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Cake service provides baked goods to campus community

| Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Since 1987, Notre Dame has been home to a student-delivered cake service. Originally started in a dorm room, the cake service is now housed in LaFortune Student Center and overseen by director Kim Miller. It coordinates the daily deliveries of customized cakes, various pastries and balloons to any Notre Dame student’s dorm room from a local South Bend pastry shop, junior Leigh Harden said.

Cakes are typically ordered by parents or friends for special occasions, Karen Kennedy, director of student centers, events and activities, said.

“The majority of orders come from parents and other loved ones of students, who choose to send fresh baked treats — and often also balloon bouquets — to celebrate birthdays, accomplishments and other special days,” Kennedy said.

Harden, who is in her second year of working for the cake service, explained that parents, friends and students should ideally place orders at least two days before the delivery date via the ND Cake Service page on the SAO website. However, in the rare case that a parent forgets to order a cake in time for a birthday, Miller will do everything she can to facilitate the delivery, Harden said. The cake service offers pastries from cookies to cannolis to cheesecakes, but Harden recommends the banana cake.

The cake service is one of many options on campus to buy treats for friends, Harden said.

“What makes it special is you could go into the Huddle and buy a birthday cake if you wanted to, but it’s the fact that we go to a bakery in town, get it personalized, deliver it right to [the student] and make [them] a card,” Harden said. She would not disclose which specific bakery provides the items.

Four students are currently employed by the cake service, and the Student Activities Office (SAO) is looking for additional student employees, Kennedy said. Students can contact SAO if they are interested in joining the team this semester or in the future.

Harden, who works on Mondays, said a typical work shift is about four hours long.

“On a typical day, I’ll come in at 2 p.m. after class, check that all the cakes were delivered and have the right things written on them,” she said. “I then write out the birthday cards or whatever card it is and load everything in the golf cart and deliver to dorms.”

After completing her golf cart rounds, Harden spends about an hour sending email confirmations that all the items were delivered successfully. The time working is rewarding for the students that deliver the cakes, she said.

Harden said her favorite part of the job is surprising people with the pastries.

“When people have no idea that they are coming and they’re super happy,” she said. “It’s especially funny when there are friends in the room and everyone freaks out.”

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