Langley Times: Tracycakes

By Andrew Bucholtz – Langley Times
August 16, 2008 12:00 PM

Fort Langley proved to be a great launching pad for Tracy Dueck’s business. Dueck opened her first Tracycakes bakery/cafe in Fort Langley’s historic Marr House back in September 2006. The business quickly became popular, allowing her to open a second outlet on Abbotsford’s Montrose Avenue earlier this year.

Dueck told The Times that she decided to expand because the Fort Langley location couldn’t supply the demand for her cupcakes.
“We just had a real need for more room,” she said. “We just weren’t keeping up with the volume we needed.”

Dueck said that she chose Abbotsford for her second outlet because she had previously considered setting up shop there.
“I had first looked at Abbotsford before I came to Fort Langley,” she said. “The downtown’s becoming a really neat location and I wanted to get in on that.”

Dueck said she looked at various locations in Abbotsford last October, then signed a lease in December and opened the second outlet in February. She said the new location has been a tremendous success so far.

“Abbotsfordians, they love their baking,” she said. “For about three months, it’s been about three times the volume [of sales, as compared to the Fort Langley store].”

Dueck said the second outlet, with its larger commercial kitchen, has allowed her to streamline her cooking process. All of the cupcakes are now made in Abbotsford.

“We bake them in Abbotsford and transport them to Fort Langley fresh every day,” she said.
Dueck’s bakeries and cafes offer more than just cupcakes, though: they also have an extensive dine-in menu, featuring quiche, shepherd’s pie, homemade borscht and chili, among many other items. Some of the items are made in Langley, while some are made in Abbotsford. Dueck said the greatest benefit of her second location is the ability to streamline production of each of the items her cafes offer.

“Having the new kitchen is the best thing,” she said.
Dueck said the Abbotsford clientele is more focused strictly on cupcakes, while the Fort Langley clientele prefers a fuller dine-in experience.

“For now, Abbotsford is pretty large on the cupcakes,” she said. “Fort Langley is larger on the lunch.”
Dueck said her Abbotsford outlet’s sales are about 50 per cent cupcakes and 50 per cent full meals, while only 30 per cent of her Fort Langley outlet’s sales are from cupcakes alone. She said that the historic building her Fort Langley store is in also helps to draw in the eat-in customers.

“It’s quite quaint,” she said. “It’s quite lovely.”

Tracycakes also offers a “High Tea,” which features specialty loose-leaf teas, sausage rolls, fresh fruit, lemon curd and Devonshire cream, among other fancy offerings. Dueck said it’s been more successful in Langley than Abbotsford so far, though.

“It’s quite a nice presentation,” she said. “If I could expand one thing, I’d like to get more people to High Tea in Abbotsford.”
In addition to their in-store business, Tracycakes also caters for weddings and events. Dueck said they were especially swamped with the rash of weddings on Aug. 8, due to the perceived good luck of marriages on 08/08/08.

“We must have made 3,000 cupcakes,” she said. “That was really crazy.”

Tracycakes offers 35 different cupcake varieties. Dueck said four of the most popular are “Lovely Bunch of Coconut,” “La-La Lemon,” “German Chocolate,” and “Boston Cream.”

Dueck said the biggest challenge associated with the expansion to a second facility was training the new staff. She now has 24 employees over the two locations.

“The hardest thing was teaching staff how to do what you want, how to learn the system,” she said.

Dueck said her staff members have proved adaptable, though.

“I have such fabulous staff,” she said. “You’re only as good as your staff.”

Dueck said another difficult task has been trying to co-ordinate both outlets’ activities.

“I need another one of me,” she said.

Despite the challenges, Dueck said she’s very happy she made the decision to open a second location.

“Oh yes, oh yes, I love it.”


Tv Week Top Ten Things To Do

By Anna Dupas
Aug 16 – 22, 2008

8. Sweet Spot

Abbotsford just got a little sweeter with the opening of Tracycakes Bakery Cafe (101-2636 Montrose Ave.). The popular eatery, which joins an inaugural branch in Fort Langley, can now officially be declared the Fraser Valley’s favourite cupcake destination. These little handfuls of heaven, topped with hand-piped buttercream icing, are available in over 35 flavours, including Smartie Pants, Peppermint Patty and Va-Va Vanilla. If you prefer heartier fare, the café also serves up everything from scratch-made soups and sandwiches to quiche and chili. For owner-manager Tracy Dueck, a culinary queen with a knack for snacks, the success of her shop is just the icing on the cake.

Tracycakes is the icing on the cake

Roxanne Hooper
Langley Advance
July 18, 2008

Be still my heart. Cupcake heaven is expanding.

Tracy Dueck of Tracycakes Bakery Cafe in Fort Langley has announced the expansion of her business.

She’s making the world – okay, it’s actually on the Fraser Valley, but close enough – a little bit sweeter. If you haven’t already checked out the original Tracycakes store, which is located in the historic Marr House on Glover Road in the heart of the village, plan to stop in.

While she serves up continental breakfasts, salads and light lunches such as quiche, chilli and shepherd’s pie, I prefer her array of soups worthy of slurping. I’m told she makes a mean Borscht and great chicken noodle soup, but I can only speak to the mouthwatering flavour of her creamy homemade chicken vegetable soup.

All those dishes aside, however, I have to confess it’s really her cupcakes that are to die for.

With more than 35 irresistible varieties offered, she bakes up only a limited quantity each day to ensure freshness. With that in mind, I’ll warn you that if you’re heading out to Fort Langley on the weekend – stop by early or miss out.

The other option, which I’ve already alluded to, is sampling her wares at the new shop on Montrose Avenue in Abbotsford.
“It has been my dream to create a place where people can connect over tea, coffee, a light meal and, of course, my signature cupcakes in an atmosphere that is rich in beauty and ambience,” Dueck said.

“It’s amazing to me how well the concept has been received in the Valley since we first opened about a year and a half ago. Having a second location in Abbotsford means we’ll be better equipped to deal with the growing demand for all of our menu items and allow us to better serve our community, one person at a time.”


Cupcakes: Love at first bite

Mia Stainsby
Vancouver Sun
May 24, 2007

Fort Langley bakery whips up 200 fresh-baked cakes each day in 35 delectable flavours

I haven’t been able to find it but apparently there’s a Tracycake Fanatics fan club somewhere on Facebook.

“They post their experience when they come in,” says Tracycake Bakery Cafe owner Tracy Dueck. “It made my day to hear about it.”

All she knows is that they’re women between the ages of 20 and 30.

Ahhh! An age when cupcakes aren’t lethal to waistlines.

And cupcakes are what Dueck does well. She has 35 flavours and you can buy the baby cakes for a buck each or the normal sizes for $2.65. They go by teaser names like Love at First Bite (apple spice doused in caramel butter icing filled with Bavarian whipped cream), Va-Va Vanilla, Peppermint Patty, Smartie Pants, Sleepless in Seattle (“chocolate mocha with whipped cream infusion and shot of java for when you need a lift”), Fill-me-up Buttercup (lemon cake filled with whipped cream and iced with meringue). She offers about 10 flavours a day.

Back down on earth, Tracycake sells an assortment of lunchy items — soups (including the Doukhobor style of borscht with a dill tomato base), salads (the apple Waldorf is the big seller), sandwiches, quiche, crepe, pot pie, and chili.

Every afternoon, from 1 to 3 p.m., there’s a high tea ($23.95 for 2) with finger sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream and lemon curd, assorted dainties, baby cupcakes and fruit.

“Everything’s made from scratch,” says Dueck, who opened the business last fall. She was previously a stay-at-home mom who loved to cook. “I’m living out my dream,” she says.

Tracycakes is in historic Fort Langley in the historic Marr House. The entrance is on the side and opens out to a garden in the back.

She’s open every day from 10 to 5 p.m. and her 200 fresh-baked cupcakes sell out each day.
© The Vancouver Sun 2007