When Short Street Cakes founder Jodi Rhoden announced a year ago that the beloved Haywood Road business was for sale, it sent seismic shocks through Asheville’s community of cake lovers. After all, Rhoden had built a decade’s worth of reputation as the go-to for confections. But cake fans can stop gnashing their sweet tooth because new owners Olga Perez Jimenez and Tomas Aguilar Larrieta promise the same level of love and dedication the shop is known for.
In fact, regular customers are likely to recognize Olga, since she’s been the person making their cakes for the past four years. As the shop’s production manager, she has overseen more than most the ins and outs of the shop.
“This is my life. This is what I love to do,” Olga says. “This is a dream come true.”
Olga and Jodi met when Jodi was researching her acclaimed book “Cake Ladies: Celebrating a Southern Tradition.” Olga already had a loyal local following for her Tres Leches, a traditional cake with roots in South and Central America.
Jodi and Olga became fast friends and Perez’s Tres Leches cake was not only featured in “Cake Ladies,” it became the source for the recipe made and sold at Short Street Cakes. Soon after, Olga became part of the Short Street family, making the cakes and cupcakes the shop’s customers adore.
So when Olga and Tomas approached Jodi about buying the shop, Jodi was elated to have it stay in that family.
“I knew instantly that they were the right fit to take over,” Jodi says. “Olga already has her relationship with Short Street. She’s already part of the story. It ends up being a beautiful full circle.”
The transition makes perfect sense to Tomas and Olga as well. “What better person to sell the business to than one of her best bakers?” Tomas says.
Meanwhile, Jodi is staying on over the next year or so to help make sure the transition goes smoothly, and she says Short Street Cakes will always remain part of her life. “It’s still a home for me and always will be,” she says.
And if the past couple of months are any indication, Short Street Cakes will have no trouble surviving the change in ownership. Olga says wedding cake reservations are already pouring in, and the foot traffic to the shop hasn’t slowed.
“We have a strong desire to make it work,” she says.
Look for more possible reasons to stop into Short Street Cakes coming soon, like Latin-inspired coffees and cafe-style treats. Plus, you can still get Olga’s Tres Leches Cake, even as a cupcake.Share this article to...