When Brooke O’Dell decided to leave her job at Country Music Television in 2006 to spend more time with her children, she began looking for a new career with very flexible hours. Because she enjoyed baking and loved the artistic aspect of cake decorating, she focused on learning how to improve her skills. Soon after, she was making cakes for Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson and a host of other well-known personalities. She also was named Best Kids’ Birthday Cake Baker in 2008 by Nashville Scene magazine.
In 2017, Brooke decided to expand her horizons, and bought the Sugar Drop Café and Dessert Boutique, which has been in Brentwood for more than 50 years. She completely remodeled it and added her own special touch. Due to its great success, Sugar Drop has now moved into an even bigger and better location.
“It’s brand new, so anything I could dream up, we were able to bring to reality with our amazing interior designer,” says Brooke.
Inside, customers will find themselves standing on a hand-poured glitter floor with a giant whimsical glass candy chandelier overhead. The beautiful party room, which can seat up to 20 people, is enclosed in glass walls that are covered with papier-mâché desserts.
In the café area, customers can enjoy a delicious mug of gourmet hot cocoa complete with homemade marshmallows and a Puffle, a confection of cotton candy covered in chocolate. In-between sips, they can decorate a cookie from one of the incredible cookie kits that are available year-round.
“The menu of the bakery has completely expanded. We have a local roaster that will offer local nitro cold coffee and hot coffee and Italian cream sodas. Yummy stuff that you want when you come to a bakery," says Brooke.
“We’ve also added Cuppy Cakes to our menu, which is like a mini trifle for a cake,” she adds. “You can come in and build your own by picking a flavor of cake, a flavor of buttercream, and toppings and sauces, if you want those.”
Sugar Drop Café and Dessert Boutique also has hands-on classes and camps for kids; for adults, there’s everything from beginner decorating to advanced fondant classes.
“We’ve had guest instructors from the sugar world, including a world renowned cookie artist,” she says. “With the bigger space, we’re planning on bringing in some local chefs to teach actual cooking techniques, and partnering with local companies to offer classes on flower arranging, calligraphy and charcuterie boards.”
Of course, they still offer high-end specialty cake and candy supplies, and they’ve expanded the party supply section. “We’re also bringing in these beautiful toys -- everything from wooden popsicles and candy carts to a wooden mixer,” says Brooke. “Basically, anything sugar-related like taffy pens, macaroon erasers, and sprinkle face masks. We want people to not want to leave.”
During the holiday season, customers can drop in and decorate a gingerbread house, or holiday-themed cookies and cupcakes. Festive cookie kits and trays also will be offered, as well as merry holiday baking classes.
“We’re also partnering with the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes and doing really fun ticketed pictures with Santa,” she says. “A portion of those ticket sales will go back to them. We’ll also have an angel tree for the kids.”
Brooke says there's nothing else like Sugar Drop around. “We have this unique special hold on what we do just because we really try to make people feel like a kid in a candy store. That was our dream and goal. I really want us to become the Willy Wonka of Williamson County.”