Nothing Bundt Cakes might be a bakery franchise started over a decade ago by two women in Las Vegas, but Minnesotans have always had an “in”: every one of their cakes, produced in more than 200 franchises nationwide, is baked in a Bundt pan, originally designed in the 1950s and still produced by Nordic Ware in St. Louis Park. Today, Nothing Bundt Cakes uses many of the original shapes, from 8-inch and 10-inch delights (sometimes stacked to form special-occasion tiered cakes) to the approximately 4-inch-diameter “Bundtlets” to the miniature “Bundtinis” sold by the dozen. Common to all (with the exception of the three- to four-bite Bundtinis) is a hole in the middle. “I’ll never forget,” says new Maple Grove Nothing Bundt Cakes co-owner Bianca Janiuk, “the time when a customer called us up to tell us she took the cakes out of their wrappings and decorations at home only to find, to her dismay, that the cakes had holes in the middle!” Janiuk’s long-time friend, business co-owner and store manager Jessica Johnson, chimes in, “I don’t have much of a poker face, so I’m glad we were speaking on the phone, and not in person.”
Janiuk recruited Johnson for the position of store manager months before their spring 2016 opening as part of a carefully choreographed series of moves designed by Janiuk and her sister, third co-owner Tasha Norden, to convince the sisters’ husbands (also private business owners) that the time was right for them to invest in the franchise. Norden had been home in Nebraska, where she visited a Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery and fell in love with the product. She contacted Janiuk, who immediately went to the Eden Prairie franchise and agreed that the many-flavored cakes and their tasty cream cheese frosting were outstanding. Since the sisters already owned two early learning ventures (Primrose Schools in Edina and Plymouth) they knew an additional business investment might be a hard sell. “Our friend Jessica was visiting from Colorado at the time,” recalls Janiuk. “I asked her, ‘If Tasha and I could get our husbands to agree, would you run our Nothing Bundt Cakes store?’” While it involved a move from Colorado to Minnesota, Johnson says she’s never looked back.
For a free sample and fun activities, visit the store on October 15, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. during their Fall Festival.
The clean, tidy and quaint Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery sells many items besides cakes, including platters, picture frames, baskets, party items and greeting cards—everything to make it a one-stop gift shop. Their current staff numbers 25 (mostly locals), including bakers, frosters, decorators and crafters.
Employees are not the only connection Nothing Bundt Cakes in Maple Grove has to the community. The franchise donates about 100 dozen Bundtinis a week, including to Maple Grove 2016 graduation events and teacher appreciation celebrations. Other recipients of complimentary Nothing Bundt Cakes have included the St. Jude gala and the local children’s hospital, among many others. “We’re very interested in giving back to the community,” Janiuk says. It’s a formula that appears to work: not only do their cakes “make people happy,” Janiuk says, but a free taste is great advertising, too. “It often takes a new business 12 to 18 months to make a profit,” Janiuk says, but adds they were in the black after barely three months.