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Bill submitted to make strawberry shortcake for dessert in Florida

Bill submitted to make strawberry shortcake for dessert in Florida

Wink news

Florida is known for its key lime pie. As a result, some oppose the submission of new bills. Now there is a push to make strawberry shortcake the official dessert of the state.

I’m wondering if key lime pie and strawberry shortcake really need to be chosen. State legislators say we don’t.

Key lime pie is the official Florida pie. Now there is a push to make strawberry shortcake our official dessert. Bess Charles owns Lady Bakery in Cape Coral. “That is, key lime pie is a pie after all. Strawberry shortcake is a cake. So if we have a state cake and a state pie, why don’t we have both?” Charles Said.

Plant City MP Lawrence McClure is a man seeking strawberry shortcake. His neck in the Florida Forest is known for its strawberries. And companies in southwestern Florida, like 31 produce, rely on strawberries.

Paige Grenwell is the manager of 31 Produce. “I don’t know how many small places where strawberries are planted between here and Plant City. Farms like us. That’s a big attraction. It’s a great idea because people love to choose them. I think it is, “Glenwell said.

Nationally, Florida is known for its oranges, but strawberries are also a big seller. “I think we’re generally a big agricultural industry, but yes, I think strawberries are something people don’t think of first,” Glenwell said. “You can’t beat fresh Florida strawberries, especially when you have a little cold snaps. It actually sweetens them. It’s delicious.”

Of course, many are still part of the key lime pie. So do you have a state pie, a state dessert, or both? The state will know when lawmakers will return to Tallahassee in January.

WINK News wants to hear from you. Should there be a state dessert as well? Or is the state pie enough?

Cape Coral bakery serves up election-themed treats

Cape Coral bakery serves up election-themed treats

There’s more than politics on the menu at one Southwest Florida business, where they’re dishing up delicious cakes and cupcakes with patriotic themes.

This Election Day means a lot to Bess Charles, whose passion this election season drove her to the polls for the first time.

“I had never felt as passionate as I do this year to go out and vote. So I voted,” she said.

Charles, who owns Lady Cakes Bakery in Cape Coral, then used that same passion by creating patriotic treats on Tuesday.

“It’s a divided bakery. We have people who support each candidate here at the bakery. So we didn’t want to make that known but you’ll see the red, blue, and white, which supports both.”

Charles’ main message to her customers is to get out and vote.

“If you’re going to sit and have an opinion and vocalize your opinion, then you need to vote. You need to teach your children to vote. Teach your children to have an opinion. Teach your children to vocalize their opinion.”

And when you’re done, treat yourself to something sweet. Charles said she thinks a lot of people will be glad when this election is over.

She said her goal was to bring red and blue together, which is why there aren’t any Trump- or Biden-specific treats in her bakery.

See Wink News Article here:

LadyCakes shows spooktacular treats for kids at home

LadyCakes shows spooktacular treats for kids at home

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — This year’s spookiest holiday might look a bit different due to the CDC’s encouragement to keep trick-or-treaters indoors during the pandemic.

For parents looking to plan a safer celebration for kids, LadyCakes in Cape Coral recommends baking festive treats from home.

In this morning’s segments, owner Bess Charles shows a few ways families can decorate spooktacular cookies and cupcakes.

She says they will also carry their own Halloween-inspired treats at the bakery soon.

Visit Fox News article here:

Consensus on masks for protection against COVID-19 remains up in the air

Consensus on masks for protection against COVID-19 remains up in the air

Despite the rising number of coronavirus cases across Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis remains firm masks in the sunshine state are optional. This comes as more evidence suggests wearing masks could help slow the spread. And local businesses are stuck in the middle of these changing and conflicting reports.

Monday, we heard from a former FDA leader, who says mask implementation, whether enforced or not, will be one of the best ways to ensure the country does not shut down the way it did originally.

And we spoke to a small business in Southwest Florida about how it continues to roll with the guidelines and do everything possible to keep its doors open and customers and staff safe.

Bess “LadyCakes” Charles is the co-owner of LadyCakes Bakery in Cape Coral. She says the unknowns surrounding COVID-19 and how it will affect her business continue to be on the forefront of daily life.

“There is no day-to-day monotony, Charles said. “I like to kind of keep things new and interesting and every day, and the bakery is just that.”

Charles says one of her favorite things about baking is the opportunity for things to change. But since the pandemic began, her business has needed to do a lot of that.

“We’ve lost a lot of business because, obviously, your business is structured around events. You can’t have big birthday parties and big weddings right now,” Charles said. “We’re trying to implement and change, be a chameleon. So to say, in order to still make the profits to keep our business going.”

Charles is focused on keeping the bakery open, her staff safe and her customers comfortable. She and rest of the staff at LadyCakes wear masks at the bakery.

“We’re not asking for people to wear a mask when they come in,” Charles said. “But, when they walk through the door and they see us wearing masks, I feel like that will make customers more comfortable, knowing that we’re taking precautions for them.”

But the debate around masks remains divided. DeSantis continues to publicly say it’s your choice. And the current CDC guidance has it going both ways, recommending that you wear a mask when you leave the house, then recommending people wear a mask if they cannot properly social distance.

Still, others such as Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA commissioner, says masks are one of the best ways to keep society from shutting down again.

“We’re not going to want to shut down businesses again,” Gottlieb said. “We’re not going to want to shut down the economy. So there’s not many tools we can reach for. We can go toward universal masking, something that’s been controversial in some of these states. But there’s not much, much else you can do.”

The CDC is expected to update its policy on masks soon. Its scientists have been looking into whether masks can actually protect people from contracting COVID-19 and not just prevent them from spreading it.

For Charles, the back and forth can be a lot. But she says it’s worth it.

“It’s difficult to come up with all the changes that are happening,” Charles said. “The bottom line here is I want to make sure that my employees are safe, that my husband and I are safe, that my clients are safe. And, if there’s a rule that we need to follow, we’ll hear about it, and we’ll follow it.”

LadyCakes Bakery delivers comfort in Cape Coral

LadyCakes Bakery delivers comfort in Cape Coral

During this pandemic, a lot of folks are turning to their comfort foods.

And in the Cape Coral area, one of the favorites is LadyCakes Bakery.

Located at 2924 Del Prado Blvd., Bess and Jeff Charles have co-owned the bakery since 2014.

“Cupcake and cookie sales are up,” Bess said. “They’re up a lot. I’m glad we extended free delivery, even though we’re working twice as hard.”

“Most people are stress eating. Our bread and butter are wedding and birthday cakes but those are cut off now because of social distancing. But customers want the cupcakes and cookies so they can put them on the counter and snack on them.”

Customers also donated money that Bess and Jeff used to make cupcakes for first responders. “Firefighters and police, anybody we could think of,” Bess said. “There was such an outpouring of support that we had to stop. Once we catch up with the donations, we’ll start it back up.”

Here are a few things to know about LadyCakes:

How did the business start?: Beginning in 2006, Bess made cakes from home while Jeff was a restaurant manager.

Bess Charles said her cakes have replicated “Little Shop of Horrors,” a hearse, planes, helicopters and dinosaurs.
“A great customer said way back in the beginning that I needed to open a bakery,” Bess said. “I kind of shrugged it off, although that was my idea.”

After eight years, Bess felt overwhelmed as she tried to take care of her family while running her business from home.

“It was around midnight and I had two small children running around, I hadn’t eaten and (Jeff) comes in the door and says, ‘Did you make dinner?’” she recalled. “I said, ‘I can’t do this anymore. We have to do something. We have to have a separation. I think we need to open up a shop.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Let’s do it.’ He quit his job and we took everything we had and poured it into the bakery. It was the scariest thing.”

Within 6-8 months, Bess said the bakery started to make a profit thanks to a big break.

Cupcakes on display at LadyCakes Bakery in Cape Coral.
What was the big break?: In 2014, the same year Bess and Jeff opened, Chris and Lisa Ketcham closed Mason’s Bakery after 59 years.

“I reached out to him, being the newbie,” Bess said. “I said, ‘Is there anything I can help in your transition or whatever you can pass on in advice would be helpful.’ He said, ‘Actually, this is wonderful. I’m going to send you all my wedding contracts.’ There were different resorts in the community that were looking for wedding cakes.

“That catapulted us.”

Within two years, Lady Cakes had gone to making 2,000 wedding cakes and 1,000 birthday cakes. In 2019, Bess and Jeff and their team of Deana (3D sculpting), Deb (buttercream frosting) and Danielle (“a little bit of everything”) did 3,500 wedding cakes.

“I have no idea on (birthday cakes),” Bess said. “I kind of lost track. That’s a good thing, right?”

Need toilet paper? LadyCakes Bakery in Cape Coral has you covered … in cake form.
What kind of cakes do they make?: The Food Network has a show called “Ace of Cakes” featuring Duff Goldman. Bess said their business is similar.

“We have had pretty funny and interesting requests,” Bess said. “We’ve done some pretty elaborate, show-stopping, amazingly huge cakes.”

The biggest was a nine-tier cake that included 200 sugar flowers and fed more than 650 people.

“That was the first time I had to deliver it in more than two pieces,” Bess said. “The bottom section was well over 100 pounds.”

Bess said other cakes have replicated “Little Shop of Horrors,” a hearse, planes, helicopters and dinosaurs.

What’s the favorite flavor?: Whether it’s cakes or cupcakes, Bess said it’s salted caramel pretzel. “We created that before we opened,” Bess said. “It was by accident.”

Other favorites are caramel mocha, raspberry and lemon.

Favorite cookies include chocolate chip, double chocolate chip, M&Ms and peanut butter.

Customers also donated money that Bess and Jeff Charles used to make cupcakes for first responders. “Firefighters and police, anybody we could think of,” Bess said. “There was such an outpouring of support that we had to stop. Once we catch up with the donations, we’ll start it back up.”
“His grandmother’s recipe and my grandmother’s were almost identical,” Bess said.

What are the future plans?: Bess said many business consultants and business owners have suggested she and Jeff should franchise LadyCakes.

“We don’t want to grow that way,” she said. “We want to grow within the community. We feel Cape Coral and Southwest Florida made us who we are. We’d like to branch out in Southwest Florida.”

And she’s an author: Bess wrote a children’s book she published in November 2019 called “The Adventures of LadyCakes: Kindness is Sweet.”

“The main character, Rosie, is loosely based on me as a child and the love that I had baking with my mom,” Bess said.

It is available on Amazon. Go to for details.

What: LadyCakes

Where: 2924 Del Prado Blvd., Cape Coral

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday

Ordering?: A list of available goodies can be found on LadyCakes’ FaceBook page and website every day. Pick up or delivery available. Free delivery in Cape Coral. Call 549-2253.

Online: or find them on FaceBook

View Wink News article here:

Cape Coral bakery uses cupcake donations to sweeten tough times

Cape Coral bakery uses cupcake donations to sweeten tough times

LadyCakes says they’re using cupcakes to sweeten tough times in Southwest Florida.

For a discounted rate, people can donate a box to have them delivered to their hometown hero of choice.

The owner says it’s a way to give back with the help of the community’s support.

“I was trying to come up with a way that we could still help the community, but in turn ask the community to help us. What we’ve done is with every order placed at LadyCakes, we’re asking for donations to help us donate cupcakes to first responders,” said Bess Charles, owner of LadyCakes Bakery.

Charles says this also helps her own small business, which has seen more than 200 custom orders canceled due to the coronavirus.

The bakery has been finding creative ways to keep business, like a new cake designed as toilet paper that’s light-hearted and fun.

“All small businesses, ours included, have had to find new ways in order to get new customers and our existing customers to realize we need you, we need orders, and we need you to come support us now more than ever,” said Charles.

LadyCakes Bakery is now offering delivery on all their orders of $20 or more.

They say deliveries in Cape Coral are free.

See Fox 4 News article here:

About LadyCakes Bakery

LadyCakes is Cape SW Florida’s #1 Bakery for custom cakes for any event.  Stop in and grab some Cupcakes or a Cake To Go.
We look forward to helping you create a cake that will wow your guests at your next event.

Bess & Jeff Charles

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Our Hours

Monday9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday9:00 AM - 5:00 PM