The Gula Cake Shop on Clinton Street has built a large following with its fabulous wedding and special occasion cakes, each one a work of baking and culinary art by shop owners Roberto Dos Santos and Lana Garcia.
Now thanks to a $5,000 loan from the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream philanthropic program, the Gula Cake Shop proprietors are expanding on their American dream and hoping to add to the cake shop’s growing list of customers.
Dos Santos and Garcia, who are married and have two children, have used the Samuel Adams loan to purchase new machinery that will speed up their cake production.
Garcia’s family in Brazil used to own a successful food business that was named Gula Gula. They decided to use the name Gula for the cake business that they started ten years ago and opened in Everett in 2008.
Leticia Gabbi, marketing director for Gula Cake Shop and niece of the owners, said the shop makes all sorts of cakes for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, specializing in artistic cakes.
Garcia is considered the head baker and pastry chef while Dos Santos is the chief decorator and cake designer.
“Everybody thinks it’s the reverse but she’s the baker and I’m the decorator,” said Dos Santos.
“Lana comes from a family of bakers that specialized in homemade desserts,” said Gabbi. “She has always been really good at it. Roberto started out working at a bakery where he learned different decorating techniques. Then they started working together to create their own business and their own distinctive style of cakes.”
The cake shop has increased its sales in each of its three years. Dos Santos said the loan from Samuel Adams has helped boost Gula’s cake production efforts and reach out to more customers through marketing and advertising.
“We were able to buy a second machine that allows us to produce more cakes,” said Dos Santos. “The loan is exactly what we needed to help us reach the next level in our business growth.”
Dos Santos said he and his wife are grateful to Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams, who launched the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream philanthropic program in 2008, partnering with ACCION USA, the nation’s largest non-profit microloan provider to entrepreneurs and The Boston Beer Company’s experienced partner.
“The Samuel Adams loan program has opened up new doors of opportunity for our business,” said Dos Santos. “We look forward to continuing to grow our business and making great cakes for our Everett customers for all occasions.”