a preferred vendor with David’s Bridal a year ago in February, and go to the Greenwood store regularly on the weekends to pass out cake samples.
Laura says they gradually outgrew the space in their home and she really wanted a retail establishment where she could offer more than wedding cakes. She and Mike began looking for the perfect spot last fall, and say they found it at 399 State Rd. 135, Greenwood.
“As soon as I walked in, I said I have to have it,” Laura says. “Within a week we were moving our stuff in. It was a very quick turnaround… December we were “open” but we didn’t have our signage up or anything. We were just trying to fill orders that had already been placed.”
Laura’s Bakery is a full-service bakery, offering cookies, brownies, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls and more all baked from scratch. They have partnered with Square Donuts to provide fresh doughnuts, the only item not baked in-house.
“I want to make sure that everyone that walks in can find something that they like,” Laura says. “You have your doughnut crowd and there are people that that’s all they want. Maybe someone just wants a cupcake. We want to make sure they have that. We wanted to make sure we have a little bit of everything out there. We want to have something fun for the kids. A little variety is good.”
The bakery is up to 11 employees, three full-time and the rest part-time. She says the community and business leaders in the area have been very supportive of them, which has contributed to the bakery’s growth. In the long-run, she says it’s that community support, continuing to build upon their good reputation, keeping their standards high and being creative and fun will be the keys to success.
“We are willing to do just about anything the customer asks if it’s within our power,” Laura says. “We make everything from scratch. Our buttercream is one of the things we’re known for. A lot of bakeries, you’re not going to get the real deal. You’re going to get Crisco. We use real butter.”
Laura continues to work full times at both jobs: the high school and the bakery. She says having enough time has been the biggest challenge, and she’ll have to leave the school as the business continues to grow.
“I love my job at school,” Laura says. “I love the people I work with. I love the families there, the relationships that I’ve formed with families and past students. I still keep in touch with past students. But I love this job, too. It’s really hard on me to do both. When I’m at school, I’m 100 percent focused on school. When I’m here, I’m 100 percent here. It will be hard on me to leave that job because of the relationships I have with coworkers and families there. At some point, this (the bakery) is what I want to do full-time.”