NORFOLK — Jen Anglin has a secret — a secret so great that she’s built a business around it: the secret recipe, she said, to a melt-in-your-mouth pound cake that everyone wants to try.
Anglin is the owner of Pownd Cakes, a local shop that sells various pound cake flavors and locally roasted coffee.
Her non-traditional pound cake recipe makes the cakes much lighter, more melt-in-your-mouth, she said.
“You still taste cake, the flavors don’t overpower the cake itself,” she noted.
The recipe she uses is a shared family recipe that only a select few know.
When she got her hands on the recipe she was given one rule: don’t share it with anyone.
So whenever she made her pound cake, which she did for almost every major event, people would ask her for the recipe and then when told no, they asked if they could buy one instead.
Creating that ‘stress-free zone’
Baking for her is a stress-free zone.
Before stepping into the small business world Anglin worked in the corporate world for more than 20 years.
“I’m a bit of an accidental baker,” she laughed.
Last year, around March 2018, she got her business license and started baking at a commercial kitchen in Virginia Beach.
From there she took her pound cakes to pop-ups, events and so on.
What started as a stress free-zone was quickly turning into a stress zone for her.
“It got to a place where that wasn’t a whole lot of fun,” she said, she wanted a space where people could come and buy her cakes and pick up deliveries instead of her having to go all over the place with them.
By the end of the summer of 2018, she made the decision to find her first brick-and-mortar space.
Her friends had just opened up Board and Brush in Ghent and there was an empty space across the parking lot from them, she said.
After working with the space’s owners on the details and a few months of construction, she was open for business.
Putting the ‘Pow’ in Pownd cakes
Anglin’s Pownd Cakes are one of a kind, she said, and she wanted her shop to reflect that.
She brainstormed with some friends and came up with the phrase “Pownd Cakes” just like the superhero phrase “POW!”
From there she worked with local artists to design her comic book-themed shop with an image of the city skyline on the wall and a batman style beacon with her shop’s name in it.
“Business has been incredible,” she said.
She has been humbled by the amount of people who’ve come to buy her cakes and hopes in the future to expand her partnerships with the community.
Her cakes come in six different flavors on a given day: chocolate, coconut, caramel, lemon, cinnamon and almond.
The cakes come in three sizes, four inches for $5, eight inches for $20 and 10 inches for $30.
Stop by her shop in Ghent to try a sample.