Cleveland Baker Makes Heavenly Treats for Southeastern Grocery Stores
Behind every cake at Cleveland's T&L Baking, there's almost thirty years of family experience.
Owner Laurie Pavlou says, "We purchased a vacant lot and built half the building and started real small. We had one oven, one table, one sink and we started doing Greek pastries."
But their Chattanooga distributor made a special "heavenly" request, and T&L's angel food cake was born. "They were selling about 500 cakes a week at busy season," says Laurie's husband Thomas. "And when they were distributing our cakes they were selling about 2,000 cakes a week."
Angel food cakes are so delicate, the batter has to be redistributed from bottom to top several times during the mixing process. It's all part of the fine-tuning that comes from a baker with a background in industrial management. "For years I just woke up and say 'how can I improve this cake,'" Thomas thought, "this angel food cake."
Once the pans are full, it's on the ovens that run from 6 am to 7 at night. "You want to be consistent in height, texture, the color to be even," Laurie says. "It's difficult because when you take an angel food cake out of the oven, you can see the top but when we take it out of the pan, to put them in the bag you are looking at the bottom."
When the magic number of minutes is met, the cakes come out, cool and are cut so that every one of the 2400 cakes made per day is consistent.
Once they are popped out of the pan and bagged, these traditional tasty treats are boxed up and taken first to a distributor, and then a range of grocery stores.
"We specialize in angel food and pound cake that are home-style," Laurie explains, "so it's more like what grandma makes and the stores really like them. The customers really look for those kind of cakes."
All with a label that started in Cleveland, and carries its name across the Southeast.
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