Sunday, July 15, 2018

A cake to die for

A few years ago, my wife Dianne was sent a cake in the mail. 

It was a "thank you" from a very thoughtful friend. I wondered how good the cake could possibly be.

It was freaking' amazing.

So I started doing some research, and found that Caroline's Cakes is one of Oprah's favorite things. And Caroline's Cakes is pretty famous for.....their cakes.

Well, I pursued them, hoping to make them into a customer. I would love to host their eCommerce store, or provide them with their merchant account. I wanted to help them to "tell the world" about their magical cakes! 

Many emails and phone calls later, I got to know the "Caroline's Cakes" family.

Today I received an email from Caroline's son:

Like Caroline, I am grateful for all of our wonderful customers. On July 15th of last year Caroline passed away after her courageous battle with ovarian cancer. The outpouring of support from friends, family, those who knew Caroline, and those who had never met her but knew her cakes has been absolutely amazing. 

Many thanks to all of you for helping all of us at Caroline's Cakes through this past year and especially as we move into the year ahead. 

I am grateful to have had Caroline as a mother, and lucky to also have had her as a boss, leader, and visionary for this wonderful company and for the cake community that she created with all of you. I still rely on her daily for inspiration and guidance and I work to fulfill not just her dream, but mine as well.

September is ovarian cancer awareness month and Caroline's Cakes will be donating a percentage of all Caramel Cake sales during that month to support ovarian cancer research. We will have custom tins made with our logo in teal, which is representative of ovarian cancer awareness. Giving back was always an important part of how Caroline lived her life and ran her business and we hope to have a positive impact on the research to beat this terrible disease.  
Thank you all again for being a shining example of kindness in the world, and remember, as Caroline always said: "Eat cake, and be happy!"


Richard's email above made me pause. 

When your name is on the building - when you are the brand - you are automatically building a legacy. 

Caroline did not sell cakes. She connected with and nurtured the people with whom she came in contact. She was incredibly generous, both professionally and personally.
She made friends with bus boys and maids and big stars in Hollywood and all in between. It has been said that Caroline’s Cakes were so unique and delicious that they could be the secret to world peace.
She founded her bakery business in 1982, specializing in the hard-to-create Southern delicacy, the seven-layer caramel cake. Through her energetic entrepreneurship Caroline’s signature caramel cake was featured in the hit movie The Help.
Caroline was always thinking of how to make things better in her business and in the lives of others. She loved to work and did so all hours of the day and night no matter where she was. Her sharp business acumen had a laser focus and her bubbling creativity resulted in her invention of new processes and equipment to improve her business.
In business, when "you are the brand" you will live forever. You are building a legacy. A culture. A standard of excellence.

Walt Disney passed many years ago, but his legacy will last forever.

I think we shall be saying the same about Caroline Ragsdale Reutter.

“My goal is to continue to 'make the world a smaller place' with the Caramel Cake and my other Southern specialties. I am so grateful for all of my customers and their generous and ongoing support.” ~ Caroline Ragsdale