"The lines have been literally out the door. It's been phenomenal."
Pastry chef Drew Rogers has been overwhelmed since his bakery, Drew's Pastry Place, was featured on the TLC show Bakery Boss Monday night. Pitched as the latest twist on remodel shows like Kitchen Nightmares and Restaurant Impossible, Bakery Boss features Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro helping struggling bakeries get on track.
In Rogers' case, the show explains that his parents have fronted him $600,000 to keep the business open, which is why he turned to Valastro for help.
The show approached Rogers because he'd auditioned for The Next Great Baker. "It was six to eight months of back and forth," he recalls. "Skype interviews with me and my family, and they flew down here twice to make videos."
"On Tuesday, we sold 2,500 cannoli cupakes."
When the show finally decided to go through with transforming Drew's Pastry Place, Rogers wasn't sure what to expect. "I didn't have a clue what any of the recommendations would be . . . I told them, 'If I knew what to do, I wouldn't need Buddy.' "
Over the course of the episode, Valastro guided Rogers to two realizations. First, he needed to branch out from only serving items that can be found at East Coast Italian bakeries to include Southern favorites like banana pudding, key lime pie and Texas-shaped cookies, too.
More importantly, he needed to serve cupcakes. Before, the bakery only begrudgingly offered a red velvet cupcake, but Valastro explained that selling a variety is key to a successful business. In response, Rogers created the cannoli cupcake that's filled with cannoli cream and topped with pieces of fried shell. "On Tuesday, we sold 2,500 cannoli cupakes," Rogers says. Now, Drew's Pastry Place sells other Italian-inspired flavors like tiramisu and more traditional flavors like chocolate and vanilla.
While they're getting cupcakes, people are ordering other items, too. "They told us we could be tripling our sales (from being on the show)," Rogers says. "They were being nice. We've definitely done more than triple our sales the last two days."
As for his debt to his parents, Rogers realizes he has work to do. "My mother and father have never said they need to be paid back . . . I've been keeping track. I know what it is. When we start making money, they're going to be the first to be paid back."