Taste of West Philly: Pound Cake Heaven opens
The new bakery on 50th and Baltimore offers a taste of home
January 23, 2014, 6:44 pm · Updated January 23, 2014, 9:07 pm·
Yolanda Chen | DP
A new bakery close to campus makes it easy for students to get homemade cakes without leaving Philly.
Pound Cake Heaven, specializing in layer cakes, scones and, of course, pound cake, opened its second location on 50th Street and Baltimore Avenue on Jan. 20. It is one of a few bakeries to open west of the Schuylkill River.
Owner Pamela Thornton said that her shop fills a need for sweets in West Philadelphia.
“I knew that Baltimore Avenue was a good location because there’s no sweets, no genuine location for sweets in West Philly,” Thornton said.
The bakery also decorates cakes for weddings, anniversaries and other special events. Pound cake flavors range from red velvet to sweet potato to their original “butter sour cream,” which Thornton said that no one has ever disliked since she started the recipe. Thornton’s mother and head baker at Pound Cake Heaven also specializes in deep-dish apple pies.
Penn students can receive a discount on their purchase at Pound Cake Heaven with a valid PennCard, although Thornton did not specify the amount of the discount. The bakery is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday. On Sundays, it is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is closed on Mondays.
Besides baked goods, Thornton added that the bakery’s ambience is an important aspect of the store. Pound Cake Heaven offers samples all day, every day, has photo albums of decorated cakes and emanates a constant pound cake aroma. The next addition to the store will be a library of cake recipe books.
“We want to make you feel at home when you come to Pound Cake Heaven,” Thornton said. “I’m taking people way back to when they were a child.”
For Thornton, the dream of opening a bakery began on a summer day when she was watching her nieces. After two trips to Michaels to buy materials to knit and crochet, Thornton took them to a cake decorating class. By the end of that summer, Thornton had completed 16 classes.
“I couldn’t get enough of it,” she said. “Then people started asking me for cakes and the light bulb went off.”
Pound Cake Heaven opened its first location in Yeadon, Pennsylvania — just outside of Philadelphia — two years ago. While the bakery is in a less populated section of the Baltimore strip, Thornton said that she hears that other businesses will soon be opening around her, and added that the community has welcomed her with “open arms.”
Years after her first cake decorating class, Thornton remains in love with baking.
“I still can’t get enough of it,” she said.