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Crumby business — CakeSpy shutting down Capitol Hill shop

Making even a tag sweet (Image: CakeSpy)

Even with a generous dollop of frosting on top, it’s a business decision. June continues to be a month of change for Pike/Pine businesses as long-term leases are reassessed and business plans modified. Today, the couple behind the CakeSpy Shop announced they are closing down their retail effort on Capitol Hill.

“CakeSpy as a business and product line is not disappearing, but we’ve decided to go down different paths than the gallery,” CakeSpy’s Jessie Oleson said in a statement sent out Thursday afternoon.

She said the shop had become “less and less” aligned with her CakeSpy business. She also said many people had wandered into the E Pine store expecting a bakery.

Jessie Oleson and Cuppie (Image: CakeSpy)

Danny Oleson writes that the plan is to put the store up for sale — minus the CakeSpy name:

As some of you may know, Jessie Oleson, founder of CakeSpy, moved to Philadelphia a number of months ago to take advantage of an artist grant that would help her advance and grow the CakeSpy name.  During that time, Danny Oleson and store manager Natalie Samford have been taking care of the store. As the CakeSpy brand has evolved during this time and Jessie has pursued writing cookbooks, the retail store fits less and less with the overall mission–understandably, after reading the blog and her books, many customers expect the store to be a bakery! As a result, we’ve lovingly decided to sell the retail storefront business, and we wanted let you, our wonderfully supportive community, know what was up.
As those of you who were customers of Bluebottle Art Gallery before us know, when Jessie and I took over the store, we changed the name, but we continued the tradition of featuring innovative, exciting and local and national artists making unique products that you can’t find elsewhere, and we want to sell to someone who will continue that tradition.  The store is perfect for someone who wants a working studio where retail hours can be kept, and if the new owner has their own wholesale business, it is perfect for storing product and fulfilling orders.  Please note that while the name “CakeSpy Shop” will not be included in the sale, all of the store fixtures (including newly installed lighting and flooring!) will be included, and the buyer will be entitled to maintain all of the consignment products in the store and is permitted to use the name “Bluebottle Art Gallery” if desired. This is to say–everything is available except for the name “CakeSpy Shop”. 
So, interested in taking over a wonderful gallery? Oh, goody.
We are asking $10,000. The store’s rent will be in addition to this cost. You will get:
The Bluebottle name and related online properties
A killer Capitol Hill location (note, the buyer will be taking over the lease)
A built out and stocked store – purchase will include existing wholesale stock, furnishings and equipment save a couple of exceptions, and existing consignment relationships so that the current consignment stock will carry over for those artists who choose to continue their relationship with the store.
A software system that serves for point of sale, inventory management, expense tracking, consignment payments and more.
An existing base of loyal customers
Talk to us to find out more! Please email Unfortunately, emails sent to any other address will not be able to be answered. 
Danny Oleson/
CakeSpy Shop

Cuppie has been an avid CHS reader (Image: CakeSpy)

The CakeSpy shop debuted on E Pine in May 2010 after a transformation of the Bluebottle Gallery. It neighbors Gamma Ray Games which CHS reported is undergoing big changes of its own as the venture launches a new gaming cafe in the Travelers space later this summer.

There’s no set date for the CakeSpy Shop’s last day of business.

“It has truly been an amazing experience to share CakeSpy with so many amazing people in this format,” Jessie Oleson said. “It’s been humbling to have visitors from far and wide come to share wonderful art, food stories, and of course to buy CakeSpy (and other) art!” You can read her full announcement at

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8 years ago

I bought nearly every single present on my holiday list at CakeSpy- what a cute space and such a lovely purveyor. Good luck in all you do!

8 years ago

Have seen the art everywhere, never once saw an advertisement or sign of a cake shop. Sorry! Totally would have been shopping there, if we had known.

Need sweets
8 years ago

Of course people expected a bakery. I’m thinking the market for people who want to look at a picture of a cupcake has got to be smaller than that for people who want to eat one. Never quite got this concept.

8 years ago

From what I understand she has a ridiculously successful online business. So obviously a shit ton of people buy “pictures of cupcakes”. It was apparently just not feasible for a storefront. Don’t be a dick.

eyes open
8 years ago

Zack is correct. On top of that, they had a great staff, hosted art shows for start-up local artists, and carry other local artist’s merchadise. They are good people, cared about their community, and it’s sad to see the storefront go.

Rachel Wilcock
8 years ago

And also taking into account the many murals she has been commissioned to do for businesses I’d say quite a few people want to look at a picture of a cupcake. I have the Lusty Lady cupcake above my kitchen sink and everyone loves it so maybe you don’t know what you’re talking about. Zack is right, you are a dick.

Another Zack
8 years ago

I bought several gifts for people including pictures of cupcakes from CakeSpy.

Seriously…don’t be a dick.
At least not in this case.
Don’t be a dick to local independent artists and entrepreneurs who make Capitol Hill what it is.
Because it’s increasingly more difficult for them to do so.

8 years ago

Best of luck in your new endevours!

As to the person who says that people don’t buy pictures of cupcakes…they sure do. I buy my Christmas cards for people I really like through the store. I have several clothing items and other fun things from the on-line store that she has.

Michael W.
8 years ago

The Capitol Hill Chamber office is full of Jessie’s pics of cupcakes all over Capitol Hill; cupcakes on Broadway, cupcakes at Bimbo’s, cupcakes at Molly Moon’s… I love that Cakespy made a home in our hood.

Best of luck Danny & Jessie – you are both so very sweet…