Baking cakes has always been a passion for Rosalyn Young, owner of the newly opened Stone Mountain Bakery in the Village.
The 51-year-old Atlanta native has been baking since she was a little girl, and has had her cakes sold in multiple metro Atlanta malls and Winn Dixie stores for the past 15 years. She also does weddings, birthdays and other special occassions, and sells more than 20 different types of cakes, including key lime, coffee, banana, sour cream, and her popular rainbow cake, which is a combination of red velvet, key lime and orange cake. She also still makes cakes for restaurants and other food establishments, too, such as The Patty Post restaurant in Greenbriar Mall and the American Deli fast-food chain.
Young, who has been living in Stone Mountain for about six years, often has two of her 13 kids (only one of them she gave birth to; the others are nieces, stepchildren and the like, whom she raised as her own) in the shop with her, running the cash register and helping her around the shop.
As this week's Meet the Owner, Young sat down with Patch to talk about Stone Mountain Bakery and how she got into the cake-making business.
Patch: When did Stone Mountain Bakery open?
Rosalyn Young: It was May 26 this year.
Patch: You guys are a baby! Did you have another bakery before this? Where did you start the baking business?
Young: It was about 10 or so years ago. I used to bake for Winn Dixie stores, and I started [my own bakery] in Atlanta. It was in Greenbrier Mall, named Roz Cakes, and I also had a store in Peachtree Center Mall [in 2005].
Patch: How did you get into the baking business?
Young: When I started, I was young. My mother taught me how to bake ever since I was 10 years old, and later on down the line, I just started baking cakes for other people. Once I started doing that, I figured, 'Hey, maybe I could open up my own shop.'
Patch: Is it just you baking the cakes?
Young: It was just me baking the cakes, and my daughter, she was around 5 at the time. I had to teach her how to [put] icing on the cakes, and she did so many cakes. She got so good at icing up the cakes, she has her own shop now. [With Stone Mountain Bakery] I'm the sole baker, No. 1 with the magic hands.
Patch: What would you say is your favorite recipe?
Young: Ooh! My favorite recipe. It would probably be the red velvet, which I can do off the top of my head, like the rest of my cakes. I don't even need to look at a menu!
Patch: And you're most popular menu item?
Young: Basically, the red velvet cake has been the most popular cake. I have a rainbow cake, which is the most popular now. Rainbow cake is made up of red velvet, key lime and orange cake, so there are three different flavors. It's just something that I've put together. The red velvet key lime, the strawberry key lime, all the different ones, I just started making them together, too.
Patch: How do you make new items?
Young: A lot of times I just experiment on stuff. I just try to put stuff together and go, 'Hmm, let's see how this works, let's see how this tastes.' I did a raspberry cake last week, and it was good.
Patch: What made you choose the Village as your business location?
Young: We were basically looking around everywhere, all over Atlanta, and my husband said, 'You know, why not choose something close to home?' I said, 'OK,' and a friend of ours told us about downtown Stone Mountain, and they said, 'Go downtown, they got a lot of stuff down there.' So first of the year, we just decided to come down here, then we stumbled across this [shop] here.
It was in terrible shape, but we said, 'Well, why not give it a shot?' We were working on everything from the beginning of the year, from January to the middle of May, and here we are.
Patch: How has the Village been treating you so far?
Young: So far, so good. There hasn't been any problems. Everyone's been very nice here. By word of mouth, everyone's been saying, 'Ooh, I heard there's a bakery.' Everyone seems excited.
Patch: I'm not a master baker, but I've heard about people having issues with their cakes collapsing. What's your biggest challenge in the baking business?
Young: I've never had a cake fall. Years ago, they said, 'Don't walk, the cake might fall!' Back in the day, you would walk and the oven would wobble and if you open the oven, the cake might fall. You can't open the oven while the cake is baking. The cake will fall. So that you cannot do. But, so far, no challenges. Knock on wood!
Patch: How many cakes do you make a day?
Young: When I had the Winn Dixie stores, I was making like 100 cakes a day, because I had 16 locations [that I made cakes for]. I had two regular ovens in my shop in Greenbriar Mall. When I had that shop, I was making cakes left and right. I was there from 5 o'clock in the morning to 8 or 9 o'clock at night. I wasn't open to the public, just concentrating on wholesale and distributing, but also special occasions.
Patch: Do you have any tips for anyone that wants to bake or open a bakery?
Young: Don't give up ... and don't be scared!
Stone Mountain Bakery is located at 975 1/2 Main Street in Stone Mountain Village. For more information or for special orders for weddings, parties, anniversaries and birthdays, call the store a 678-805-8617.