Rebecca Rogers baked her first cake for her father in her Northeast Philly kitchen almost a decade ago.
A self-taught contriver of confection, she now owns Puddin’s Cake Corner in Tacony, the first of its kind for the fledgling neighborhood in more than 20 years.
Rogers and Puddin’s recently celebrated a ribbon-cutting and she told Metro she’s happy to see development in an area that’s gotten little attention over the years in terms of business – small business – at the very least.
“I did it with the intention of having a showroom for my specialty cakes – to offer different flavors and stuff. But it’s definitely different from any kind of bakery I’ve ever seen,” said Rogers.
“We do odd, trendy things. Today we had bacon-loaded sticky buns. Wednesday is bacon day. We had bacon-topped cupcakes,” she said.
“There’s such a high demand for quality pastries, and I feel people in this neighborhood are looking for hope that things are going to get better. The ‘hood has been struggling for a while.”
Rogers said she’s seen an enormous outpouring of support from the entire neighborhood, including members of the Tacony Civic Association and the city councilman who represents the district, Councilman Bobby Henon.
Henon praised the work of those who will be taking advantage of the city’s new storefront improvement program, which invests incommercial corridors by installing new streetlights, sidewalks, resurfaced streets, and other commodities.
“Tacony is an emerging neighborhood,” said Henon.
“In the form of new businesses, we have a new coffee shop in the neighborhood and a bakery is just what was missing. It doesn’t get better than having a homegrown Tacony resident opening up a local Tacony business. We couldn’t be happier.”
Before Puddin’s existed, the space within the building on the 4800 block of Princeton Ave. was an empty shell owned by Joe Sanutti, who also owns a funeral home at the other end of the block.
Rogers said Puddin’s offers a cake shop/dessert bar/coffee house all in one, where customers can come in, sit down and dine in, if they like. Average birthday and christening cakes start in the $25 to $35 range. Specialty and wedding cakes range from $225 to $1,000. There’s even a fireplace if folks want to stay a while.
Rogers said,“Everyone keeps saying, you’re bringing the neighborhood back.”