“Let them eat cake,” Marie Antoinette supposedly once said.
Well, visit Cakeapotamus on Pepperell Parkway in Opelika and it’s obvious owner Amanda “Mandi” Buckalew has a similar message. However, Buckalew’s cakes are definitely not what the late French queen had in mind.
From sculpted “Harry Potter” Sorting Hats and Darth Vader riding a unicorn to stylish wedding and baby shower cakes, Buckalew has done it all.
“My clientele want 50-50 something nobody’s ever heard of or just something pretty,” she said.
She doesn’t discourage the quirky requests, though. In fact, the bakery itself practically begs customers to add to Buckalew’s unique portfolio (viewable in the photos on the bakery’s Facebook page).
Paraphernalia from “Dr. Who,” “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” litters nooks and crannies around the two-room shop. The walls are decorated with pictures from various parties held at “the Cakepot,” including princess tea parties and one “Star Wars”/”Ghost Busters” hybrid party for a 5-year-old girl. One wall bears a pink-painted bass fish on a plaque.
“It has a lot of character,” Buckalew said. “We have a lot of regulars and people who participate and wonderful things are happening.”
These wonderful things include active participation in events announced on the Cakeapotamus Facebook group. One such event was a field trip to the sing-a-long version of “Frozen” recently.
Buckalew credits the success of her shop to its unique style and her personal approach to owning a bakery.
“I opened in an old millhouse, not a strip mall,” she said. “And I decorated it with ‘Batman’ and ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Star Wars’ because that’s what I like.That resonates with people.”
Buckalew said owning and operating Cakeapotamus is her “happily ever after job.” As she lives out her fairytale, her shop allows customers to ride along.