Parkland Cakes celebrates 40 years of business, three generations of bakers
Alice Godfrey began her baking business when she was 50 years old, after being a hair dresser for decades. She had no idea her family-run store would still be going strong 40 years later.
“I used to do cakes for all my customers. I was decorating them at home,” she said. Eventually, Godfrey’s daughter began to give her suggestions on different ways to decorate them. “One day I told her to just take it, and she did. And she was wonderful,” said Godfrey.
The mother and daughter began a business in 1979 called Parkland Cakes, located in Cayce’s Parkland Plaza. Godfrey and her daughter, Brenda Peake, have continued to bake together ever since. Parkland Cakes moved from its original location to C Avenue in West Columbia, where they have been for the past 10 years.
Peake’s sons, Alex and Josh, now have become part of the family business. Godfrey said Josh’s baking abilities have increased over the years. “My oldest grandson, he always liked to cook but he never did it that much. I showed him my recipe and all, and he’s gotten better and better – he’s better than I was now,” she laughed.
Both grandsons spent their childhoods surrounded by their mother and grandmother’s baking, but neither expected they would one day be involved in the business. “I grew up in the Parkland shop. I spent many days and nights in that original store,” Alex said. “I never knew it, but you just kind of fall into it sometimes.” Josh reflected Alex’s statement: “It just kind of happened, you don’t really plan it,” he said.
The family bakes their creations on a made-to-order basis. Godfrey said they are most well-known for their petit fours, which are always made in a round shape, never square. They bake layer cakes including pineapple, red velvet, carrot, and strawberry flavors. Their pound cakes (which Godfrey said are her favorite) can be made in vanilla, almond Amaretto, lemon, or chocolate. Mini bundt cakes and cupcakes are also available for orders.
Godfrey said it doesn’t seem like it’s been 40 years since she began her company. “We’ve had hard times, but a lot of good times too. It doesn’t feel like that long. And I’ve worked until last year,” she said.
Her grandsons said they enjoy taking part in what their grandmother started. “It’s awesome, and it’s something you don’t see much anymore – you’ve got to take a lot of pride in that” said Josh. “It’s not something you necessarily get anywhere you go: people who care about it as much as someone like us.”