Entrepreneurial excellence: Fort Worth cake maker finds recipe for success

circle of honor

It’s bright, colorful and the air whiffs of batter and sugar inside the Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery on Camp Bowie Boulevard.

The bakery has welcomed plenty of smiling faces celebrating achievements from the grandest to the smallest in the last nine years.

On an average day, the bakery gets about 100 order calls, which together with walk-ins equates to about 300 item orders. On holidays, like Mother’s Day, Easter or Christmas, that number can jump to more than 900 orders for cakes.

Or, to be precise, for bundt cakes, bundtlets and bundtinis – the franchise bakery’s specialty.

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Still, that’s a lot of cake orders.

So much so that the bakery actually outperformed all the other Nothing Bundt Cakes locations across the U.S. and Canada this year. The company has more than 300 Nothing Bundt Cakes locations.

As a result, the Addison-based company recently awarded its 2019 Circle of Honor award to the Fort Worth bakery at a company-wide event.

The award was presented to Kathy Bonds, owner of the Fort Worth location. According to Nothing Bundt Cakes, Bonds and her bakery best embodied the company’s values.

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“Kathy [Bonds] was selected as the 2019 Recipient of the Circle of Honor because she exemplifies Nothing Bundt Cakes’ values of service to others and spreading joy,” said Susan Hern, company’s vice president of Operations and Training. “She runs a very successful bakery by taking great care of her team who in turn provide excellent guest service.”

The 1,800-square-feet bakery in Fort Worth currently employs 26 workers, led by a store manager and a head baker in the backend.

Bonds, who attests to being a bad cook and baker, supersedes as an effective supervisor to her employees and executive of her own business.

Before opening the bakery, Bonds worked in the education sector for more than two decades as a teacher and also in administrator roles. She has served the Arlington ISD, Hurst Euless Bedford ISD, Grapevine ISD and also a private school in Arlington.

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She is now on her way to open her second Nothing Bundt Cakes bakery in Weatherford later this year.

Operating such a high-performing bakery is no piece of cake, though.

Fort Worth Business Press talked to Bonds to learn more about her and her business.

Q: What made you want to take that leap into entrepreneurship?

Bonds: It was a great decision for me. Of course, I miss the children. I miss being involved with the children.

I think, when you’re an educator, you really have a servant’s heart. And, this business allows you to have the same, whether you’re serving the guests, or you’re serving your team members. We have a lot of young people who work for us and it’s nice to help them along their journey in life.

Q: What do you enjoy the most at your bakery?

Bonds: When people come in, they’re truly happy. We get to help them plan their special occasion. You get to be a part of whatever they’re celebrating, whether it’s a baby shower, a retirement. It’s really nice to know that you’re making them happy.

Q: Is there a secret recipe to running a successful business?

Bonds: The hard part for an entrepreneur is to know that you have to work in your business. You just can’t sit back and let it come to you. You have to be present in your business. You have to know that it’s a lot of work and you have to put a lot of heart and soul into it. I always say that it’s very simple, but you need to be there for the people.

Q: What was it like receiving the Circle of Honor award?

Bonds: To receive that award was a huge honor, because you hope every day that you’re doing the best for the brand. What we don’t ever want to happen is for somebody to go to a Nothing Bundt Cakes in another city or another state and not have the same experience. So, that consistency is very, very important.

Q: Apart from total sales, what else do you think makes your bakery different?

Bonds: We like to be at events that are paired with charities, so that we give back to the community. I think it’s very important that we’re there. We’re assisting the schools, we’re assisting Cook Children’s, we’re assisting the zoo. It’s very important that you give back to the community where you’re involved. As the community supports you, you need to support back.

Q: What is the best compliment you have received from a customer?

Bonds: Some of the older, wiser guests that come in and say, ‘I used to make really great carrot cake, but yours is just as good if not better.’ To me, that’s huge. Because it’s not just about selling a cake. You’re helping this person and they’re passing off a tradition to you. You don’t want to take that lightly.