After 15 years of baking custom wedding cakes and creating desserts for Destin area restaurants, Heidi McAnulla of Bake My Day is expanding her business to offer a walk-in café.
McAnulla recently moved her business to the Target shopping plaza at 833 Harbor Boulevard, a move that she said gave her the space she needed to offer a café-style service to the community.
“We’ve been asked over the years, ‘When are you going to do retail?’” said McAnulla. “When this place came available in November, we were like, ‘Here we go, time for retail!’”
McAnulla said that it has always been her dream to create a space for locals to relax, take a load off and enjoy coffee and sweets, and now she finally has the chance to live out that dream.
“I wanted a place where people could come in, get a really good dessert and a really good coffee to go with it,” she said. “I wanted a place locals could come in, hang out, and just slow down.”
When it comes to sweets, McAnulla has got just the knack, with several award-winning desserts that have turned the heads of culinary greats over the years.
Take her five-layer chocolate moose cake for example; Dubbed the Bullwinkle, this recipe earned her third place in a high-profile dessert competition as well as her first culinary job in 1997 with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans.
More recently, in 2015, one of McAnulla’s four-tiered butter cream cakes was named Wedding Cake of the Year by Martha Stewart.
Although McAnulla will continue her work in wedding and custom cakes, she said she is excited to embrace the day-to-day walk-in traffic the café will bring.
“A lot of my creativity was going into wedding cake design, and now, with this café side, I get to develop new recipes and really get my hands back in the dough,” she said.
Bake My Day has teamed up with local coffee roaster Maas Coffee to offer brewed and espresso beverages and the current café menu offers scones, muffins, cookies, pies, cake by-the-slice and of course home-made butters, jams and purees to compliment.
Custom cakes are still available and very much the forefront of the Bake My Day business, but McAnulla said she has lots of ideas for the future.
“Right now I’m going to keep my focus on the wedding industry, but in the future I can imagine it coming into more of a little neighborhood café,” McAnulla said. “I’m just feeling it out to see what happens, and I’m going to stay true to what I love to do.”
Bake My Day is located at 833 Harbor Boulevard Unit 19 in the Target shopping plaza in Destin. For more information, visit www.bakemyday.com or call 850-269-0763. Current hours are Tuesday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 7:30 a.m. to noon.