Albert H. Fulcher | Contributing editor
Fifth Avenue’s Babycakes moves forward with expansion
Building Babycakes from the ground up was truly the American dream for Christopher Stavros, the bakery/bar’s co-founder and president. But after a decade, due to its huge success, this staple of Hillcrest is moving in June to a larger facility in Paradise Hills, a neighborhood located between National City and Bonita.
Stavros and co-founder Rafael Del Rio created a product and service from scratch that embraced the LGBT community, just as its predecessor David’s Place did, which opened up during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Babycakes’ involvement in the community is strong and passionate with its Sunday Fundays events. Babycakes allows the community to utilize the space for fundraisers and are a staunch supporter of many events with both its products and presence. With its friendly atmosphere, bakery, food selection and bar, this is more than a business to Stavros, Del Rio and their loyal customers. Stavros said that the move was not an easy decision to make but is adamant about their continued involvement with the people they love and serve.
Stavros and Del Rio believe that giving over the past decade has come back to them in many ways.
“We have supported the community when we were able and the community in turn has supported Babycakes. We will continue to support the community and we will never forget our roots, as our roots go deep. Given the expansion, we will have more opportunity to give. We understand the universal balance of … give and you will receive.”
Due to the overwhelming success of its award-winning cupcakes and memorable celebration cakes, the new bakery will quadruple in size with a storefront, ample parking and a convenient location at the intersection of Interstate-805 and Highway 54.
The Babycakes co-owners plan to keep their location in Imperial Beach open, and also have long-term plans to open a storefront in North County and East County.
Stavros said the sky is the limit as they build the Babycakes brand, allowing it to have a presence at its customer’s dinner table by adding it to local restaurants’ menus and on the shelves of neighborhood markets.
“There were many variables in making the decision [to relocate], including some that were out of our control,” he said. “Babycakes has been a lifestyle for us, making it challenging for us to separate the personal and professional aspects of a business. At the end of the day, it is a business and we ultimately need to make decisions that were in the best interest of the Babycakes brand. If the yellow brick road leads us back to Hillcrest, we would be honored to return. Hillcrest is where the heart is.”
In the beginning, they opened during the recession with a lot of skepticism and opposition.
“This actually strengthened our work ethic to succeed and overcome the social doubt,” Stavros said. “The experience of opening a business in trying times was personally rewarding and only possible with the support of the community and perseverance. I would not change a thing. Thank you to those who have supported Babycakes over the past 10 years, and you know who you are, with much gratitude.”
Stavros understands the community’s love and support of its current location.
“The spirit will always be alive at the venue while it stands, yet we are moving on and taking with us the pride in doing our best in continuing the LGBT history,” he said. “We will continue to show our true colors at other future locations and hopefully make a positive impact on other neighborhoods throughout San Diego.”
Babycakes San Diego’s new location is at 2315 Reo Drive in Paradise Hills.
To keep up with the latest on Babycakes and the move, visit BabycakesSanDiego.com, or follow Babycakes on Facebook and Instagram at @BabycakesSanDiego.
— Albert Fulcher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.