Patticakes Celebrates 5 Years with the Opening of its New Downtown Location
A lot happened in 2009. Barack Obama started his first term in the Oval Office. The economy was on rocky soil, to say the least. Miley Cyrus was still Hannah Montana. And a nation was falling headlong for it’s long sought after ideal dessert: cupcakes.
I was living in Atlanta at the time when I visited New York City where I first ate the perfect cake-to- icing ratio treat. There was no turning back. Finding the best one and even making the best one became an obsession, and shortly therafter a family endeavor.
Jan Patterson (my mom) recalls Thanksgiving that year: “You and your dad [David Patterson] traveled around looking for cupcakes and sampling mixes. It brought us together and just made everyone happy. And made us all love cupcakes for good reason.”
My parents have recently launched the second location of the cupcake dream five years into their original endeavor. Patticakes Bakery was born September 2011 in Haile Plantation’s Village Center with a simple mission: bring excellent cupcakes and coffee to our community while creating a place for neighbors to gather.
We sat around the dinner table reminiscing the early days, the recent expansion, and the future of cupcakes here in Gainesville.
Erin Leigh: Remind me how we got here.
Jan: That’s always a great question…
David: You always tell this story!
J: Oh yeah! We’ve lived in the Village since 2006, and love it here. We love the restaurants and the Farmer’s Market, and love that our church [River Cross] meets here. We believed The Village needed a place where people could gather and linger, and meet their neighbors. We’d plan church meetings sometimes and not have anywhere to go to be able to just hang out for awhile. We fell in love with coffee after you started learning about the good work it can do, like provide fair wages when it’s purchased and cared for well.
E: I feel like I am part of this story more than I ever realized… Not sure if I should apologize for that?
D: That’s true. This is your fault.
J: Anyway, why cupcakes? Again, you.
E: Whose idea was the name “Patticakes”?
D: I wanted to call it Mocha Gusto.
J: Coffee & Cupcakes Emporium
E: Glad you both lost on that…
D: We wanted our name to be part of it, so Patti is from Patterson. And cakes is true to the birth of our business and what we’re about.
J: Before Patticakes I worked at the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s mission is to support the business community and development of Gainesville. Seeing entrepreneurs and business owners thrive was an inspiration to me. I wanted to be part of this side of business, which was another impetus for us to start Patticakes.
D: The connection to the Chamber also made a good connection to downtown GNV.
J: It was kind of like coming home! I love downtown Gainesville. Nick Banks tipped me off to the new location CRA was developing because they were looking for a business to be part of Bo Diddley Plaza, so we applied.
D: We weren’t looking to expand! But here we are.
J: I was excited to be downtown, and part of something like Bo Diddley Plaza. Also I love the CRA – I worked with them in the past, so I knew anything they do would be a good thing.
D: There are a lot of people moving into this city, so being part of that community is really valuable. Joining the revitalizing has been really exciting.
E: What’s the future of the Haile Village location?
J: To continue offering the same high quality delicious-ness everyone is accustomed to. The Haile team is so excited to be here.
D: In Haile, we have such great customers. That’s the best part of this business: being a part of people’s lives, becoming friends with our neighbors. I’m excited to see something like that grow downtown. It’s taken five years to get here, so we’re looking forward to that happening downtown. This will remain as HQ, and all our baking will still be done here.
J: Haile will always be our first love [heart eyes emoji]. We live here. We love it here. It’s a great place to live and a great place to be. We love having a business here for that reason.
D: I pastor the church right beside it, this is our home and we’re here for the long haul.
E: Mom, you’re the owner. What keeps you going? What does success look like to you?
J: Having a business that’s also a community is a platform I’ve been entrusted with and I don’t take that lightly. From the beginning, I’ve wanted to give back in any way I could, and issues related to women and girls have always been the priority for me.
Years ago, when you started learning and sharing about the disparity between girls’ opportunities to boys, that girls don’t get the same chance at an education, that is just not okay. You had been volunteering at the organization, She’s the First and I wanted to do something too. We host an annual bake sale with tie-dye cupcakes for girls’ education worldwide, and locally support Pace Center for Girls of Alachua County by donating cupcakes to their luncheon each year.
I’ve also worked at the local women’s resource center (SiraGainesville.com) and learned the ways women right here are often isolated and underappreciated. Patticakes can’t solve all the problems, but I believe we can make a small difference for women and girls. I want to help women walk in freedom as I’m learning to do – giving time and money is truly a gift to me. I hope to do more as we grow.
The new Patticakes downtown location is at 185 E University Ave. on Bo Diddley Plaza. The Haile Village Center location remains at 9124 SW 51st Road. Connect with them online at @patticakesGNV on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.