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We're Open Indy: Indianapolis bakery offers southern comfort desserts during stressful time

Cretia Cakes is open for delivery and curbside pickup
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Posted at 11:18 AM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2021-01-06 10:04:28-05

In a time when we can't all gather around a table, we can still come together as a community. We're Open Indy is a partnership between WRTV and our local restaurants and businesses with one goal: getting them through this tough time. Every day, we will help shine a light on the businesses that make up our community by telling their stories and rallying around those who are keeping the grills going, the hospitals running, and the businesses operating.

INDIANAPOLIS — You may have seen her creations at significant events like the 2012 Super Bowl, the Indianapolis Zoo's Zoobilation or even Museum by Moonlight at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.

"Cretia Cakes" is known for its creations on special occasions like birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.

But those who have followed the Indianapolis bakery know that it's real specialty is southern baked goods.

"I love when people come in and they tell me it tastes just like their grandmother's," LaCretia Allen, the chef and owner Cretia Cakes, said. "That's mind-blowing."

Southern baked goods are traditional sweets that stem from the south, like caramel cake, sweet potato pie, peach cobbler and banana creme pie. All treats that Allen bakes in her shop.

Cretia Cakes, now on the northwest side of Indianapolis, has been baking goods for almost 20 years now.

Allen had to cut back from being in the bakery as much as she used to before the coronavirus crisis, as she's now only in the storefront three days a week, for four hours.

But she couldn't wholly close because the bakery is her sole place of revenue.

"I have a couple of people that are really happy I'm still open, but it's hard. It's really hard," Allen said. "My sales dropped tremendously."

Although she is primarily open to generate some revenue, Allen said she also wants to make sure she can provide those sweets for people who can use something tasty in this time.

"The bakery is pretty much my baby," Allen said. "People still have birthdays, and people are still having cravings."

Allen has had trouble finding bread due to people panic-shopping and is also considering baking loaves of bread and selling it out of her shop. If she decides to do this, she will update her website and Facebook page.

Allen says that just because she is not in the storefront, doesn't mean she isn't baking. You can call and make an order at 317-929-1560 for curbside pickup or delivery, and you can also order through her website or DoorDash.

We're Open Indy Special Update: Christmas Eve

WRTV began its efforts with "We're Open Indy" in March of 2020 as a way to highlight local businesses' efforts to adapt and provide a boost to help them get through the pandemic. Not all of them made it. But those that have are still facing an uphill battle. We worked to get updates from some of the business owners we spoke to earlier in the year to hear how it's been for them and what they project the near future of their businesses to be like.

LaCretia Allen was able to get tons of orders from near and far after Cretia Cakes was featured on We're Open Indy.

"We have received people from out of state call in or order on our website for their loved ones birthday or to send their love in a difficult time. One lady from Chicago placed an order for her mother's birthday. I had another call from North Carolina said she wanted to support local and had us write a note. Both orders were delivered," LaCretia told us after her story originally published. "I went into (our) neighborhood and I noticed flags on some mailboxes and a sign. The sign read heroes live here...that was so nice. On our curbside orders people are giving larger tips which we are so grateful for any and everything at this time."

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Allen says she is now working to open a new location in the Castleton-area to hopefully bring in more sales. All though she felt the support from the community earlier in the year, she now needs that support again.

In working to adapt to the current climate, she has pushed alternative desserts like gluten free, non-GMO, paleo, and even vegan treats. She's also created more personable
items and gifts for people celebrating special events but not able to be together in person.

"I love seeing the love!!" Allen wrote. "We did cakes for virtual baby showers, birthdays, and more. Although we are not signed up for Door Dash or UberEATS, we were fulfilling orders. The love has really been shown during this trying time. One of the drivers for DoorDash told us how beneficial it would be. He even called the company while he was there and received more information about the company. By me being a certified chef through the American Culinary Federation, they gave free continuing education classes. I was able to get certified in Covid pick-up and deliveries."

For now, this is the plan for Allen as she works to expand her base. She's hoping to hire more people and market more "to let everyone know We're Open Indy."

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