Cakery Bakery, Source of Many Sweet Memories, to Close

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Zora and Ray Yasseri, co-owners of Cakery Bakery, are set to retire and close their beloved La Cañada Flintridge bakery on Dec. 15.

Cakery Bakery, a staple of Foothill Boulevard known for its colorful custom cakes celebrating weddings and other cherished events, will soon bid farewell.
Zora and Ray Yasseri, the married couple who opened the La Cañada Flintridge business in 1995, are set to retire. The bakery, located at 1119 Foothill Blvd., will close on Sunday, Dec. 15.
“I’ll miss everything,” Zora Yasseri said in a recent interview as she teared up. “I’ll miss the work, I’ll miss the people.”
Yasseri said the lease for the bakery is up this year and the couple were presented with a five-year renewal option, but negotiations with the building’s owner for a shorter lease did not work. She said her husband is 74, and they did not want to commit to the longer period.
“If he gets sick or I get sick and we still have to pay the rent every month, that was kind of a big risk,” she said. “It’s a tough business. Physically, it’s very demanding and it’s really hard.”
LCF resident Evelyn Leflang, who has been going to the bakery for about 20 years, praised the Yasseris when she stopped by recently.
“Their cakes are absolutely super,” Leflang said. “Any cake — it doesn’t matter what — or the pies. Everything. I have tried and tasted just about everything. The day they are gone it will be a very sad day.”
Zora Yasseri, who is 65, added she thought about continuing but can’t do it by herself, and it’s been difficult to find “people who know what they’re doing,” such as bakers and decorators.
“It’s just me and him,” she said.
The bakery is known as the place in LCF that caters important events such as the opening of Target, or city and school district functions.
“You name it, I did it,” Yasseri said with a laugh. She said the most distant event she and her husband catered was a San Clemente wedding, but they stopped traveling so far because of Ray Yasseri’s age and the bad traffic. Routes that used to take 75 minutes were taking more than twice as long.
Zora Yasseri said cakes, naturally, have been the store’s most popular item.
“It’s our bread and butter, basically,” she said. “All kinds of it. Whatever [order] comes in the door, we take it.”
They have baked cakes for families with as few as four or six people or for parties with 200-300 people, Yasseri added.
The bakery’s website features hundreds of cakes in numerous categories ranging from creations for weddings to designs evoking pirates, casinos, “Star Wars” characters and more, but there are some styles she and her husband won’t create.
“We don’t do really sculpted cakes like 3-D this and that, like what you see on TV,” Yasseri said. “Just because I’m not a sculptor and I don’t have the skill, but even if I had that, that has a very specific market. The price gets to be way up there and I don’t know if people want to pay that.”
Zora said designs for their cakes typically come from people who find them online.
“They bring them and I look at it,” Zora said. “I kind of improvise and use that as an inspiration and do something. Some of them I come up with just by looking at stuff when I’m walking. Like textures on a tree, or you name it — I’m looking all over the place for designs … plates, shopping centers, department stores.”
She and her husband have a finely tuned formula for creating the cakes.
“He does the baking part of it,” Yasseri said. Her husband “makes the icing, he makes the fillings and things like that, and after he’s done with his deal then I put them together. I make the cakes and the decorations.”
Creating the works takes anywhere from an hour and a half to a couple of days, she said.
The journey to the LCF bakery began in 1985 when the couple moved with their two children to Montrose from Tehran, Iran, to be closer to relatives. Soon after the move, she completed a baking program at a trade school in Woodland Hills and her husband followed suit.
Longtime customer Leflang said the bakery’s ingredients make the cakes top notch.
“You go to other bakers and it’s a mess,” Leflang said. “Not them. And people always say, ‘Wow!’”
LCF Chamber of Commerce CEO Pat Anderson said the business has been a “cherished icon” in the community since it opened.
“They have served La Cañada Flintridge very well through their sweets and treats and we will definitely miss them,” said Anderson, who added her organization had used the business for events and the Yasseris were supportive of the chamber. “They were a delight to work with and always looking for an opportunity to be part of La Cañada Flintridge as well as giving back.”
Anderson said she and her daughter will especially miss a confection known as the Princess Cake.
“It’s a special cake with a crispy sugar frosting or icing on top of it,” Anderson said. “It’s kind of solid and not mushy like most icing.”
Additionally, she’ll miss all of the business’ “phenomenal” cookies.
“I have nothing but positive thoughts,” Anderson said. “They will be very, very missed.”
LCF City Manager Mark Alexander said he was “very disappointed” to hear the news of the closing.
“They have been the city’s go-to bakery for various city events since their opening, and they have one of the best cinnamon coffee cakes around,” Alexander said. “I will personally miss them and what they have meant to so many La Cañada Flintridge customers.”

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