Oldie goodies: Tupelo’s oldest bakery, Creative Cakes, turns 30 – Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
TUPELO • The oldest bakery in Tupelo, Creative Cakes, officially turns 30 years old today, and Holly Whitworth Landers has been a part of the iconic business for more than half of those birthdays.
Landers began working for Creative Cakes founder Rose McCoy in 2005, and bought the business 10 years later when McCoy retired.
But Landers almost missed out.
“I had decorated cakes at home since I was 15, and in 2005 I came up here to fill out an application for a position,” she said. “I had come by a couple of weeks later to check on it, but she told me she had lost it. She told me in later years she actually threw it away.”
Undeterred, Landers filled out an application again. It somehow got “lost” twice more.
“But she finally hired me because I wasn’t going to give up,” Landers said with a laugh.
McCoy opened Creative Cakes originally as a cake decorating supply store. She also offered decorating lessons.
“I opened it on my 39th birthday, stepping into the building with the plan to continue teaching decorating classes and supplies, and to sell a few cakes on the side,” she said.
The original store was a mere 562 square feet, but McCoy was able to move into the current building a few years later.
But like so many things affected by the internet, Creative Cakes’ business model had to change. Cake decorating supplies could be ordered easily online, so baking became the biggest part of the business.
Landers came in during that transition, although McCoy had her doubts at first.
“I sent her on her first wedding cake delivery, and I thought she won’t want to do that again,” McCoy said.
Landers knew McCoy took special pride in her cakes, recipes she had developed herself. She wasn’t willing to share with just anybody, but Landers was determined to learn from the master.
“When I first started, I would do the birthday cakes, and when we got through, most of the staff would go home, and Rose would stay and work on wedding cakes,” Landers said. “I mentioned I would be interested in doing that because I helped out some at home. And she was like, ‘OK.'”
Reluctant at first, McCoy soon discovered that Landers was skilled and learned quickly.
“I learned so much from her, and had a lot of fun doing so,” Landers said. “She let me tiptoe into it, and then she threw me to the wolves.”
McCoy in 2012 opened a downtown bakery as cookie and cupcake sales grew. But, in 2015, …….