Business & Real Estate

Freeport Bakery plans major expansion

Marlene Goetzeler, owner of Freeport Bakery in Sacramento, is seen April 6, 2011.
Marlene Goetzeler, owner of Freeport Bakery in Sacramento, is seen April 6, 2011. Sacramento Bee file

Sacramento’s venerable Freeport Bakery is planning to nearly double its space by leasing an additional storefront just two doors down from its current building in the Land Park neighborhood.

The new space – which has hosted numerous businesses over the years, including Tuesday Morning, Yogurtopia, Shoe Daca and House of Pilates – will become the bakery’s “Annex” and be used for wedding cake consulting and cake decorating.

“It’s going to be paradise,” said Freeport’s co-owner, Marlene Goetzeler, providing some much-needed elbow room for the business’s 17 decorators and a more peaceful environment for meetings with people picking out wedding cakes.

“We’ve been maxed out on our space here for more than 20 years,” said Goetzeler, who took over the bakery at 2966 Freeport Blvd. with her husband, Walter, in 1987.

Indeed, space is so tight that the Goetzelers considered relocating to a larger location on Broadway a few years ago, a prospect that shocked neighbors. But that deal fell through and the owners have since been able to buy their current site.

With the additional new rental space, “we’re here to stay,” said Goetzeler, whose business now has 52 employees, most of them full-timers.

She said her hope is to have the 2,100-square-foot annex in operation in about a month. It will be open to customers by appointment only. But passers-by will be able to look through the shop’s big windows and see decorators at work.

“Everybody is so curious about what we do,” she said,

One factor pushing the company to expand, Goetzeler said, is the greater workload for decorators in response to consumer requests for increasingly ornate, multilevel cakes that take hours to decorate.

Prices have increased accordingly. Cakes made for birthdays, weddings and other special occasions now typically cost $90 to $350 – a significant increase over a few years ago, Goetzeler said.

But she said one wedding order for a four-layer confection with handcrafted flowers took the cake, so to speak.

The price was $5,500.