White Lace Cakes is kind of Oakdale's diamond in the rough.
When entering White Lace Cakes, you forget you're in Oakdale. Or Minnesota. Or the United States for that matter.
Located at the former site of Mattison's Specialty Bread and Pino's Authentic Italian, the space has been transformed into a French patisserie and cake parlour. It's almost as if you've been transported to the streets of Paris — and that was Deborah Wright's intent.
Owner and operator Deborah Wright opened up on Nov. 15. Her shop specializes in custom cakes and French pastries, including macarons (not to be mistaken for macaroons, though she also offers those), truffles, chocolates, croissants and more.
Wright said that she only knows of about four places in the Twin Cities that offer macarons, which are a French specialty and known for being a tempermental dessert to make.
"I had one guy tell me that it was the best macaron he ever had, and he even lived in Europe," Wright said. "It took me about 63 batches before I got it right."
Wright prides herself in making all of her baked goods fresh and using top-notch ingredients.
"I'm not a food snob, but I am very particular about the ingredients that I use," Wright said.
She even invented her very own "Vintage Tea Cup Cakes" where she scouts for one-of-a-kind tea cups and saucers and fills them with a mini-tiered cake — not a cupcake.
"I have all of my own recipes," Wright said. "These are not cakes made from a mix."
Wright, of Forest Lake, used to lease speace in Burnsville for the past few years. Wright only did custom cakes and pastries upon request until she received "gentle prodding" from her brides and customers who said it was time for her to open her own shop.
Wright looked at a bakery in Forest Lake, but it wasn't the right fit. It had a large kitchen and a small front area — the opposite of what Wright was searching for. She also looked at several vacant buildings that didn't have the right potential. Finally, she found the space in Oakdale.
"I just saw the potential," Wright said. "I walked in and said to myself that I could do this."
She also liked that Gator's Liquor and Studio 99 hair salon were right next door.
She began leasing the spot in May and spent day and night remodeling the area. Wright fixed up the shop herself — except for the marble counters. But Wright put together all of the furnishings and decor and did the painting.
"I wanted a place that was over the top," Wright said. "It's quaint and it's fancy. I love Starbucks and Caribou, but they are all the same."
Tired of going places where "the customer service is bad," Wright not only wanted to provide good service, but also an experience when people enter her shop.
White Lace Cakes has already received recognition for its "experience" and cakes.
Wright was the 2011 award winner of the Mpls.St. Paul Wedding Magazine Diamond Awards. She received “The best of the best” in Bridal for Outstanding Cake Design as judged by a national panel. White Lace Cakes has also been covered in international magazines and featured in several bridal industry books and articles.
For more information visit www.whitelacecakes.com