Dave Evans is an unlikely baker. Hes 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 Connies 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 moms homemade coffee cake, Dave says, smiling behind Buddy Holly-style glasses. When I moved east, I couldnt 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 mothers old recipes and struck gold when he found the one for Connies 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, Connies Cakes was born, or perhaps reincarnated is a better term. And so far, the reception has been as warm as Daves memories of the kitchen of his childhood. Id say were averaging about 30 cake orders a week. Thats quite a workload for a staff of one. Its not bad, really. I enjoy it.
For the time being, Dave cooks all his cakes at CakeSuite , a specialty bakery in Westport. Were still ramping up. Right now, its mainly a delivery and shipping business. But the goal is to grow, both in terms of staff and gaining a presence with local retailers. Im definitely working on that angle.
Hes 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 theyll be serving soon. Its a local company called Connies Cakes, she said.
Yes, I said, I think Ive 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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
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