16 Dec Another reason to love Alabama…
A couple years ago Liz was consuming a slightly old copy of Southern Living Magazine and read an article about a small business that made cakes… it was a cute story and she had torn out the article and saved it….she IS a bit of a paper pack rat.
The bakery was located in a small town in south central Alabama by the name of Andalusia. Yes, hard to remember, spell and pronounce but the location was remembered by Liz when we came back through Alabama from way out west. We had settled into a nice new campground south of Eufaula and Liz reminded me about this place called Dean’s Cake House. I read the crumpled and folded article and thusly another side trip was born!
We were actually about two hours drive away and while that’s much longer than we strive for we figured it would be well worth it. Me, a lover of all things out of a bakery wasn’t about to pass up this trip!!
The drive over was fun as we glided over the back roads and through many very small rural towns. The weather that morning was nice so we throughly enjoyed the trip from Eufaula. As we came into town finding the bakery was easy via our trusty GPS…how we survived before this technology I can barely remember. I do think using a GPS gives the driver a much more enjoyable trip and allows for seeing more scenery/sites and not having to watch every sign and road along the route. It took us about two Moon Pies and two cokes to make it to “Pipes Nirvana”. The sweet smells were wafting out of the front door as we approached – folks were coming out with big smiles and holding on dearly to their precious cakes.
When we came in Liz immediately recognized the older grey haired lady at the front register as the Founder and the namesake of the business Dean. Dean Jacobs started the bakery business in 1994 at the ripe young age of 60. Before we could make our way to say hello to Mrs. Jacobs we were welcomed by one of her daughters who was so friendly and helpful. We told her about our planned visit, the article and our travel business, etc. and that we did want to buy a truckload of cakes, pies, fudge until our money ran out but that we’d love to meet her mom and interview her briefly and maybe shoot a quick fun video with her.
We were introduced to Dean and she could not have been sweeter to us, especially Liz…I was just the fat guy looking to buy out the store. Liz told Dean all about our interest the article, etc. Liz showed her the story and the page that depicted about a dozen of the ladies that worked for her at the time baking or icing cakes, cookies, fudge, etc. Seems all of her staff are senior citizens and Dean looked over the pics and was telling Liz who was still there and not – only one or two had left her due to age or health reasons but was beaming at the pictures.
Dean’s Cake House has a tag line: ” Home of the Famous Seven Layer Cake” and I mean they are popular! In addition to the seven layer cakes they offer a Half cake which is four layers and a two-layer cake. The flavors seem to be about endless….chocolate, lemon cheese, caramel, coconut, Italian Cream, German chocolate, butternut, red velvet, carrot, and the near deadly Lady Baltimore Cake just to name a few. The latter of this partial line-up is made as a two layer cake with two thick layers of puffy icing full of coconut, cherries, and pecans. I was slobbering all over the counter while fumbling to settle up.
With a team of approximately 18 employees they are turning out 350-400 cakes each day along with home-made pies, cookies, fudge and can still do custom cakes for their thousands of loyal customers. We loved our visit and will forever remember how well we were treated for pics and the video we did to share with our audience.
Andalusia is a town that was settled in 1841 after folks living in the general area were forced to move to higher ground due to flooding. The “New Site” as it was called initially became Andalusia in 1846 after everyones socks dried out. The name is odd – looking it up the origin is Spanish from when the they were originally occupied the word meaning, beautiful, rare, amazing, or out of ordinary. The town is located in south central part of the state and lies only 90 minutes from the Florida panhandle beaches. A population of only about 9,800 residents it seems to be a nice place to live.
Looking at the real estate market, I spotted a home for sale by owner at 305 E. College Ave. for only $90,000. It offers 2,300 sf with 4 bedrooms and 4 baths. Built in 1900 it seems to be an excellent value for the money!!
We hope you’ll try a cake from Dean’s Cake House in your future….maybe a fresh home-made pie? Or chocolate fudge?? HaHa you get the message.
Dean’s Cake House 402 Snowden Drive, Andalusia, AL 36420 Here’s their website