Sandi Dobbs can make just about anything when it comes to cakes, cookies and cupcakes at her Pratt location in the 54 Plaza.
Imagine it and Sandi Dobbs of Sandi’s Sweet Surprises can bake it into a culinary confection.
Dobbs, of Pratt, has been baking and decorating cakes since she was 10.
Now in her third decade as a pastry chef extraordinaire, Dobbs commands her own spacious kitchen in a storefront located in Suite H at 54 Plaza, 1219 East lst Street, where she shares an entrance with John Patton Photography.
“I used to bake at home,” Dobbs said. “But after nine years of baking at home I felt it was time to get her own space.”
When she first got the idea of setting up a home business in 2008, Dobbs said she consulted George Wallace of Wallace Bakery.
“He encouraged me,” Dobbs said, so she took the plunge and incorporated a home baking business into her already-busy life, working full-time and officiating high school basketball and volleyball.
Though she now longer has an outside job, Dobbs said still officiates during sport seasons.
Back then, Dobbs enlisted the help of her three teenage daughters, Ariel, Whitney and Lizzie.
Dobbs said she got a kick-start to her world of pastry-decorating when she took a couple of classes early on.
She remembers that fruit bouquets, which she still offers, were a big item when she first started.
Today, Dobbs fills cakes orders for all occasions – wedding, birthday, retirement, anniversary and more – plus cookies and other pastry treats.
Sandi’s Sweet Surprises kitchen has four separate standard-size ovens, three KitchenAid mixers and two refrigerators, plus shelves and racks of cake pans and cookie sheets of varying sizes.
Dobbs said she shops locally, when possible, for her ingredients to fill her weekly shopping list which might include 25 pounds of flour, 15 pounds of sugar, 24 bags of powdered sugar, 10 dozen eggs and six three-pound cans of shortening.
Her flair for decorating has extended to her workspace to make it a welcoming place.
“I love to decorate, especially for Christmas,” Dobbs said.
There’s one large painting that Dobbs does not change out for the seasons. It’s a painting by daughter Lizzie of Wonderwoman, with the saying “Baking Is My Superpower and My Apron Is My Cape.”
“My daughters have used their creativity in paintings to help decorate my store,” Dobbs said.
Something different to the baking world, Dobbs said, is the “Smash Cake”—an individual-size cake for toddlers’ birthdays that they can dig into with their fingers, without disturbing the cake for serving other family members or guests.
“I get lots of orders for these,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs displays photos of her creations and takes orders through her Facebook page, Sandi’s Sweet Surprises.
She also takes orders through Messenger, by text, email (email@example.com) and phone 620-338-5997 and she includes delivery as part of her business practice.
Dobbs has dedicated her storefront business as her “kitchen-only” home-away-from-home. Though she welcomes visitors, hers is not a “drop-by-and-pickup-a pastry” place—at least for now, Dobbs said.