There’s a new cake shop coming to town; McG’s Cakes on Main. Started up by local businesswoman and Bancroft town councillor Tracy McGibbon, the shop will feature her signature cakes and special orders, plus cupcakes, coffee and tea. They are set to open up the week of July 19, most likely on July 21. They are located at 60 Hastings Street North, where Niffers Children’s Clothing used to be. Updates are available on their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/mcGs-cakes-on-main.
McG’s Cakes on Main is McGibbon’s creation, and is slated to open up the week of July 19. She says with a laugh that she has cakes that are due to be ready for pickup on July 21, so she better be ready for that day!
“So, I’m going to be doing a grand opening and have little giveaways, little mini cupcakes. I mean people are used to having them anyways, the cakes and cupcakes, from here (the Wattle and Daub Café, where McGibbon is manager until July 16) so it’s the same thing,” she says.
McGibbon says she always wanted to have her own cute little store, but cakes were not always a passion. She says it kind of evolved over the years, and she did it when she was younger, with her own kids as they grew up and for the last year and a half during COVID-19. With the pandemic’s restrictions and lockdowns, she picked cakes and ended up selling lots of them.
“Cakes were something that I said ‘well, I can do,’ and over the last year, the more I made, the better I got, the more they sold and the more demand there was. I was at that age in life where I thought, if I don’t do this for myself I never will. So, let’s try it,” she says.
Initially it will be only McGibbon baking the cakes and manning the store, although she may hire staff as time goes by and it gets busier. She does mention that her daughter Emma has been a great help to her making the cakes over the past year, and will probably also help her out in the store too.
As far as the recipes for the cakes she bakes, McGibbon credits three women; her grandmother, her husband’s grandmother and Betty Crocker. She says that some of the recipes are all original, while others she has tweaked a bit. And she says she plans to have three black and white photos of the grandmothers and Ms. Crocker on the wall of her shop to give them their due credit.
McGibbon was a competitor in The Greatest Baker online contest on Facebook recently, but she says that opening up her own cake shop wasn’t the reason she participated in it. She says that somebody sent her the link initially and she wasn’t even that interested. It was only when she shared it with people and got feedback urging her to do it that she changed her mind. Out of 8,800 competitors, she made it past three cuts down to 1,260 cake bakers, and remained first in her group until the final day. She was eventually eliminated, but was in the top 14 per cent.
“I was top five and I was first place in my group for weeks, and then it was right at the end between me and another woman [for first place in my group], and she won,” she says.
McGibbon gives a lot of credit to Bancroft Community Transit and The Wattle and Daub for being a great stepping stone and spurring her interest in baking cakes and eventually opening up her own store. Seven years ago, when McGibbon was at Bancroft This Week selling advertising space, she said she got to know BCT’s Gwen Coish, and decided to come work for them for a couple of years doing recreational activities on a grant. During that time, she noticed the great building that currently houses The Wattle and Daub café with all its amenities like a kitchen and dining room and what it could be. She says that BCT had planned on doing a café for a while, but weren’t quite there yet.
“I’ve got a background in this and in business administration and I thought we could do something with this, and the BCT board has been awesome,” she says.
Regarding the name of her business, McG’s Cakes on Main, McGibbon says she initially was going to call it just Cakes on Main. She says that a friend of hers calls her “T. McG.” a lot, but a tragic event also changed her mind.
“When I was in the process of deciding to do this, my father-in-law, Monte McGibbon, was killed in a motorcycle accident. So, the last conversation I had with him was about the cake shop. He stopped in here [The Wattle and Daub] to get garbage to take to the dump and asked me if I’d gotten my contract yet for the new cake shop building, which I hadn’t. And he said that he really wanted to help her and Barry [McGibbon’s husband] get it built and that she should really do her own thing. He said, ‘It’s that time, you have to do it.’ And he left, and that’s the last conversation I had with him. So, I was like, you know I’m going to put McG’s in there [to honour him],” she says.
McGibbon says she’s really excited about her new cake shop and thinks it’s going to be a great thing.
“It’s obvious there’s a need and a desire for cakes. I’ve done over 600 cakes in the last year and that’s probably turning down as many as I’ve made. And there are definitely repeat customers, people keep coming back,” she says. “The community support has been great!”
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times