Nothing Bundt Cakes re-introduces locals to mid-century favorite

by:      -     Cupcakes may be the long-reigning champions of trendy baked goods, but there’s a new challenger in town: the Bundt cake.

Nestled in Martinazzi Square Shopping Center in Tualatin, the Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery is one of 66 franchises throughout the country, with the largest concentration in Texas, California and its native Nevada. This is Oregon’s first Nothing Bundt Cake bakery.

And they really only sell Bundt cakes, and nothing but Bundt cakes. Like the cupcake, the ring-like pastry is characterized by its shape, rather than any one common recipe.

In fact, Nothing Bundt Cakes offers nine permanent flavors — chocolate-chocolate chip, white-white chocolate, red velvet, white chocolate raspberry, carrot, lemon, marble, cinnamon swirl and pecan praline — and one, changing, seasonal one. This month it is pineapple upside down cake.

The brand’s power comes largely from nostalgia: Bundt cakes were popularized in the U.S. by NordicWare founder H. David Dalquist in 1950, and quickly became a fixture of many mid-century American kitchens. As of December 2012, NordicWare claims to have sold nearly 60 million Bundt cake pans nationwide.

Nothing Bundt Cakes is located at 19283-B S.W. Martinazzi Ave, in Tualatin. For more information about the franchise, visit their website.

Why Bundt?

Burger’s decision to adopt founder Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz’s successful business model, which has been paying off since 1997, comes from a different kind of nostalgia: She and her family have been loyal patrons of its Vegas locations for the past 15 years.

“I 100 percent — 200 percent — believe in the brand,” Burger said. “We fell in love with cake, and then it just went on from there.”

Burger does not identify as a baker, but no matter. By now, she says, the recipes have been perfected by Nothing Bundt Cakes founders.

Christie Burger owns the franchise with her husband, Todd, and friends Michelle and Shawn Roche. Burger taught next door to Michelle for 12 years in Las Vegas, and the Roches also relocated to the Portland metropolitan area.

Burger taught at the elementary school level for 15 years, and with her husband also runs Las Vegas-based Element Resources, which supplies mass transit companies nationwide with automotive glass, window film and mirrors.

But as their two young sons were nearing school age, the current Tigard residents decided they wanted to live somewhere green, with a smaller school district.

“I tend to be an adventurous person,” Burger said. She and her husband originally hail from Indiana, but have traveled together to such far-flung places as China and Africa.

“I think we’re just very adventurous spirits,” Burger added. “I think we were just ready for something new. And moving is no big deal for us.”

Creating a craving

On the one hand, establishing a bakery in a market that has no direct Bundt cake competitors has its advantages. At the same time, being in a less penetrated market means the Burgers and the Roches have their work cut out for them when it comes to re-acquainting the local customer base with Bundt cake.

The hard part will be re-introducing locals to Bundt cake, Burger said, but added that their location near I-5 and off Nyberg Road is luckily fairly central to Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood and Wilsonville customers.

To celebrate the bakery’s opening, the Burgers and the Roches have scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May 8 with the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce, followed by a Community Action group benefit on Friday, May 10, when 20 percent of all sales are pledged to the local poverty resource nonprofit.

A questionable greeting

Open since Friday, Nothing Bundt Cakes got a less-than-warm welcome with Monday morning’s jarring mass-burglary of six businesses in the Martinazzi Square Shopping Center.

Tualatin police reported that unidentified suspects broke into one store, then accessed five neighboring retailers by climbing through ceiling rafters and knocking holes in the walls.

Nothing Bundt Cakes was not one of the six businesses targeted.

“We have lights that we keep on all night, and the police feel that’s what deterred them from our business,” Burger said.

Though the suspects remained at large as of The Time’s press deadline, Burger and her co-owners remained undeterred by the crime.

“We cannot wait to share our love of this cake with others and to see the expression of joy on faces as they taste our cakes,” Burger said.

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