When Sabrina Campbell saw a "for sale" sign March 2011 in a vacant building in the 200 block of King Street, Campbell said she knew it was the perfect place to open a second location for her cake business in the Old Town Alexandria district.
“I peered in the window and thought it looked pretty good,” Campbell, 33, said. “My husband said why not us and why not bring Occasionally Cake to Old Town?”
After a year of construction, painting and planning for a second store, Campbell and business partner Marcia Crandall saw their dream reach reality. Campbell and Crandall last week held a grand opening celebration inviting friends, family, and many neighbors including Mayor Bill Euille to partake in the festivities. The celebration included a cake of the , which Campbell helped designed.
Since the grand opening, Crandall said that cake orders have increased and they’re baking more than before. Crandall, 43, also said that loyal customers have supported the transition of opening a second location in addition to the store located down the parkway in the Mount Vernon neighborhood.
“A lot of people are very loyal,” she said. “I’m glad that I’m still able to be at the Mount Vernon store because of the continuity. A lot of loyal customers come back.”
Crandall said she and Campbell always wanted a second location to be in Old Town, but struggled financially the first time around. With the help of investors and family members, both were able to lease the vacant building last year and start planning for a new shop. They hope to buy it in the future.
“It was such a great location,” Crandall said. “I would drive down the street on my way home and would just drive by this place, sometimes at 2 a.m. I would see people walking down the street and would think, they need to have my cupcake in their hand. “
As the business grows, Campbell said she will be posting information on Occasionally Cake’s facebook page for upcoming events. This week she has posted employment opportunities as a way to reach out to the Old Town community.
“We want to be a positive addition to the community is where we put our business,” Campbell said. “Mount Vernon has been awesome and Old Town has...too. The other business owners have been amazing. If this had been a neighborhood and I just moved in, they all would have shown up with apple pie. They were so welcoming and supportive. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience coming into Old Town.”
Campbell said she has no plans on closing the Mount Vernon store located on Richmond Highway. The King Street store will offer cake decorating classes and events in the future.
“We will offer more events that we can’t do at the Mount Vernon store because it’s a smaller space so we’re limited on what we can do,” she said.
There’s no difference in quality or product in other stores, just more events in Old Town, she said.
"We’re a team and we want to give back and make a difference in people’s lives," Campbell said. "I know that we just make cakes but in whatever way that we can do to help others to make them happy, that’s what we really strive for."
Editor's Note: This article was updated to reflect that Occasionally Cake is leasing its space and has not purchased the building where it's located.