Preston Center is anything but lacking in options when it comes to sweets. Since March, three new bakeries have opened — two on the same day — each claiming to offer something different from what neighboring mainstays Panini Bakery, Unrefined Bakery, and Sprinkles Cupcakes offer.
So the question remains: what is it about Preston Center and the Plaza at Preston Center that draws these shops like flies to honey?
“There’s a market there for [all] of us because I think we appeal to different audiences,” said SusieCakes founder Susan Sarich.
Los Angeles-based SusieCakes opened its first Texas location in Preston Center on April 16.
“Our angle is really a back-to-basics home style, made from scratch: butter, flour, sugar, and eggs,” Sarich said. “We don’t do fondant, we don’t do statue cakes.”
This simplistic style is what Sarich thinks will make the Texas store a hit.
“The center is so great because it has a brilliant blend of everyday activities,” she said. “Our whole premise is about connecting for celebrating, including people’s everyday lives.”
According to Sarich, the most popular items have been the vanilla celebration cake and the Texas-shaped sugar cookie.
Hospitality Sweet founder Meghan Adams knew she wanted to open a second location after the success of the flagship spot in downtown Dallas. The University Park resident also knew she wanted a place close to where she lives.
Adams considers her shop to be the “home-town” favorite of the lot. Unintentionally, the shop shared its opening day with Carlo’s Bakery on March 19. According to Adams, that didn’t deter a good crowd from coming in for breakfast.
“We do breakfast, lunch, and happy hour,” she said. “We offer really good food, and a good quality.”
In terms of cakes, Adams says the shop’s style is more on the simplistic side.
“I just think Dallas has become such a foodie area,” Adams said. “The bakery end of the spectrum has become so much more expensive over the years. It really is a boutique experience.”
Located around the corner from the Hospitality Sweet, Carlo’s Bakery of TLC’s Cake Boss fame found its new home on the corner of Preston Road and Berkshire Lane, replacing longtime tenant La Madeleine.
The shop features signature treats, such as cannolis and lobster tails. Customers can also purchase fondant-adorned cakes to go along with the custom cake expertise that has earned national praise for master baker Buddy Valastro.
“With so many families in Dallas, I’m looking forward to the bakery being invited into their homes and onto their tables,” Valastro said in a press release.
Despite the boom in competition, the owners of area stalwart Panini Bakery aren’t worried.
“I think people like the idea that [we] are a family business and that it’s been around since the year 2000,” said co-owner Sophie Rotunda, “Mrs. Panini.” “We’re good, and I think Unrefined has their special customers [and] that’s been good for synergy. It’s like all the cool kids wanting to sit at our table.”