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Abby Cakes: Baking the World a Better Place
by Cody Moore, photography by Kayla Broadway

Locals who are looking to satisfy their sweet tooth need look no further than Abby Cakes, Jonesboro’s newest full service bakery, where an array of luxurious treats and edible masterpieces are served in a trendy atmosphere.

At only 22 years old, Paragould native Abby Shannon has managed to turn her childhood hobby into a career. As a young girl, Shannon recalls being in the kitchen with her family making cookies and different candies. She says that is what started her love of baking. As Shannon got older, that passion stuck with her, and she began to take baking more seriously.

“As I started teaching myself to decorate, a local bakery needed a counter girl,” said Shannon. “I took it as an opportunity to learn and took the job. In my free time there, I would watch tutorials and teach myself different things.”

Before opening her storefront location, Shannon would bake and design cakes and cookies for friends and family while being a full-time student. She began to post photos of her creations to her social media pages, and before she knew it, custom orders started flooding in. After the online success and overbooking of orders, Shannon realized she could create a business out of her creations. In early 2016, Abby Cakes was born.

“Social media was, and still is, my number one form of advertisement,” she said. “I was receiving so many messages, and I couldn’t keep up. I knew a storefront was the next step in expanding my business.”

Shannon believed that Abby Cakes would eventually call Jonesboro home, since most of her orders were coming out of the city. Shannon saw an opportunity to open up shop and took the risk without question. Abby Cakes opened its doors to the public on Jan. 31 and quickly became a local favorite.

“I choose Jonesboro because I love the town,” said Shannon. “I live in Paragould, but I’m not much of a small-town girl. Being in Jonesboro allows me to broaden my horizons and serve many others while doing what I love.”

Shannon likes to change the Abby Cakes’ menu weekly, putting new creations into the display case. However, that doesn’t mean customers won’t find her signature items daily. Abby Cakes offers a variety of freshly made treats, including popular sugar cookies, cakes, macarons, a variety of flavored bars and savory brownies. In addition to these items, Shannon also makes custom orders to fit customers’ event needs.

Shannon’s macarons are a gluten-free treat available in many flavors, the most popular being the fresh strawberry and vanilla. The champagne macaron is made with actual champagne and is a popular flavor for parties. The many flavors of cupcakes are baked fresh daily; crowd pleasers are wedding cake and strawberry. Shannon’s personal favorite is the caramel butter cake with a caramel buttercream, which includes shots of buttered rum. When it comes to her bars and brownies, the cookie dough and turtle flavors are among the bakery’s best sellers.

Shannon’s slogan for Abby Cakes, “baking the world a better place,” doesn’t seem too far-fetched once customers get their hands on her gourmet creations.

What is unique about Abby Cakes?
We offer decorated cookies in the case daily, as well as French macarons, and we really strive for a fun and chic environment.

The designs on your cakes and cookies are very detailed. Is art and design something that comes naturally to you?
I have always loved art. I used to love to draw and paint. With our cakes and cookies, that love definitely shines through. I’m working with edible canvases.

Who helped make the opening of your store possible?
First and foremost, my husband; he’s been my backbone in this whole adventure, from encouraging me to physically helping at the store, as well as my friends who have turned into employees and have spent many hours helping me. It wouldn’t have been possible alone, and I’m so grateful for all the help everyone has put into this.

How has the community shown support for your store opening?
The community has been, oh my goodness, amazing. We have been so humbled by the response we’ve been given just through people coming in to show their support.

What does a typical workday look like at Abby Cakes?
Typically, we get here at 6 a.m. to make items for the case. Afterwards, we serve customers that come in. We have a lot of fun and love seeing everyone.

What is the most rewarding part of owning Abby Cakes?
Being able to turn my passion into a career is definitely one of the most rewarding things. Getting to play a part in people’s milestones also makes all the hard work worthwhile.

As a 22-year-old owning your own bakery, what advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business at a young age?
Oh, goodness, there are countless things I could advise. I think the most important is to make sure you love it. Opening a new business requires more of yourself than you could fathom. There are sleepless nights and mind-boggling days, but if you are truly passionate about what you do, it makes it all worth it. Patience and dedication are key, and if you strive hard enough, you will succeed.

Abby Cakes, located at 3500 East Highland Drive, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call Abby Cakes at 476-2119 for information on custom orders. To keep up with new bakery items and to see the latest announcements, find Abby Cakes on Facebook and on Instagram, @abby.cakes_.