Award-Winning Bakery, Simply Desserts, to Open at Promenade at Va. Gateway
Bristow Beat, July 24, 2015
By Stacy Shaw
Kimberly McDonald, owner of Simply Desserts, stands by a wedding cake her company created.
For a long time western Prince William residents have asked for a small, independently owned bakery. The wait is nearly over; the award-winning cake shop and bakery Simply Desserts will open at the the Promenade at Virginia Gateway in Gainesville this winter.
For the last eight years, Kimberly McDonald of Fairfax has run her business as a licensed, home business while winning several awards including The Knot Best of Weddings 2012, 2013, 2015; Wedding Wire Bride’s Choice Awards” 2012, 2013; and Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice Awards 2014, 2015.
McDonald, who previously worked in catering, received a stellar recipe for cheesecake. Using that recipe, she first sold cakes as fundraisers. After suggestions that she open her own business, she launched her cake-making business from her home.
She eventually branched out from cheesecakes to birthday cakes, wedding cakes, cupcakes, cookies, cookie-cups and cake-pops. She hired a staff and worked to design decorative and 3D-style cakes like those shown on television shows such as Cake Boss.
As her business grew, McDonald knew she needed a retail location, and began looking for a storefront three years ago. She did not know where to locate, but worked with a realtor to find something with “a town center kind of feel.”
She had not considered western Prince William County, until her son moved near Virginia Gateway and took her for dinner at the Promenade.
“My son and his wife just moved out there, and I said, ‘this is a really cool place,” McDonald said. “As soon as I saw it I just knew this is what I was looking for,”
Now, she is getting ready to move into the vacant space next to Pinkberry.
Once Simply Desserts opens, she will expand from baking cakes and cookies to order to a working bakery that also caters to walk-in traffic.
“My vision is that people can come in an have a slice of cake, cupcake, or a cookie,” McDonald said.
A Simply Desserts 3D cake features the Ruby Red Slippers from "The Wizard of Oz."
At this location, she hopes to get traffic from people shopping, going to the movies, or wanting dessert after dining at one of the restaurants.
Although her store is still in its planning stages, she hopes that once it is ready to open, it will be inviting with a rustic, yet chic décor. Her son is an artist and plans to create a wall mural.
She’s also excited about the extra space the shop will provide; there is enough room for customer seating in the front and an event room in the back.
McDonald said the event room seats up to 25 people, making it perfect for small parties, bridal or baby showers. She will also use it for cake decorating classes and as a tasting room. During the holidays, she also hopes to have gingerbread house making sessions.
“We love doing the wedding cakes, the birthday cakes and things like that, but we love the challenge of creating a custom kind of cakes,” she said.
This weekend, they have a fun challenge of creating several 3D cakes, including a “Noah’s Arc” cake and a “make-up” themed cake. She said that her customers are excited by the idea of 3D cakes, having seen them on television.
“We just finished a cake in the shape of the wine bottle with clusters of grapes,” she said.
McDonald said she even has one baker who is very talented at creating cakes that look just like people, capturing their likenesses.
After eight years of hard work, McDonald will be thrilled to open Simply Desserts. For those who want to order a cake before that, they can contact Simply Desserts via their website and Facebook page, which features videos.
Jen ices a cake at Simply Desserts licensed home location.
A fox decorates a child's birthday cake.
A girls birthday party gets a pretty pink cake decorated with a bird.
Kimberly McDonald showcases her Simply Desserts treats at a Real Housewives of Northern Virginia event.
Cupcakes help to celebrate a graduation.
Simply Desserts sells an array of delightful homemade cookies.
Simply Desserts' raspberry cheesecake is a crowd pleaser.
The staff of Simply Desserts celebrates together at Fairfax Corner. L-R: Lexi McGee, Louise Lever, Jen Starchak, Kimberly McDonald, Ben Parsell, and Becca Konwerski.