Local couple makes Andalusia a little sweeter with Smallcakes

Published 11:00 am Saturday, July 15, 2023

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Christyl and Tom Hines have brought their sweet tooth to the community with the opening of a Smallcakes franchise in Andalusia.

Christyl and Tom Hines are the new owners of Smallcakes Andalusia. (PHOTO BY ZACK MAIO)

The couple first heard about Smallcakes through some friends who opened a location in Foley and thought it would be a great fit for Andalusia. Their grand opening was Thursday at 10 a.m.

“We have friends who were investing with their family in Foley about starting their own Smallcakes franchise. We visited their business there and supported them with no intentions of doing it locally, but our wheels started turning. I’ve had a long relationship with our manager and baker Danielle (White) who has been making cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more for my family and children close to seven or eight years,” Christyl said.

She spoke to her husband Tom about opening their own business and felt it would be great to utilize Danielle’s experience and knowledge as the manager of the shop.

“We started looking into everything and asking questions about four months ago. It has not been very long, so we have come a long way very quickly. The space at the former Town and Country location became available and we felt it would be the perfect location. This whole renovation process took approximately five weeks to turn into what is now Sweetcakes Andalusia.”

When they are not at the shop, Christyl serves the community as a nurse practitioner at Andalusia Pediatrics.

Tom is a land surveyor with his own business. Both are grateful to serve their hometown.

“We have lived here our whole lives and went to college in Troy but had a desire to come back to this community. My parents have witnessed support from Andalusia for 30-plus years now with their business. It’s a wonderful place to raise kids. We are hoping to bring more awareness to our little town and are so grateful for the support we have already received from the community,” she said.

The chain Smallcakes traditionally offers cupcakes and ice cream but gives its franchises the option of serving additional items. One example the couple has brought in will be cheesecake.

“The cheesecakes are a personal touch to our store. Danielle and Sammie (Parker) have a lot of custom cakes they also incorporate,” Tom said. “We also do cake pops, although Smallcakes does not require them. With Danielle and Sammie’s custom cakes, we are offering their artistic abilities to anything,” Christyl added.

Products offered will be cupcakes in three sizes: mini, medium (special order only), and large, along with cakes, cheesecakes, handmade ice cream, cake pops, cookie sandwiches, and macarons. There will be 12 signature flavors available in large made fresh daily along with specialty flavors depending on the time of year or season. Gluten-free options are available but only through special order.

The process takes approximately an hour and a half to bake 120 cupcakes from start to finish. According to Smallcakes, there is a timeline and procedure to be followed.

“They will be sold within a 24-hour period of being baked. On day one, they are to be sold fresh on the shelf. On day two, they move to the back, but a specialty flavor can still be sold if a customer requests one. After the first two days, they are not to be sold. Freshness is something Smallcakes polices the most,” Tom said.

One of the requirements the couple had to complete prior to opening was Smallcakes’ “Sweet Success” training program.

“We had to go to the training led by a lady who owns three Smallcakes. They teach you how to be most efficient. We went to Valdosta, Georgia, and Statesboro, Georgia,” Tom added.

In addition, they hope to host birthday parties and other events.

“We have four children, and everything good seems to happen to us every two years. This is a great space for us to start our business. We will have plenty of space to do events,” he said. “We would love to be able to offer people the opportunity to book events at our shop. We are open to any ideas and have even been approached to do a date night,” she added.

Christyl and Tom Hines are the parents of four children: Saylor, 8; Remi, 6; Rush, 4; Lincoln, 2. The local store will currently have seven employees (two full-time, five part-time) in addition to the two owners. All will cross-train between running the front counter and baking in the kitchen.

Founded in 2008 in Overland Park, Kansas, by Jeff Martin, Smallcakes is a nationwide cupcakery and creamery with 200 locations, including three locations in Alabama.

Smallcakes Andalusia is located in the Trio Shopping Center at 286C West Bypass. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

For more information visit smallcakesandalusia.com, email smallcakesandy@gmail.com, check out Smallcakes Andalusia on Facebook, or call 334-504-9358.