A Dessert Destination
by Marlene Osteen
Late last month, husband and wife team Krysti and Thomas Henderson opened their second Cake Bar at Creekside Village in downtown Highlands.
Krysti’s cakes had become a sensation among Highlands’ sweet tooths as soon as she opened the original Cake Bar on Dillard Road last year.
The Cake Bar story is of the classic-career changing bootstrap variety. He worked as a golf course builder, and she, a serial entrepreneur, owned and operated retail shops.
But the recession hit, life happened and Krysti fell back on what she knew best – a regular 9-to-5 and baking the flourless chocolate cake she had first made for friends when her now 20-year old, Sarah, was just three months old.
Known as “Chocolate Heaven,” over the years that cake had become something of a local, little-known and best-kept secret.
First available at farmer’s markets and church suppers, it was always the star of the show. Then in 2014, Krysti secured a spot at the Cashiers Farmers Market and demand swelled.
In 2015, she took a chance, opened a production kitchen and wholesale operation. By 2016, Thomas came on and the two quickly found Chocolate Heaven growing, serving restaurants and retail throughout the Southeast.
In 2018, identifying a need for folks to come and relax over a slice of cake, and a place for special order customers to linger, they took over the adjoining space and opened the original Cake Bar.
Krysti envisions Cake Bar as a place where you can go and enjoy life – a slice of cake after a movie or ice-skating, or perhaps dinner elsewhere in town. This is dessert as destination, a marriage of sugar and comfort, a place where dessert is given both the respect and the stage it deserves, without the fuss of making a reservation or even eating dinner first.
Menu offerings are elevated versions of customer favorites and include Chocolate Heaven Cake with Orange Marmalade, Cranberry Orange Cheesecake, Grilled Banana Bread with Bourbon Sauce and Praline Ice Cream. Likely the desserts will change regularly, but patrons can be assured of a sweet lineup always on the menu. Along with coffee and espresso, a curated selection of wines – red, white, bubbly and dessert – are offered by the glass and the bottle.
The space is warm and intimate, comfortable sofas and chairs blend perfectly with high top and dining tables. The walls, adorned with, 30’s and 40’s black and white prints and photos offer a touch a whimsy.
Those puzzling over what to do during the holiday season, take note. Cake Bar anticipates opening during the winter, Thursday through Saturday from 11:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.. Hours will be added as demand increases.