New bakery on way to Portales

By Eamon Scarbrough

PORTALES — A new business set to arrive in Portales will bring products the community hasn’t seen before, according to its owners.
Sweet Cakes Bakery, located on the Portales town square, should be open in two weeks and will offer a wide array of baked goods and other food items, according to co-owner Julie Rooney.

“Sweet Cakes Bakery is the back of the house, and that sells to The Happy Place, which is the front of the house. Happy Place, we’ll offer all of the goodies to our customers,” she said. “We’re gonna have cookies, cakes, pies, cake pops, bark and turtles, and we’re looking into gluten-free options, because I know a lot of people with Celiac (Disease), and then also vegan options.”

According to Rooney, she and co-owner Mary Newell had discussed opening a business together. When Newell needed a bakery to house her baking business and Rooney wanted to open a candy and yarn shop, the two decided to open Sweet Cakes.

“I’ve been baking for the past eight years out of my house, for people that I know, doing cakes and cookies and cupcakes and stuff. My business has grown to the point where I needed a place,” said Newell. “Julie and I have talked about this for a long time. I’ve wanted to do one forever, and then when she called me and said, ‘I’m doing a candy store. Wanna come?’ I was like, ‘OK, let’s do it.’”

In addition to culinary options, Sweet Cakes will offer knitting supplies and classes, including how to crochet and dye yarn, and will serve as a place for residents to socialize, complete with cell phone charging stations and free wi-fi, according to Rooney.

“We’ve heard from a lot of the college students; they’d like a place to hang out where they didn’t have to be 21. I, myself, have been looking for a place to sit down, nibble something and work on my yarn, but none of the places in town were adaptable to that,” she said.

Rooney noted that she wants Sweet Cakes to be immersed in the community as much as possible.

“I really want to be a community-involved business. We want to bring back the old-fashioned bakery, candy counter experience that you don’t get anymore,” she said. “We want to be a drop-off point for any projects made for the Cancer Center — if people are making chemo hats and want to donate them — and be a drop-off point for the Pregnancy Resource Center, and then also for the Freedom Foundation, which helps homeless vets.”