It all started in her kitchen. Glenda Kinder decided that she wanted to take a Wilton Course at the Sears in Orange 37 years ago so she could learn how to professionally make cakes. It was a six weeks course and she was able to complete only two weeks of it due to being pregnant with her first daughter, Casey. 

She had always had an interest in making cakes.

“I did make pretty mud pies when I was young, “ Glenda said. “We lived in the country and my sand had to be packed just so and it would look like a little cake. Then I would put blackberries and sticks on it to make it look like little candles.”

After dropping the Wilton Course, she bought a book about making cakes. She began to practice and when an advance course became available, she jumped at the chance. Some customers would give her a little extra cash on top of what they owed Glenda. With that cash she bought more and more books. Before the advance course was even over, she had already done her first wedding cake, but she admits that was a very dangerous thing to do.
“After that, one thing lead to another and people started wanting me to do their cakes,” she said. “Then I gave a cake to the beauty shop for Easter one year and I got a cake order from one of the beauticians. From that, I did several orders and it was just word-of-mouth from there on.”

All that hard work paid off. Glenda is the proud owner of Glenda’s Bake-A-Cake, located at 3300 Western Ave. in Orange.

“I had a small, small shop in the house,” Glenda said.

Her daughter, Casey, said “She started in our kitchen when [my sister and I] were little girls,” Casey said. “She’s been doing this a long time, it’s her thing.
“Every Saturday morning, it was like a parade of people coming in to get their cakes,” Casey said. “She just grew and grew and eventually renovated the garage.”
When Glenda married her second husband, he built her the house she now lives in and the shop.

While baking sounds all fun and games, it’s actually a lot harder than it looks.

“Working at the shop is HARD work,” Casey said. “Just to stand on your feet all day is hard, but then you have to stand on your feet and deal with this vat of icing and cookie dough.”

“It’s a well oiled machine,” said Wyatt Prejean, Casey’s husband. “Everyone there has something going on. They don’t shut down for lunch. I just remember when people would stop, someone else would pick up the slack and it would just go in shifts until they lock the doors.”

“You don’t get to be part of this family and not work at the shop at least once,” said Casey.

“Until we got real jobs after college, we worked there,” Wyatt said. “That was a real job, I don’t call what I do now work and I teach.” Wyatt is a Social Studies teacher at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School.

Glenda has seen many local businesses come and go, but her customers have been loyal and always come back for more.

“It’s not easy to be in business in Orange for that long,” Casey said. “There’s not a whole lot of businesses that have been around since she started. It’s like she always had the wisdom to take the money she had at first and invest it in something else that was going to get her further and further along.”

But Glenda won’t and will never take the credit for the wonderful goodies that come out of her shop.

“I’ve got some really talented people working with me now. Jeanné Henry has more talent in my little finger than I could even think about doing. I can’t take the credit for her work and  I never do.”

The girls on her staff include: Bambi Bailey, Jeanné Henry, Candis Butaud, Betty “Lou” Isaacs, and Melanie Malin.

Making cakes is like a fine art. No two people have the same talent and Glenda admits that everyone of her workers has something different that they are good at.

Jeanné is good with the fancy details on wedding cakes, Glenda is good with baby shower cakes and Bambi Bailey is good with birthday cakes for children.

Casey explained that all of the workers are just as loyal to Glenda as the customers are.
“”People who come and work don’t really leave,” Casey said. “They’re like family.”

“I love them just like I always have,” Glenda said.

While the bakery business keeps them all very busy, the atmosphere is extremely laid back.
“If you’re ten minutes late, no big deal because you may have to stay ten minutes over or 30 minutes over,” Glenda said.

She also forces her employees to take off to go to their children’s school function and when they are sick.

“Their kids are only little one time and they need be there,” Glenda said. “I don’t care if it’s during Valentines, which is the worst time. If you’re baby is sick, stay home with that baby. Everyone of us will kick it into high gear. You stay home with that baby because family is the most important. Family comes first.”

The busiest time of the year for Glenda and her girls is Valentine’s Day.

“Valentine’s is crazy,” Casey said. “She works so hard, they all work so hard [for and] on Valentine’s Day. They make gift baskets, cookies, jumbo cookies, cut-out tea cake cookies, chocolate dipped strawberries cakes, cupcakes, everything.”

While they are normally closed on Mondays, Glenda’s Bake-A-Cake will be open on this coming Monday because it’s Valentine’s Day. They began preparing for the day of love since Tuesday, Feb 8.
Anyone needing that special something for their special someone should take a drive to Glenda’s Bake-A-Cake to see what kind of goodies they have to offer. The cut-out cookies are enough to make you never want to eat anything else…ever!

For orders or more information, call Glenda (or her girls) at 409-886-5430.

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers