Made With Love, Joy, and Butter
Craig talks with Kyle Cuffie-Scott of Darnel’s Cakes about starting his business, his mission to advocate for AIDs prevention and education in honor of his cousin Darnel, and ideas for new collaborative projects with artists and other businesses in Spring Arts.
Made With Love, Joy, and Butter
Craig Grossman: [00:00:00] In an age of quick and expendable. What if you were to start with history and repurpose what we already have? What if you were to use the forgotten spaces around you and use them as a catalyst of creativity? This is the Spring Arts Podcast with Craig Grossman and that’s our mission.
Craig Grossman: [00:00:47] Hey everybody. This is Craig Grossman. Welcome to RADIOKISMET in the heart of Spring Arts. We are sitting down today with a friend and business owner. His name is Kyle, and he’s got a very cool little cafe of sorts. If you will. called Darnel’s Cakes over at 444 North third street. He’s been opened up here in his physical location for maybe a couple months now, just sort of getting his feet underneath him.
And I’m really excited to ask Kyle some questions and more importantly, I’m excited for you to all meet him virtually, and then hopefully take a visit over to the shop and his website and see what he’s cooking over there. Literally cooking. So Kyle, welcome to the podcast.
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:01:36] Thank you. Thank you. Very happy to be here.
Craig Grossman: [00:01:38] Well, we’re happy to have you here.
So cool. So Kyle. We all want to know, at least I want to hear the story also. Right? So Darnel’s Cakes, right first, tell me about what you guys are doing over there at 440 North third street. So we all get a good sense of, of what you’re making, what your baking, by the way, in case I didn’t mention it. Kyle’s got a background in baking Johnson and Wales, if I’m not mistaken.
So he comes down through, new England. we won’t hold that against you. I don’t know if you were a,
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:02:08] I don’t tell it to meet new people that at least recently
Craig Grossman: [00:02:12] So you’re you’re a Philadelphia now though right Is that what we we should
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:02:15] Yes yes yes Yup
Craig Grossman: [00:02:17] Alright cool Anyway so he’s he’s by the by way of New England and Rhode Island and Massachusetts and here we are and we’re lucky to have him. So tell us a little bit about what you’re doing over at Darnel’s Cakes
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:02:28] Gotcha So we’re baking literally. We have baked goods on the sweet and savory end. On the sweet end,cakes, of course. We sell all these little cakes that you can get a full or half size and red velvet, carrot cake, Chocolate stout cake, chocolate Nutella cake, and lemon poppy pound cake are probably are our stars And then we have a few others that I’ll be adding to the mix in the next couple weeks or so actually brownies of all different flavors, lemon bars, butter cake, cookies: chocolate chips, snickerdoodle, oatmeal raisin, sugar. Savory side, We have biscuits So biscuit sandwiches on Sundays. Sunday is kind of like our Busier day because we do do a nice brunch that you can get to go or sit outside and eat But biscuits biscuit sandwiches We have crab cakes on the menu we have on the menu right now That’s pretty good A Patty melt
Craig Grossman: [00:03:24] Good By the way you better have a lobster roll
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:03:27] Yes Yeah It’s only right
Craig Grossman: [00:03:29] Cool Well I mean everything sounds delicious and I can always I can only imagine I don’t know if everybody else can picture it but I see I know Kyle’s work We met I want to say we met him and he was at least a year ago year and a half ago We actually met here at 600 spring garden where Kyle was doing some baking along with yeah which was pretty cool There was a little there was a bit of a nonprofit sort of Intervention that was going on within 600 and trying to shine a light on some some was at red lining I think it was and Kyle was doing some baking and that’s when I first got introduced to it I can tell you that the product is like delish by the way I mean as we’ve all been you know sitting on our butts for the past like six months I mean nothing better than comfort food coming from Kyle I mean I would imagine like this is exactly what People want these days And especially with the cold weather around the corner we’re really going to start looking forward to this So we’ll get into you know talking a little bit more about the product and making sure people know where to find Kyle and Darnel’s Cakes So tell me tell me about the name Darnel’s Cakes
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:04:39] The name came from my cousin He grew up in Georgia
Passed away due to AIDS complications and January of 2013 when it happened it was of course shocking Still is a little bit to this but in 2015 I did a fundraiser to support his mom that was doing the AIDS walk in Athens Georgia that year So what I did I bake cupcakes here in Philly sold it to friends family et cetera like you know for one on Facebook And then I Donate that money to I forget the organization in Athens but that happened And then I also did a world AIDS day fundraiser in 2015 too and donated some money to colors It was what the beginning of December of course it was a cold day but it was cold rainy night actually And at the time I used to work at a radio station 900 am WURD So they helped me promote the fact that I was doing this fundraiser I still cupcakes at a cafe that’s right across from TRIA at 12th and spruce And that kind of caught the attention of the Lansdale farmer’s market where I started the next year So Darnel’s Cakes came from that Kind of altogether Yeah
Craig Grossman: [00:05:58] So you know you’re you’re you’re paying homage to your cousin and that name sort of represents quite a bit and you’re you’re taking that that mission if you will forward as you’re baking I imagine with with lots of love for your cousin and butter and love By the way that could be the tagline Darnel’s Cakes We bake with butter in love
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:06:25] Wow Wow
Craig Grossman: [00:06:28] trademarking that I’m 50 50
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:06:33] We can talk about it We can talk about it
Craig Grossman: [00:06:36] So meanwhile you’re so there’s a great mission behind the baking and if I’m not mistaken you’ve got some collaborations maybe here even in Philadelphia where you continue to shine a light on AIDS and AIDS awareness and safe sex and so on and so forth Tell us a little bit about that
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:06:54] Yeah I recently linked up with the Bebashi. I’ve known about them for years They’re a great organization and they’re literally like a 10 minute walk from the shop So I’m like this makes too much sense The first time I forget what day it was I think it was maybe national HIV testing date but they came to the shop gate People take home oral exams so you can take A test in the privacy of your own home which is great and they’re free which is even more great so we did that People came they got some food and they also took home a test and we’ll probably continue to do that in some fashion I just need to Get my act together but that’s the idea promote their services and use food and my business as a conduit to do that So yeah Is my plan is working
Craig Grossman: [00:07:51] Awesome So we’re talking a little bit about collaboration right now which is one of the things that I find to be really inspiring in this neighborhood with Business people and entrepreneurs like yourself It’s like alright she come up with this this plan And I know I know that there are so many ideas that are percolating behind the basic plan that you put down on on paper and you quickly get it open So let’s like put you under the spotlight here Let’s talk about where you see Darnell’s Cakes going with it And what do you see doing potential potentially collaborate And we were just talking a little bit Sort of off air if you will And we were talking about you know collaborating with the four breweries that are here in the neighborhood and there’s other there other nonprofits that are here that might be missioned aligned with Darnel’s Cakes We were talking about you know all the honey that the the the bees are producing in the neighborhood on top of some of our buildings over here Give us an idea of where you could see the Darnel’s Cakes going with some ideas get get people’s mouth watering
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:08:55] well to start with the honey I’ve been dying to do this honey bourbon cake I haven’t done it yet but I can probably get some local bourbon and local honey and make a cake
Craig Grossman: [00:09:10] Now do we chase that down with like a glass of milk or do we chase it with a beer or do we
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:09:16] I’m thinking maybe a bourbon cocktail of some sort It could be a bourbon beer cocktail
Craig Grossman: [00:09:22] Okay Okay I like it I like where we’re going with this Okay What else are you thinking about? The mad scientist is thinking right now. What else is he cooking up?
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:09:32] well you mentioned beer too So the beer and the pretzels something there’s something there I’m not too sure Just what yet but I possibly could use beer to make a pretzel Can put that one in the back burner
Craig Grossman: [00:09:44] Okay Now you also did If I’m not mistaken you were also you just participated with Triple Bottom in their Joy Box which has been a pretty cool concept And I love the fact that you know there was a perfect example right So shit hits the fan here Pandemic what do we do. Business is not the same as it is It was you know yesterday what are we going to do What are we going to make sure we can do to keep the lights on to keep our people employed So you know Tess at Triple Bottom they come up with this idea for the Joy Box and they start looking around for local collaborators You get hooked up with tests and what’d you end up putting into those Joy Boxes
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:10:23] I did a brownie sampler so it was a box of I think six different bars and brownies probably a lemon bar butter cake fudge brownie peanut butter That’s gluten free and an teller brownie And there might’ve been one more thing in there but that sampler box happened and I feel like this should happen again Cause they’re like I want to be in like fall baking season Very very very soon
Craig Grossman: [00:10:46] All right So let’s let’s let’s reconnect there with tests by the way I’m I’m adding onto your tagline made with love Joy and butter
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:10:55] Okay Okay Okay.
Craig Grossman: [00:10:57] Sometimes it comes to me. All right cool So
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:11:01] but wait other collaborations I had in mind So there’s also the there’s an artistic end to it too So we just got our merch that we’ll be selling very soon hopefully this week if I can get that up on the site but I have other merch that’s coming down the line and also I want to collaborate with artists so that they made like I dunno design a cake box or something else or a keepsake but You know the artists get some love and there also be some type of donation involved and you know the customer gets to take home a nice piece so I do want to get that going as soon as I get a minute from baking
Craig Grossman: [00:11:38] You know what I’m going to I’m going to throw out another so you know it’s interesting Right And and you know this better than most people So over the last you know six seven months or so as people have been stuck in their homes a lot of people have been playing around with with baking Right Right There’s been like a what a shortage in like baking products out
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:11:57] Yeah yeast was hard to find at some point like I literally had to fight to find yeast and then I found some but it was like Whoa why is there no yeast in the store
Craig Grossman: [00:12:06] Right Go figure it out I ended up really getting into like barbecuing and barbecuing all different kinds of seafood And as like a joke you know my my parents actually bought me an apron and I was thinking you know like people could use aprons I don’t know why that’s not maybe potentially on your merchandise
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:12:29] It’s on the list
Craig Grossman: [00:12:31] same thing with the with like potholders right Nobody makes cool pot holders but everybody’s gotta use potholders
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:12:39] That wasn’t on the list
Craig Grossman: [00:12:40] Get that on the list I mean you’re gonna you’re going to hook these up with an artist or two in the neighborhood and you’re gonna make some cool potholders and some cool aprons And from there you may come out with a whole like line of of Baked pots and pans And who knows where this is going Alright So I’m going to I’m going to push you Cool Well that’s all exciting So let me let me like switch the subject a little bit here I like to ask this question cause like we start to get to know you a little bit and I know you a little bit better than like the listeners but I need you to sort of throw us a curveball here So tell us something that Like we just wouldn’t know about you something that you do or you’ve done or you like to do an interest a hobby that’s got nothing to do with baking and you know some of your collaborations and your mission and something that we just wouldn’t expect when we started to talk to you I’m putting you on the spot
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:13:41] Yeah
Craig Grossman: [00:13:42] Think outside the box. I’ve had you know I learned that that Tess she likes studied forestry in college that to me was was an odd one Chad from The Lucky Well likes to sort of walk in the woods and find You know little bits of berries and trees things that he can actually eat and play with and potentially put into his that’s how he clears his mind So everybody’s got something a little bit wacky out there You just got to like push them to figure it out
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:14:21] I’m like I’m boring I don’t even know
Craig Grossman: [00:14:25] we may have to come back
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:14:25] let’s come back to it Something trigger
Craig Grossman: [00:14:29] Okay How long have you been in Philadelphia now Oh wow Okay So you’re definitely Okay So you’re here you’re here for the long haul
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:14:37] I think so
Craig Grossman: [00:14:39] do you see yourself with with Darnell cakes Do you see yourself having expanding that into more of like a full kitchen restaurant thing Or do you see yourself staying focused a little bit more narrow and deep on the baked goods
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:14:55] definitely lots of baked goods but I kind of want to keep it like as a simple like casual cafe but you know but then also have multiple locations So that’s the idea of I can also expand my bread program too To offer some type of bread or loaf or loaves that you can buy or buns or something but yeah I I mean I have like the pleasure of like going to Paris like a few times and there’s bakeries on every corner It’s like it’s uncommon for there not to be a bakery on every corner There really isn’t If there isn’t a bakery on the corner it’s like well what’s going on here Like the neighbors are mad
Craig Grossman: [00:15:38] Well I think it’d be very cool I mean you know to like bring that back I mean there was something like so Simple yet sexy about the idea of grabbing a loaf of bread a bottle of wine and maybe a little cheese or something like that Right So we gotta bring that back Let’s just say you gotta bring that back Okay I don’t want to push you too hard You’ve only been open here in your little brick and mortar spot for a couple months So Tenants and businesses are starting to come back to the office buildings There’ll be customers there I know you’re open right now You know more you know the two three days a week which is you know more about you know baking and preorders and wholesale and things of that nature But what else might we expect on the menu There’ll be coffee cappuccino any other sort of products that we can expect Cause we’re gonna we’re we’re gonna push this hard We’re gonna push the location of 444 North street So what can we expect when we come and visit you
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:16:34] definitely coffee it’s been hot so we only did a cold brew we tried out hot coffee but just wasn’t selling Cause it was so hot out in Philly at the time Like it was just it was ridiculous And not only that like when you drink coffee and the heat like caffeine and it’s just I was like alright let’s chill on ice coffee So we did tea drinks and now we’re getting back into coffee we’re using cafe roasters coffee So
Craig Grossman: [00:16:59] Which is delicious by the way
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:17:00] it’s insane It’s addictive I want to get back to like the pour over That style of coffee like keep it really simple cappuccinos and steam milk drinks may or may not happen we’re looking to see what we’re going to do with the space like what equipment we’re going to get or like just something more standard but we just don’t know what that is just yet but we’re figuring it out then as time goes on the you will get more fall like sweet potato items to the menu We’re going on a soup to the menu this weekend we’re doing shrimp and grits, I just found out. We were doing a crab cake Benedict but I’m getting bored with it So it’s time for shrimp and grits
Craig Grossman: [00:17:42] All right Cool So there’s some like real like heavy duty like comfort food that’s around the corner So just so everybody knows I want you to picture this right So so Kyle’s right in the in the lobby of 444 North third street which is a is an old sort of like Turn of the century former industrial building that’s fairly recently been renovated it’s it’s got a big parking lot in front of it Kyle’s just in the lobby There there’ll be some you know once it’s appropriate there’ll be some some cafe chairs and little tables in there So you can grab something You can sit down hop on the internet and make a call enjoy your your coffee or your baked item Take it outside take it to go Good spot for breakfast for lunch a lot of exciting things that we can expect there Tell us website hashtag how do we find you How do we follow you
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:18:31] So Darnel’s Cakes on Facebook and Instagram We’re a bit more active on Instagram than Facebook and DarnelsCakes.com for ordering either at the Lansdale farmer’s market or at the shop
Craig Grossman: [00:18:44] and look forward to merchandise being added to the website
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:18:48] Merch: t-shirts shorts sweatshirt probably coming soon
Craig Grossman: [00:18:53] And Kyle will be working on our aprons and potholders and maybe a new tagline. So stay tuned as I get more involved in Darnel’s Cakes business. I’m joking there. That’s focus on my
Kyle Cuffie-Scott: [00:19:08] I don’t mind the help. No,
Craig Grossman: [00:19:10] Cool. Well, listen, Kyle, we really appreciate you taking the time out. I know today’s a busy day with sort of stocking up on ingredients and getting ready to do your baking tomorrow, but we appreciate you coming in. Please check out Kyle Darnell’s kegs, 444 North third street. Check them out.
Delicious. Support the man. Support the mission. This is Craig Grossman signing off for Spring Arts. The podcast from RADIOKISMET, deep in the heart of Spring Arts, Philadelphia. Take care, everybody!
The Spring Arts Podcast is hosted by me, Craig Grossman. It is produced by RADIOKISMET and Studio D Podcast Production. You can expect episodes every week, and if you liked the Spring Arts Podcast, the best way to support the show is to give us a review on Apple podcasts and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.