For Janae Barcus, opening The Buttercup Bakeshop with her mom, Tracy James, is the culmination of years of dreaming and planning. “I remember we were doing a lot of talking,” says Janae, “always about ‘one day, one day, we’ll do this,' but since this is the closest we’ve ever lived to each other, we decided that 'one day' needed to happen now.”
Tracy agrees, “We’ve been bouncing around the idea for a couple of years, but it just wasn’t the right timing because we were so many miles apart from each other. Eventually, we both got to a point where we said, ‘Let’s go ahead and do it.’”
Janae’s passion for boutique baking took off in 2010 when she enrolled in Wilton decorating classes, which gave her the confidence to work with fondant and other decorating tools. “I’ve known how to bake since I was very young,” says Janae, “and I wanted to pursue how to decorate because I knew how to make it good but not pretty.”
To perfect her skills, Janae started making monthly cakes for all kinds of celebrations and shared her love for baking through her blog. Later, her focus began to shift to selling her baked goods through a home-based, online bakery.
A few years ago, when Janae and her husband moved to Augusta, she brought her business with her. However, after the birth of their third child, Janae’s husband deployed. Tracy, who would usually come and help Janae if she was baking for large events, says, “I initially came here to help her with the children, and while I was here, I told her this may be a good time for us to think about opening the bakery we’ve been thinking about.”
“I figured if we were going to take a big step like this, now would be the perfect time to partner and open the bakery,” agrees Janae. “So, it started in the summer of 2019. We began building out the place with hopes of opening in March.” Then, a global pandemic hit. However, delays on opening the store did not slow down this mother-daughter duo. “We started doing a lot of DIY kits,” says Janae. “We also did essential worker sets where we would give cookies to essential workers.”
After all the delays, The Buttercup Bakeshop had its soft opening in July followed by the official grand opening on August 22nd. “I love the fact that I’m here with my daughter daily,” says Tracy, “and that we are able to come together and actually make this dream come true.”
About working with her mom, Janae says, “Her strengths are my weaknesses. Where I’m creative and I’m all about marketing, getting the word out, and getting people in the door, she’s all about customer service, serving people, and bringing smiles to their faces.”
On The Buttercup Bakeshop’s menu, you’ll find a wide variety of sweets sure to satisfy the most discerning sweet tooth. “The top sellers are the decorated cookies, the 2-in-1’s which are the cheesecake cakes, and the French macarons,” says Janae.
They also offer cupcakes, bars (blondies, brownies, lemon bars, pecan bars), and a variety of bakery style cookies like chocolate chip, peanut butter, funfetti, and their bestselling bourbon butter pecan cookie. “We also sell banana pudding. We just added it to the menu, and people are asking about it every week,” says Janae. “It’s the old-fashioned, southern banana pudding made with custard.”
On-site wedding tastings and consultations are available, or couples can opt for the sample box. “Monthly, we also do sample boxes for our tastings,” says Janae. “The second week of the month, we have set of flavors we release for the tasting boxes. Each box has eight flavors.”
“The most popular flavor, besides vanilla,” says Janae, “is strawberry shortcake, which is a vanilla bean based cake with fresh strawberry filling that we make in house and vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream.” Frequent cake flavors offered are cookies and cream, chocolate, and butter pecan.
Boxes can be reserved online, and boxes are picked up on a specified day through curb-side or walk-in service. These boxes aren’t just for those planning a wedding! It’s a great way to sample the delicious cake offerings not only to choose the perfect cake for any upcoming special occasion, but for a delicious dessert to enjoy yourself. Those who get a box and want to follow up with an in-person consultation can come in at a later date, or the consultation can be done over the phone.
“We’re building a brand that centers around celebrations,” says Janae. “We want people to think of us when they are celebrating any type of occasion….birthdays, anniversaries, babies, graduations, weddings. Even if you might not be celebrating [anything specific] but there’s a call for desserts, we want you to think of us.”
The Buttercup Bakeshop is located at 103 Maple Dr Suite 11, Martinez. Store hours are Tuesday through Thursday by appointment only; Friday and Saturday 10:00am-3:00pm for the walk-in bakery. To explore the menu, schedule a consultation, or place a custom order, visit TheButtercupBakeshop.com. The Buttercup Bakeshop can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.