We did things backwards. Usually, you start with a bakery and then have the social media, workshops, wholesale and cookbook follow, but we chose a different path. By the time we decided to move forward with opening the Sweet Laurel Cake Shop, we had already spent 3 years getting to know our clients through private classes, had developed an online community and were in the middle of recipe testing our first cookbook. This helped us so much with deciding what kind of space we needed to have for the shop.
All Photography by Stephanie Todaro
Our cakes are inspired by a romantic, old world aesthetic, but with a modern perspective. We style our shoots with antique china on weathered surfaces, but you won’t find any lace doilies or fussy details.
Translating this look into the store was our goal, so we thought about the overall impact first, and then colored in the details.
It needed to look like a jewel box - tiny, but beautiful and high impact. My first image of the space was a hand painted mural, a modern chandelier and a pink velvet couch underneath. I couldn’t stop picturing this vignette, and it sort of became the guiding light of the space.
This is where details like the modern light fixtures by Mitzi and the creeping roses wallpaper by Anewall came into focus. Our color palette was Calamine by Farrow and Ball, Desert Sage and Milk Glass by Dunn Edwards, and Noble Grey by Caesarstone.
The countertops, Caesarstone Noble Grey, are not only incredible durable, but elegant as well. We wanted something soft grey, with stone-like detail, but marble was way too fussy for a busy coffee bar. Caesarstone being more resistant to scratches, chips and cracks than both marble and granite as well as many other natural and engineered surface materials was a huge plus to us, considering how much wear and tear the counters were going to get.
For the espresso bar in the back, the counters being naturally nonporous and requiring little maintenance is a huge plus. This means that with a Caesarstone surface, we will never have to worry about sealing, stains or bacteria growth. Honestly, in the short time the shop has been open, it is crazy how much use it gets - so having all of these benefits are so important to us.
Laurel is obsessed with bay windows, so we knew a banquette was a must. All of the natural light, with casual pink velvet pillows makes it the best angle to enjoy our shop.
Texture was hugely important to the space. If everything is pink, it needs to have layering to break it up, otherwise it’s like walking into a wad of chewing gum. It also needed to feel grown up and elegant, not like a little girl’s room, so I focussed on mixing modern, minimalist pieces like the Mitzi light fixtures, Room and Board furniture and menu board with more old world pieces filled with character and texture.
The tile from Cle has incredible variance, and the floor from Du Chateau feels like it was pulled from an old European home.
My favorite thing about opening the shop has been people’s reactions to it. When I hear an audible gasp followed by “It’s so pretty!” it makes me light up. It’s so exciting to see Sweet Laurel as a brand exist three dimensionally rather than in a cookbook or on a plate.
For more storefront reveals: Bonjour Fete Reveal