‘It’s all about the dream’ at Cute Cakes during The Wedge, Escondido

Jill Reilly take care of business.

Wedge was the deal. Cute Cakes Escondido Bakery & Cafe was the place. It was a match made in marketing heaven, not to mention the tastiest venue in all the land.

A family affair, Cute Cakes has been known for years around the Hidden Valley. Jill and David Reilly started small, but exceedingly sweet, in a tiny space in a nondescript outdoor shopping center populated by small businesses on East Valley Parkway. To say they outgrew the place is an understatement to say the least.

Six months ago the Reilly’s, Cute Cakes and all, moved to an appropriate, full-service, and then some, 6,400-square-foot building at 345 West Grand Avenue in downtown Escondido. They also opened a second, 1,500-square-foot store at 518 6th Avenue in The Gaslamp, San Diego. Their motto: “Every bride is unique,” David Reilly said. “Every cake is unique.”

Growing up in the southern tradition, and Southern Virginia, Jill Reilly was into baking. She also was into art and ever the twain did meet. Combining design and baking passion, The Reilly clan opened their bakery in 2009 with three people to make a little dessert money.

It quickly turned into a go-to destination for celebration cakes and fancy pastries in genera, and wedding cakes in particular. Business grew greatly each year, according to David Reilly, until “business just got too big for the place,” he said.

Meanwhile, back at The Wedge, “It’s going pretty good here at this Wedge thing,” Jill Reilly said between dishing bites and selling cakes at the well-trafficked affair. “I just want people to know we’re here.”

Real estate agent specializing in senior housing, Valerie Upham and marketing friend Christina McGlothlin were among the multitudes who came along the Wedge tour into Cute Cakes.

Connor Reilly passes out samples.

Connor Reilly passes out samples.

This was their 19th stop on the 21-stop wine tasting, artisinal cheese, food and, obviously, cake tour through downtown Escondido sponsored by the Escondido downtown Business Association Tickets cost from $25 to $45 depending on event package.

“This is our next to last stop, or is it our last stop” Upham said with a laugh. “It’s gone very well and this place is great.”

Keeping with the family business theme, David Reilly was outfitted in official Wedge orange security vest, handling the ever-changing  door with aplomb. Daughter Allie worked behind the long, elegant counter while son Connor did the pouring honors. Son-in-law Jonathan Deltzer married to Allie assisted with the pour.. Another daughter, Georgia works remotely on web site management while attending the University of Pennsylvania.

 David Reilly handles marketing at The Wedge event.

David Reilly handles marketing at The Wedge event.

David Reilly handles marketing and sales for the cakery-plus business “We make sure the customer comes first,” he said. “It’s all about the customers and what they want. It’s all about the dream.”

The Escondido location serves breakfasts in a cafe setting along with the long-lined glass counters of pastries and delights. A large seating area. It has a large living room feel and one day probably will host musical entertainment. Several rooms and alcoves display wedding vendor and celebratory services.

The venue has a party room and for birthday and cake parties. But when push comes to whipped cream, it’s wedding cakes that make Cute Cakes go. A thousand brides have come in the last year to check out the wedding cakes scene, according to David Reilly.

“First, the brides find a wedding planner and venue, then they look for cakes, florists and music,  Reilly added. “Today we did 10 weddings. Throw in four more at the Gaslamp store today, too. We usually do about 15 a week, spending an hour or more consulting on it.”

Cakes cost $35 to $3,000, or more. They run the gamut from specialty to wedding cakes of all types, sizes and descriptions. Cakes are bought for occasions like baptisms, birthdays and weddings, sure, but lately baby reveal cakes were all the rage, David Reilly said. They come in pink and blue colors reveling, ta-da, the baby’s gender.

Fancy pastries on display.

Fancy pastries on display.

More than a dozen wedding cake flavors include classic tastes along with Carrot — their signature flavor — Deep South chocolate. Southern red velvet, marble, Virginia Apple Walnut and more. Many mousses, custards, ganache, cheeses and creams are available for filling.

Frosting options? Yes, please. Buttercream, mochas, coffee, peanut butter and numerous other options. Buttercream yeoman’s may be used for filling, too.

The baker also does a yeoman’s business with custom cupcakes, a dessert bar, fruit bouquets. The business caters to parties and can bring the party to the educational sphere. Cookie, cake and cupcake parties doubling as baking classes for those of all types of abilities and ages.

Classes pegged to various level skills, that aren;t parties, but no doubt fun, also are available along with workshops in specialties like gingerbread house, holiday sugar cookies and gum-paste flowers.

For more information call (760) 745-5278 or visit http://cutecakes-sd.com.