WASECA — Lush Cakes is making its debut in Waseca soon.

Owner Jessica Freitag attended Le Cordon Bleu culinary school after high school.

After graduating she worked for eight years in the Twin Cities before she moved to work as a pastry chef in Mankato. After the Cottage Law passed in Minnesota in 2015, allowing her to make baked foods without a license, but to register with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, she decided to start her own cake business, Lush Cakes.

“I started Lush Cakes because I love to do wedding cakes,” Freitag said. “So it started as I just wanted to do wedding cakes and the more I did the more cupcakes and the more I got asked to do more things cheesecakes, mini-desserts and that will be the focus here.”

After about a year of working her own business, she left her Mankato job to work full-time for herself. She was finally able to find a permanent commercial space in the previous Dairy Queen building on the south end of Waseca.

The storefront will be opening shortly after Labor Day and will be open Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lush Cakes is a place for people to come and hang out, order at the drive thru or order specialty desserts for events inside the store. The name “Lush Cakes” can be deceiving but there will be much more offered with cakes being the focus.

“Growing up my parents were farmers, my parents always had a huge garden, and my dad would always refer to certain fruits when they were ready that they are luscious or that it’s lush,” Freitag said of how the business got its name. “That word always just stuck with me and I always thought it was kind of funny when he would say it and when I was trying to come up with the name that one just popped out and the cakes, I wanted to keep it simple small short name.”

The business was started because of Freitag’s love for making wedding cakes. After branching out on her own she was asked to create more and more items, expanding on her wedding cakes and creating a need for more space.

She has been renting out commercial space at the Starfire Grill as a temporary solution to outgrowing her home space. After searching multiple locations in Mankato, Janesville and Waseca she was able to find the previous Dairy Queen location for Lush Cakes.

“Just looking for a commercial space for a while and just couldn’t find the right one. We looked in Mankato, Janesville, but we wanted to be in Waseca,” Freitag said. “It’s close and we love the small business kind of feel and all the boutiques in town, all the little shops, thought it (Lush Cakes) was kind of a good fit for the town and all the little pop-ups I did in town usually went really well so when this spot became available we decided this was the one.”

There will be Minnesota-roasted coffee that can be ordered blended, iced or even a cold brew option will be available. A display case will take up most of the counter space filled with a variety of pastries for breakfast and dessert.

“It’s just going to be a constant rotation of different flavors everyday with the focus still on wedding cakes,” Freitag said.

Besides pastries and desserts there will be a lunch menu with a cold and hot sandwich option along with fresh salads and soups available. Freitag mentioned that she wants to focus on the food being fresh every day for people along with rotating options.

Menu items will start out minimal during the first week or so with plans to expand as they go.

“People will be able to come in and have a cup of coffee, a pastry, dessert, lunch, hang out and they’ll order at the counter and we’ll let them know when it’s ready and they can come and grab it,” Freitag said.

Freitag anticipates employing between five to eight people, depending on how many hours people want. She is hiring bakers, cake decorators, baristas and people in front for customer service. There will be some cross-training since it is a smaller business and they will all have to work together.

She currently resides in Janesville with her family and has worked with numerous local Waseca businesses doing pop-up events at the Mill Event Center or the different boutiques around Waseca.

“I’m excited to be done planning and to just work,” Freitag said. “Combining a busy wedding season and planning a business has been very busy so I’m just excited to get up and running in my own personal space.”

For more information on Lush Cakes check out lushcakes.com.

Reach Reporter Bailey Grubish at 507-837-5451 or follow her on Twitter @wcnbailey.

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