The pizzas sold at Fort Frenzy are about to be transformed. That's because the dough used to produce them will soon be freshly made daily at a well-known local bakery - Creative Cakes, 1236 S. 22nd St.
Fort Frenzy purchased Creative Cakes in June and has been in the process this summer of integrating the bakery's goodies into the culinary offerings at Frenzy Cafe.
The acquisition came about as a result of a decision by the management team at Fort Frenzy to alter the in-house pizza-making capabilities.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
LuAnne Hruska, manager of Creative Cakes, works on crafting a batch of crayon cookies recently in their bakery shop at 1236 S. 22nd St.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Hruska works on a batch of colorful crayon cookies recently. Each is hand decorated.
"We wanted to start making our own pizza dough," said Todd McCubbin, vice president of TJK Entertainment LLC - the corporate entity that owns Fort Frenzy. TJK Entertainment LLC is owned by Tim and Kellie Guderian and Todd and Joyce McCubbin.
He said the initial plan was to enhance the kitchen area at Fort Frenzy so pizza dough could be made there. That approach, however, was deemed less than ideal.
"When we looked at transforming one of the kitchens we have here, it became apparent that it would be costly and we preferred to put the money toward something else." McCubbin said.
A better option quickly emerged.
"I found out that Creative Cakes was for sale, McCubbin said. "It made sense to buy a bakery."
He said the baking capabilities at Creative Cakes have been modified to make it possible to produce enough pizza dough for the hundreds of pizzas Fort Frenzy sells in a typical month.
"I had to buy a 40-quart mixer," McCubbin said. "The bowl is huge. We just got it put in the other day. It weighs 700 pounds. It took four of us to lift it, get it where it is supposed to be."
He said adding a first-rate bakery to the enterprise was an attractive choice in part because LuAnne Hruska, who founded Creative Cakes, will remain at the managerial helm of this new part of Fort Frenzy.
"She loves it," McCubbin said of Hruska's commitment to the bakery. He added that she told him "Ever since I was 8 years old, I knew I wanted to have a bakery and I wanted to decorate cakes. It's what I always wanted to be."
The bakery purchase is intended to help Fort Frenzy better serve its customers.
"We have a ton of birthday parties here," McCubbin said. "(Hruska is) making all our cupcakes now and birthday cakes. It's a great fit. We're selling her cookies in the snack bar. ... She makes amazing cookies and cakes. Everything she does, she puts her heart into. She's energetic. ... Her wedding cakes are beautiful."
He said Creative Cakes will initially remain at its present South 22nd Street location, but the game plan is to relocate it.
"It's going to move into someplace cool," McCubbin said. We're going to put it in a better location - a more marketable location. The No. 1 rule in business is 'location, location, location.'"
He stressed that Creative Cakes will continue to sell the full range of baked goods that have made the bakery highly popular with Fort Dodgers.
McCubbin said Fort Frenzy has had a hugely successful initial year.
"The community has embraced us," he said. "That repeat business is what you are looking for. ... It has really turned into a family place. The whole family shows up and they come and do stuff together. I love seeing that."