It certainly seemed bold and risky to launch a new bakery in April, in the midst of the coronavirus stay-at-home order.
But following her longtime dream, Ashley Graham, 23, went ahead and followed her plan to open In the Mix Bakery at 234 E Main Street in downtown Louisville.
“I definitely was nervous to open,” Graham said. “And I definitely was surprised when the phone kept ringing and ringing with orders.”
Graham’s love of baking stems from time she spent together with her mother in the kitchen while growing up. Later, she went through the culinary program at R.G. Drage Career Technical Center. After graduating from Tuslaw High School in 2014, she earned a degree in baking and pastries from Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky.
After looking at a vacant storefront in Louisville a year ago, Graham decided to open a bakery there, taking advice from one of her professors at Sullivan: “If you don’t do it when you’re young, you’ll never do it.”
Q. How has the response been in Louisville for your bakery?
A. “Overwhelming. We have been beyond busy. We’ve been taking pre-orders for pickup on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and every week, we’ve had to stop taking orders because we’ve gotten so many. Everybody has been super happy and excited that we’re here. We’ve gotten lots of messages and letters from people in the mail that they’re excited we’re here. Lots of good reviews so far.”
Q. What are some of your most popular items at In the Mix?
A. “Chocolate chip cookies are a big seller right now. Brownies and cinnamon rolls have been a hit, as well. I do different flavors of cupcakes every week. Lots of custom cakes. We can do pretty much any flavor someone wants.”
Q. When you first opened, because of the pandemic, it was all custom orders. How have you transitioned since that time?
A. “We did pre-ordering at first because we were afraid people might not come in, and if we filled the case, we’d have to throw things away. But we had a huge response, so we started to take orders and fill the case with what we had left over. Now we have a full case for people to walk in and grab stuff.”
Q. You obviously love baking. What is the best part for you?
A. “I love when people pick up their cakes. When little kids see their birthday cakes, their faces say it all.”