Busy Baker Builds Business on Family Farmstead

Carrie Low, a Heartland consumer-member from rural Cherokee, knew she could thrive as a full-time baker after the Chiefs made it to the Superbowl in 2020.

“It was crazy,” Low said. “Overnight we had orders for 100 dozen cookies.”

Low’s business, which started as a hobby, had been growing steadily ever since she decided to leave her job as a respiratory therapist at Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott. She made that decision in 2015 in order to to spend more time with her family at their home on the Low family farm.

Word spread quickly about Low’s delicious and intricately decorated treats, and the Superbowl experience convinced her it was time to set up shop with a full-blown bakery—but where was the best place to do it?

“I knew that in order to grow I had to get out of my kitchen,” Low said. “Then COVID hit and I thought, I don’t know how I’d make any money if I had a storefront in town, and I also thought how would I do everything that baking requires, like late nights and early mornings, and still have a family.”

The answer became clear: Low needed to build her bakery, The Cake Shed, right at home.

So far Carrie and her husband, Jerry, have added space totaling around 1,000 square feet to three sides of their house, providing room for commercial baking equipment and a storefront. They also enlisted Heartland to provide commercial-grade electrical service.

“I’m very proud to be able to have my bakery out here,” Low said. “It’s just a big deal.”

Low said her father farmed the land with his brothers and their father, and now her brother and husband farm together.

“My dad would just be super proud to see that something is coming of the land he invested in and the time and hard work. It’s neat to be able to make something else happen out here. And I love having people come out here and just seeing the farm.”

So far, customers seem plenty willing to take a little country drive to reach The Cake Shed. When preparing to-go orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, Low said the driveway “was like the McDonald’s drive-through.”

Next up for Low is getting a license to do more refrigerated treats like cream pies and cakes with cream cheese frosting.

Low shares frequent updates on her latest creations on The Cake Shed’s Facebook page.