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Let Them Eat Cake

Dave Evans is an unlikely baker. He’s spent his career as an agent, first representing actors and voice talent in New York City, then moving into the arena of insurance. In his new incarnation, however, the Westport resident is the CEO and Head Chef of Connie’s Cakes , a sweet throwback to a bygone era.

“As a kid, growing up in Indianapolis in the fifties, I remember the warmth on a cold winter morning, coming downstairs to my mom’s homemade coffee cake,” Dave says, smiling behind Buddy Holly-style glasses. “When I moved east, I couldn’t find anything that compared. Nothing even came close.”

So, Dave decided to make his own. “Connie was a legendary cook and baker. That might be the reason my father married her,” he laughs. Dave dug through his late mother’s old recipes and struck gold when he found the one for Connie’s coffee cake. “There was a lot of controlled chaos in our kitchen. And all her recipes were on three-by-five index cards, written in felt tip pen. Some were just indecipherable, so we may have taken a little creative license with the coffee cake recipe. But it tastes like I remember it.”

What started as a desire to satisfy a nostalgic sweet tooth blossomed into a business. “The cake is simple, which I think is what makes it so good. When I started sharing it, people kept asking me to bake more. So I did.” From there, Connie’s Cakes was born, or perhaps reincarnated is a better term. And so far, the reception has been as warm as Dave’s memories of the kitchen of his childhood. “I’d say we’re averaging about 30 cake orders a week.” That’s quite a workload for a staff of one. “It’s not bad, really. I enjoy it.”

For the time being, Dave cooks all his cakes at CakeSuite , a specialty bakery in Westport. “We’re still ramping up. Right now, it’s mainly a delivery and shipping business. But the goal is to grow, both in terms of staff and gaining a presence with local retailers. I’m definitely working on that angle.”

He’s gaining traction in that area already. After our interview, I stopped by the Westport library for a latte. Sarah, the barista, started to tell me about a delicious new coffee cake they’ll be serving soon. “It’s a local company called Connie’s Cakes,” she said.

“Yes,” I said, “I think I’ve heard of it.”

Have you tried Connie's coffee cake yet? What's your favorite recipe from childhood? Share your thoughts and recipes here, or email me at mmorelli@mainstreetconnect.us .

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