If you’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying a homemade meal at Keys Cafe and Bakery, you know that they live true to their mission of providing “the food you grew up with.” As a local staple, they also curate delicious wedding cakes and desserts as beautiful as they are delicious.
Kari Mueller is the company’s Bakery Manager and Wedding Coordinator and has a true passion for making all couples feel like they’re part of the Keys family. Whether you’re looking for a large, multi-tier wedding cake, dessert bar, or donut wall, Keys has you covered with a “no-rules” mindset. To get to know Kari, we asked her about her experience in the industry, the latest trends in wedding cakes and desserts, and what her favorite comfort food is—surprisingly NOT cake!
Q: Let’s get to it, what’s your business’ specialty?
A: We are a café & bakery, so we specialize in scratch-made, family-style breakfast, lunch & dinner items as well as scratch-made bakery items including cakes, pies, cookies, bars, cupcakes, macarons & donuts!! We make wedding cakes and desserts, but also do anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and anything you may need a sweet treat for!
Q: Where can we find you?
A: We are at 1750 Weir Dr., Suite 20, Woodbury, MN, 55125. We also have eight other locations around the Twin Cities and Hudson, WI. We are on Facebook at Keys Café & Bakery of Woodbury or at keyscafe.com.
Q: Tell us when and how Keys Cafe and Bakery began.
A: It was all started in 1973 by Barbara Hunn in St. Paul. It is still a family-owned business 47 years later, with Barb’s kids taking over & growing the business.
Q: What makes your Keys Cafe and Bakery unique from others?
A: What sets us apart from other bakeries is that we make everything from scratch! The recipes we use are family recipes that have been passed down for generations. Another thing that sets us apart is that we have so many loyal customers! I have done cakes and desserts for a couple’s bridal shower, wedding, 1st anniversary, baby shower, 1st birthday and so on.
We really get to know our customers and feel that they become part of our family here. We have a very low turnover of bakers so our customers know that they can call me, or any baker, and we will know exactly what they are looking for! I love being a part of a family’s story in some small, but delicious way.
Q: How long have you been in the industry? What do you think has changed the most since then?
A: I have been making cakes for 10 years now! When I started it was all about fondant decorations and now, I see it going back to buttercream everything and I love that!!
Q: Walk us through your average day.
A: I usually arrive at 3 am and start baking the morning rolls, scones, muffins, donuts, etc. I will then make a list of what we need to make for the day. There are usually 2-3 of us bakers at a time so we all have different roles we play in getting out our bakery items. I will usually make up the cakes, orders for the day & macarons. Then, I will usually do any office work that needs to be done like emails, booking wedding consultations, returning phone calls, product ordering, etc.
Q: What would you want couples searching for your business type to know?
A: That we treat everyone like family. At Keys Cafe and Bakery, we listen to what our customers are asking for and design something that will not only be memorable to look at but also delicious! We want to be your family’s bakery for every family event for years to come. We also have a variety of vegan and gluten-free desserts that we offer daily.
Q: How far in advance should a couple book with you?
A: I recommend 3-6 months, but we can certainly book a year out or even a couple of weeks before if needed.
Q: What’s hot in wedding desserts & cakes right now?
A: Donuts, Macarons, and Dessert Bars are really popular right now! I see couples still opting for a smaller tiered cake to cut and then individual desserts for their guests.
Q: What can we expect to see more of in party cakes & desserts in the future?
A: I think we will see an updated spin on more traditional bakery items. I also see more vegan and gluten-free options becoming more mainstream.
Q: What are your other hobbies and passions besides creating delicious sweets?
A: Well I love to bake when I am at home too! I also love to go for walks, watch TV and hang out with my family.
Q: Who’s your most played artist on your streaming service?
A: Luke Combs, Mötley Crüe or Kelly Clarkson
Q: Heels or flats?
Q: Mountains or Beach?
Q: Go-to cocktail (or mocktail)?
A: Malibu Pineapple with a splash of cranberry
Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: A lawyer or a counselor
Q: You’re at brunch. Are you going for something sweet or savory?
A: BOTH! I would start with something savory and end with something sweet!
Q: Go-to comfort food?
A: A salad. Growing up we went out to eat a lot and my mom would always get a dinner salad before her dinner and she would have French and blue cheese dressing on it, and I would always eat half of it! Salads are my favorite food!
Q: Duck Duck Grey Duck or Duck Duck Goose?
A: Duck Duck Grey Duck, of course!
I’m not sure about you, but I’m certainly ready for a Keys cupcake or six! Thanks, Kari, for chatting with us and letting us get to know you and this Minnesota staple a bit more! If you’re interested in hearing more about Keys wedding cakes and desserts, shoot Kari an email at [email protected] or call her at 651-731-5397. She’s sure to help make your special day even sweeter!