The Ashland Beacon
Dave’s Bakery in Flatwoods has been delivering up delicious, moist, mouthwatering cakes topped with their famous buttercream frosting for over three decades. So, what is their biggest best kept secret for the years of consistent excellence and success...
“Good employees. That is the biggest thing,” said founder and owner, Dave Kersey.
Dave explained that when he first started the business over 30 years ago, he was a self-described “absentee owner” from 1983 through 1995. “I worked another job as a rep selling baked products, so the senior clerk oversaw everything.”
With lots of experience in the baked goods business, Dave traveled the southeastern United States selling other companies’ products and opening new bakeries. It was during this time that he became inspired to start his own business, well, for the money. “I was making everyone else too much money,” he joked.
At least that is what he thought until he dipped his own hand into the proverbial pie. “After a hundred thousand dollars into it, I realized it’s a lot harder to do than whatever everyone realizes,” he laughed. And it wasn’t easy in the beginning to come up with a product line he describes as “incredible and edible.”
Yet after some trial and error and a lot of hard work, Dave came up with some winning recipes and a whole line of yummy baked goods that thousands of customers have enjoyed through the years. “It’s really not that complicated now,” Dave said. “You just can’t mess around the recipe. You have to stick to the recipe.” But the most important recipe Dave maintains is having loyal and dedicated employees.
And blessed he is, with a staff the small business heavily relies on throughout the year since Dave admitted he likes the freedom to travel including taking a few months away from the area during the winter months. “I am completely comfortable leaving for months and letting them run everything,” he proudly said of his employees.
One such employee is Meg Brown who has been with the business going on 13 years now. “I started out as a cake decorator and I have loved working here ever since I started. My kids have grown up in this bakery,” Meg said.
She has since moved up from just decorating cakes to Dave’s number one go-to gal for just about everything. “Now I bake, I decorate, I supervise and manage the business and everything else. Just call me Dave,” she laughed.
She went on to say it is Dave’s attitude toward his employees as one of the reasons she has stuck around for more than a decade. “He is like family and so kind. He would give the shirt off his back,” Meg described her boss. “And I am free to be creative,” she added.
Meg’s creativity for baked goods does not just extend to the cakes, but to a whole line of home baked products: pies, donuts, croissants (the strawberry and cream filled ones are one of their biggest sellers and one of this writer’s favorites) and cookies to mention a few.
“We take a lot of orders for holiday themed cookies,” Meg said. “We even have UK gingerbread men in full UK uniform we make specifically for basketball season,” she proudly added. And well, as Kentuckians, we all know how much we love our Cats.
With decades of continued success, at 73 years of age, Dave has no intention of hanging up his apron and retiring. “Why would I when I have great people to run the business,” he openly bragged of his employees with a little chuckle.
With glass cases filled with donuts, cookies, cakes, pies and so much more it is hard to pass on any of these goodies. Just the aroma alone when you walk up the front steps to the porch to enter sets the mouth to watering and the taste buds tingling for what it on the other side of the door. Perhaps a little sinful but a very sweet indulgence everyone must try. After all, what is life without the occasional guilty pleasure.
Dave’s Bakery is located at 1001 Powell Lane in Flatwoods. Bakery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 5:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Sat., 5:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. And if you are looking to place an order for the holidays, it is advised to get it in early by calling 606.836.1499.