By JOSHUA PHILLIPS
August 14, 2013
The Historic Northeast is known for having a variety of diverse cultural foods ranging anywhere from American, Mexican, Haitian, Italian, Vietnamese, Ethiopian and more.
However, one particular venue is different from the rest in the Northeast and perhaps one of the only similarities about it is that it sits on Independence Avenue. It is a brick building featuring the blue logo above the entrance way. As customers walk in, all five senses are triggered.
You hear the people working and shopping while speaking Spanish and English and conversing with one another in a friendly manner. You see the bakers meticulously roll the dough while customers browse through the store, deciding what to have for lunch or a delightful snack during the day. Right upon entering the bakery, the smell of delectable baked goods hits your nose in a playful manner to tease you into purchasing these items.
With this bakery, the sense of taste becomes an honor granted with every bite of any pastry you choose.
Unlike traditional bakeries, Elvira’s Cakes, 3838 Independence Ave., uses baking methods established by founder Elvira Arizmendi and from authentic Mexican culinary roots. Arizmendi began to sell her cakes to family and friends; from there, she decided to make it a profession as well as a first love.
“People like the cakes that we make here, but we sell different things as well,” Arizmendi said. “All of the things we sell are made from scratch here because people like fresh foods.”
Elvira’s Cakes has been on Independence Avenue since 2003, and the business makes anything from cakes, donuts, tamales, yogurt, tortas, burritos, chocolate strawberries to Mexican bread and many other delectable items. However, Arizmendi did not get her official start in the culinary arts with her business. She has always had a knack for making mouthwatering foods.
When her son and manager of Elvira’s Cakes, José Hernández, turned five, Arizmendi made him a Batman cake for his birthday. She learned more about the culinary arts trade through working at bakeries in the 1990s. Arizmendi then decided to bake cakes in her home for friends and family and once people tried her savory creations, they suggested she start up her own business. Thus, Elvira’s Cakes was born.
“We sell a lot of different things,” Arizmendi said. “How we make the food is always different because we change it everyday so we see what it is that people like.”
Hernández said there is a great future ahead for Elvira’s Cakes.
“I would like to see Elvira’s as the No. 1 choice when people think of Mexican bread and a Mexican bakery,” Hernández said. “We are thinking about expanding around the Kansas City area and hopefully will take Elvira’s brand across the Midwest someday.”
Arizmendi and Hernández said they hope to open an espresso bar in the store, add tables and chairs inside, add a patio area outside, and once all this is completed they want to open another location possibly in Kansas City, Kan. Throughout all of this expansion, Arizmendi said she just hopes people continue to come in and enjoy the many benefits of Elvira’s Cakes.
“We are trying to promote the brand so that we stand out and try not to be traditional like the rest of the Mexican bakeries,” Hernández said.
Elvira’s Cakes certainly stands out compared to other bakeries since they feature foods for lunch breaks, special desserts and cakes, of course. With the many menu items Elvira’s Cakes offers, one can see how it is possible for them to expand.
Elvira’s makes bread, yet this is unlike regular white or wheat bread. It is made from scratch in the store and tastes as if you are eating a cloud because of its delicateness. It is tradition for some Americans to spread butter, a jam or anything on the bread they are about to bite into; however, Elvira’s Mexican bread needs nothing on it.
Of the different cakes Elvira’s makes, one in particular that you cannot live without trying is the Tres Leches (Three Milks) Cake. Made from whole, evaporated and sweetened condensed milk, it is one of the best cakes you will probably ever eat. With every bite, the sweet milk seeps out of the cake and tickles your taste buds.
Even with the expansion work on the business, Elvira’s Cakes is here to stay in the Northeast.