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Meet Bobby Outlaw of Premier Cakes Bakery & Cafe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bobby Outlaw. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Premier Cakes of Raleigh is a homespun commercial and retail bakery that was developed out of love and has evolved into a full-fledged bakery. After being laid off during the economic downturn Tracy Outlaw decided to take her destiny into her own hands and Premier Cakes was born. The business was started approximately ten years ago by establishing a full-fledged commercial kitchen within her home to determine the viability of the business. We initially supplied surrounding restaurants and corporations with a variety of desserts. We also established a tremendous following by taking our products directly to the streets by selling door to door to various businesses and their employees daily. Within six months, we grew out of our residential/commercial kitchen; therefore, we had to move on to a commercial storefront.

Since then, Premier Cakes has established themselves as the best purveyor of fine cakes and desserts made from scratch in the Raleigh area. Our mission is in our name, Premier Cakes, which states we not only strive to provide a premier product of outstanding quality but also great customer service, professionalism, timeliness, and cleanliness. As a minority-owned business, we know that all eyes are on us and that the first impression is a lasting impression. We strive to maintain an exceptionally clean kitchen and dining area. We are immensely proud of our open kitchen which allows the customers to get a view directly into the cockpit, you might say, and speak directly to the bakers, decorators, etc.

Tracy and Bobby Outlaw are the owners and we have been married for 40 years. Bobby operates the front end while Tracy who is the Pastry Chef does all the baking exclusively. She also benefits from a staff of three. Before starting this business, Tracy worked in corporate accounting while Bobby successfully operated his own engineering business, Outlaw Engineering Support Services, for 25 years. Bobby’s engineering background and exactness has led to recipes that will withstand the test of time. Every ingredient is measured and weighted in metric to ensure that every time a customer purchases a slice of their favorite dessert, it is always the same. While studying the food industry early on, we discovered that most restaurant’s number one challenge is consistency and we wanted perfection!

Tracy is self-taught! More than 20 years ago, we lived just across the street from the North Raleigh Regional Library, and we would check out cookbooks on a weekly basis to determine the best recipes to practice until perfecting them into our own. One by one, we perfected each recipe, sometimes baking the same cake 10 to 15 times in one day just trying to find that perfect balance and or taste! Although we specialize in old-fashioned 9”, three-layer cakes our repertoire of desserts also includes Italian, French, Latin, Caribbean, and Jamaican desserts: pies, cheesecakes, tres leche, flan, bread pudding, brownies, cookies and tiramisu. Hummingbird Cake, Sweet Potato Cake and Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake are without a doubt, our best sellers.

After ten years in business and seven years at this location, it is rewarding just to know we are still in business! Initial customers occasionally visit the bakery and tell stories of their first slice of Premier Cakes or their first encounter from ten years ago. We are only beginning to realize that Premier Cakes has become a permanent fixture in the lives and memories to so many. Our desserts are enjoyed around the country for Thanksgiving, Christmas, cookouts, and various other events by ordinary people, athletes, and actors. Premier Cakes is creating memories and nostalgia. Creating great desserts that evoke so many childhood memories and nostalgia for some while creating new memories for others is so rewarding! It is just extremely rewarding to see how our desserts are enjoyed by our patrons to the point that it brings some to tears while reminiscing about a loved one that used to make this cake! Then to hear them say, this is the best I have ever had! Premier Cakes is certainly in position to grow, prosper and survive for years to come.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Struggles seem to be just a part of doing business! First, a restaurant that we were located within during our second and third year suffered a serious electrical fire and we lost everything. We had not been in business long and did not recognize the value of the equipment we had accumulated; therefore, we had not acquired any insurance on our property. Second, while building out our current location, the city was inconsistent and constantly changed regulations which caused a significant delay in getting open. Third, after finally becoming a profitable business in our fourth year, the shopping center management allowed another bakery into the center, just ten doors down. Finally, the big one, the Pandemic, which caused us to be closed for nearly eight months. We are only open Wednesday thru Friday, from 12 pm to 6 pm due to staffing amongst other things. It has certainly been a rollercoaster but we hope for better days!

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Premier Cakes is renowned throughout the state of NC for its consistency and high-quality homemade from scratch cakes and pies. Actually, throughout the country, because we have a very loyal base that resides in other states but orders their Thanksgiving and Christmas desserts every year 90 days or more in advance and picks them up just in time for the holiday! What sets us apart from other bakeries is that Premier Cakes strives for perfection, quality, and freshness which can be nearly impossible for a larger bakery which has been formed precisely for profitability rather than love like Premier Cakes. One can easily taste the love in our cakes. Our motto is ” For Goodness Sakes, You Gotta Try Those Premier Cakes”.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
Cookbooks, Joy of Cooking &Americas Test Kitchen has been ongoing resources throughout this endeavor!

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