Two Perry County natives have opened up a new and unique business on Main Street in Hazard. Py Cakes, pronounced like “pie,” offers handmade cakes, cupcakes, coffee and sandwiches with an individual flair.
Py Cakes is the dream of two sisters, Jennifer Noble and Shawna Bowling, who started baking cakes for family and were soon being asked to create cakes for friends and events. After a little while, they began thinking about turning this talent into a business.
“We started our Facebook page, and it just went crazy,” Bowling said.
They began looking at different options for a physical location, but knew that they wanted to bring their business to Hazard’s downtown area. One day Bowling was driving through Hazard when she saw a for rent sign on an office space across from Hazard Insurance. Within just a few days, the girls took a closer look at the space and signed a lease.
“We came down and looked at it, and the next day we were just here,” said Bowling. “It just happened.”
In the early days of Hazard, Main Street was the center of commerce and entertainment, but as the city expanded the businesses moved away from the downtown area. Noble noted that she had seen photos of Main Street in its heyday, and hopes their business can help contribute to the downtown area in a positive way.
“We knew from the very beginning when we were looking at opening a business, we wanted to open on Main Street,” said Noble.
Noble said that she believes in signs that have helped guide much of their business so far. Much like finding the space, the sisters found their unique name trough the power of positive thinking and watching for signs. Their favorite colors are pink and yellow.
“Everywhere we went we saw pink and yellow,” said Bowling. They took the first two letters of the colors and their business had a name.
After finding the perfect location and name for their business, Noble and Bowling figured that they would be ready to open in just a few weeks. The space had never been used as a kitchen, so the more they got in to the project the larger it became.
“It was pretty bad, the floor was uneven and this wall wasn’t up,” said Bowling. “We had to do painting and fix windows. It took six months.”
But the work was worth it, and now they now have a new business location, and also a new addition to the business community in Hazard.
“Everybody is always saying you have to go off from here to do something,” added Bowling. “We just wanted to see some place for our kids, some place for them to go.”
In the short three weeks the store has been open, the girls have found themselves overwhelmed with business. They are making around 20 custom cakes a week and hundreds of cupcakes. They currently have people booking cakes all the way into December.
They are also continuing to experiment, and are looking for suggestions.
“We are learning as we go,” said Bowling.
They intially considered opening a candy shop before deciding to work within their strengths and making cupcakes and selling cakes. Their Main Street location is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has different flavors of cupcakes every day. They said that the biggest sellers so far have been butterfinger and strawberry. The most unique flavor has been maple bacon.
Both Noble and Bowling noted that all of their cupcakes have been very well received.
“We have regular customers already,” said Noble. “We have people that eat here everyday.”