Janelle Weeden’s first attempt at baking a cake was the “ugliest thing she’d ever seen.” Now, 16 years later, with a lot more experience and extensive practice, she is about to celebrate the one-year anniversary of her very own bakery.
Weeden always thought of herself as an artist. When she and her husband had no luck in the mortgage business, she took that innate creativity to a new level and decided it was time to find something with more stability.
It didn’t take long for Weeden to figure out her next career move.
“Well, I can bake.”
The Flour Shop in Winter Park was born.
The name of the shop is inspired by a scene from the movie “Stranger than Fiction” when Will Ferrell brings a carton filled with bags of flour to a girl he likes.
“It was The Flour Shop and it just stuck. We wanted to use it for a couple years but we didn’t actually have a shop,” Weeden said.
Since the shop opened, it has continued to grow. Weeden’s specialty is her creative energy. She loves when customers give her a theme and let her run wild with it.
“You know trompe l’oeil on the walls — when you look at something and it’s a mural and you can walk right into it, it fools the eye,” she said. “That’s what I like to do with cakes — make it look like something it’s not.”
Up until recently, The Flour Shop only made custom cakes. That was until they started making cookies and cupcakes for The Meat House in Winter Park for wholesale. People found out about them and wanted more.
“It got a lot of people coming in, so we were like, OK, we have to do this,” Weeden said.
Now the shop offers cupcakes, cookies and cake pops on a daily basis. Weeden hopes to offer dessert cakes for individual sale in the near future.
Customer Natalie Reid of Winter Garden approves of the cookies. “This is my second time at the shop. I came in not too long ago and got a cookie, and it was really good,” she said.
Taste isn’t the only thing that sets The Flour Shop apart. Weeden thinks that making connections is what distinguishes her bakery from others in the area.
The Flour Shop is located at 1480 Lee Road, in Winter Park. Call 321-557-8427 or visit flourshop.net
“This sounds corny, but we like to make friends,” she said. “We like to be a part of people’s lives and be a part of that story experience.”
Spreading the word has been one of the more difficult tasks for the bakery, neatly tucked at the corner of Lee Road and Highway 17-92. Posting signs outside has certainly helped.
Daren Bartle, of Casselberry, ventured into the shop for the first time last month. “I hold signs for MetroPCS right outside and I wanted to come in and try a couple cupcakes,” he said.
Looking back on the past year of business, Weeden is proud of how far the shop has come. Her proudest moment? After a couple minutes of thinking, she admits another “corny” response.
“Having my husband come and join me full time. We work very well together,” she said. “He keeps me focused and I keep him happy.”
Although Weeden has no intentions in starring on a reality baking show, customers tell her daily that she should apply for one.
For now, she’s just focused on the upcoming anniversary, which falls on Wednesday, July 4. She’s keeping her ideas quiet for now, but with her creativity, it’s safe to say the celebration will rise to the occasion.