Lavender bricks outline the storefront of That Takes the Cake bakery, accenting the many pastel colored cupcakes that fill the shelves of the family-owned local business that holds a special place in the hearts of many Mills College students.
That Takes the Cake opened in 2007 on Union Street in San Francisco. In 2012, they relocated to their current location at Seminary and Camden (5855 MacArthur Blvd) in Oakland.
Rachel Bell, the current owner of the shop, is an alumnae of the Oakland Police and a former dispatcher for the police department,
which makes her slightly familiar with the area around East Oakland and Mills.
“There is a tight-knit community here and I love how the students and faculty of Mills College spread the word,” Bell said.
In keeping with the tightness of the community, Bell offers Mills students a buy-one-get-one-free promotion for cupcakes exclusively for Mills students.
“We want to be welcoming, especially to the new students,” Bell said, stating also that she knows college students are tight on cash.
That Takes the Cake is staffed by Bell and her brother, Michael. The shop also
staffs members of the Youth Employment Program (YEP), a program that helps troubled Oakland teens by providing opportunities for them to succeed, who get trained and paid by YEP for working in a professional kitchen.
Bell also keeps things interesting by changing the menu daily. Some flavors include Cookies and Cream, Samoa — like the Girl Scouts cookie in cupcake form, and Sassy Sistah — which is a marble of chocolate, vanilla and red velvet. There are also gluten-free and vegan options available, as well as cinnamon rolls, all baked fresh every day.
“I always want to challenge myself by baking different things,” Bell said.
Bell said the future goals for the shop are to increase sales and do more community events.
“We’re hoping to get enough sales to support having more family members working here,” Bell said.
That Takes the Cake, with its promotion for Mills students included, has relatively good reviews from students.
Sophomore Larri Parms-Ford really likes the customer service.
“The people in there are crazy nice!” Parms-Ford said.
Senior Alexandra Toledo, loves how close the shop is to Mills.
“Best cupcakes in the area! Especially [because it is] walking distance to Mills!” Toledo said.
For more information on the flavors That Takes the Cake has available, their daily menu, their available services, and about the shop itself, visit www.thattakesthecake.co or email firstname.lastname@example.org.