best of 2015 cake
“Sometimes I think a sweet is a comforting thing that is linked to a memory,” says Barb Talevich, the owner of West Side Bakery. Located in both Akron and Green, this bakery café has been making memories sweeter for the last 20 years. From basic cookies and cakes, to breakfast pastries and scones, each of these delicious offerings are created on site by hands that carefully mold each into its final shape.
The cakes themselves are showstoppers. Talevich says that many customers come into the bakery for an entirely different reason, but can’t help checking out the detailed cakes. “They’ll stop at the cakes because it is the first thing you see and they’ll say, ‘Oh my gosh, look at this one!’ or, ‘Oh, that’s so pretty,’” says Talevich. Though they don’t need a cake, they can’t help but admire the craftsmanship behind them. “That’s a fabulous compliment to get from your customers,” says Talevich proudly.
Many celebrations just wouldn’t feel right without the perfect cake—especially weddings. West Side Bakery has created some amazing wedding cakes over the years, but one that stands out to Talevich is a cake that matched a bride’s dress. “When I delivered the cake, she happened to be there and today I remember that feeling. She was so excited and happy and jumping up and down and hugging me. She kept saying how wonderful it was,” she says. “To make somebody that happy makes all of that hard work worth it.”
Despite primarily being a place to satisfy sweet cravings, the bakery has a healthy side too. Their lunch program features grab-and-go meals that are all made in house. “People are changing the way they eat. Everyone wants to eat healthier. [However] people are still going to do special occasions and that’s never going to change.” The healthier options allow people to still enjoy what the bakery has to offer, without completely spoiling their diets.
But every once in a while, a little treat is the perfect addition to your day. For Talevich, her top pick is a simple one. “My favorite is our chocolate chip cookie. It’s so good and chewy, crispy and sweet. It’s really the perfect little treat.”