You can always taste when something is made from the heart and at Short Street Cakes in Asheville, it's nothing but a love fest. Proprietor and head baker, Jodi Rhoden finds her bliss by creating delicious cakes for those that walk through her front door. Jodi bakes in the Southern tradition and according to her, (and may I add, a majority of customers) it's the most flavorful way. Whereas the french tradition offers a lot of sponges, creams and tortes that are light and less sweet, Southern cakes have pecans, coconut, banana, strawberry, cream cheese, sour cream, tropical fruits...or as she says, "just more ingredient-ful."
Jodi is a delight in person, full of the same warmth and colorful energy that her cozy shop embodies. Sadly, I'm allergic to eggs but Jodi quickly served me a Vegan Chocolate Cupcake that I was surprised to find tasted better than the chocolate cupcakes I used to eat. Licking the plate, I thought of how she must never take another job.
There is nothing cookie cutter about Jodi or her cakes as individuality and creativity reign supreme. Popular cakes include the Dark Vegan Chocolate and the Strawberry Short Street, as well as a bevy of spice, sweet potato and carrot cakes. The Ashevelvet creates oohs and aahs too, which is a red velvet without the food coloring. All of the extracts used in the cakes are pure and organic and Jodi buys local whenever possible. Pictured from top left to right: Marble Cake with buttercream icing and ganache, Vegan Local Blackberry Cupcake, Fig Cake and the Ashevelvet.
Growing up, Jodi found that hand me downs were the norm in her life. To this day, she loves the feeling of something used and the story it holds. Jodi has never been one to match chairs or cups and savors the experience of a good dumpster dive. So be prepared...nostalgia runs deep when you enter Short Street Cakes and you can't help but smile at the play of colors and homeiness of it all. In just moments, Jodi has your heart, then she goes for the gut as you notice that Triple Chocolate Ganache atop the front counter. It looks scrumptious and necessary, beckoning you closer, telling you to sit and stay awhile. The rest of life can wait a little longer...
Jodi's lovely new book, Cake Ladies is available for pre order now via amazon.
Photos: Sweet Peach and Short Street Cakes Content: Sweet Peach