New Cake Shop Brings Sweet Treats to Brownsburg Main Street
The sign above the fireplace in Sweet Paige’s Bakery on Main Street in Brownsburg reads, “My mom worked way too hard for me to just be ordinary.” And for Paige Barnhart, owning her own bakery at 24 years old is anything but ordinary.
The old house turned bakery, with its hardwood flowers, black and white checkered front sunroom, and simple, bright décor boasts cupcakes, cookies, macarons and coffeecake daily. Barnhart keeps busy with custom orders for birthdays, weddings, showers, holiday parties and gender reveal parties.
“This year has been something out of another world,” Barnhart says, trying to describe her first year as a business owner. Owning a bakery was never even in her plan.
Barnhart is a 2001 graduate of Brownsburg High School. She attended IUPUI for biology, her goal was to become an orthopedic surgeon. But in her junior year of college, she second-guessed the amount of school she would need. She switched to Marian University to study nursing.
But it still didn’t feel right.
“I would always bake as my stress reliever,” Barnhart says. “I have always baked with my mom, and I’d bake stuff for my friends.”
One day, she had made a custom cake for her best friend’s little sister’s sweet 16 birthday. Someone commented that many people pay good money for beautiful, delicious cakes and that Barnhart should consider selling them.
“I mentioned it to my mom, and so we decided to just create a post on Facebook,” Barnhart says, and she shrugged. “It took off from there.”
That simple Facebook post in January 2018 led to more business than Barnhart could keep up with. She found herself living for the weekends when she could be done with her classes and finally bake to her heart’s content. Once classes finished in May that year, Barnhart decided not to return, and she poured herself into baking. From August to February, Barnhart baked full-time out of her parent’s kitchen.
“My mom would joke, ‘Which days do I get my kitchen this week?’” Barnhart laughs. “So we looked for a place. And this place was just perfect.”
Preparing the house was a family affair, with her parents helping decorate and paint the walls, trim, ceiling and fireplace. Her dad even built the front counter. The storefront officially opened in May: prime time for weddings and graduations.
“It’s been so busy. I am not complaining that it’s busy. But it’s busy,” Barnhart says. “That first May, June and July were the three busiest months of my entire life.”
She arrived at the bakery at 6 a.m. and some days didn’t get home until after nightfall, once not even getting home until 6 a.m. the next day. The pace was unsustainable, and she took some time off in August to recalibrate. Since then, Barnhart has become more skilled, efficient and able to take breaks when she needs them.
As September approaches, another busy wedding season, she feels more prepared.
“I know what’s coming now,” Barnhart says. “Now I know how to balance it all, even though it will be busy.”
One thing Barnhart adores about her job, besides being able to bake every day, is being a part of other people’s special days.
“Baking is special in the sense I get to be a part of everybody’s celebrations,” Barnhart says. “That is so cool. I’ve done some gender reveals, and then I did those kids’ first and second birthdays. And weddings are fun because they’ll have those pictures of my cake forever. That’s just really special.”
Even though Sweet Paige’s has only been open since May, Barnhart has made a point to give whenever she possibly can. She is sponsoring the Brownsburg High School Girl’s Cross-country team, and she consistently donates to Sheltering Wings in Danville and the Brownsburg Education Foundation.
“I do as much as I can,” Barnhart says. “I grew up here so I like to give back. I’d hope someone would do the same for me.”
Barnhart’s parents regularly help with the business, her dad running errands for her in the morning and her mom helping with orders on the weekends. Even the featured coffeecake in the shop is her own mother’s recipe.
Their most popular items are their snickerdoodle cakes and cupcakes. It’s become a favorite flavor in general at Sweet Paige’s. Barnhart also serves coffee (made from Julian Roasters out of Zionsville), tea, milk and soda.
Barnhart’s older brother, who plays for the Cincinnati Reds, hasn’t been to the bakery yet but plans a visit during his offseason.
“My parents always told us when we were younger, ‘Don’t work in a job you hate doing every day and to find something that makes us happy,’” Barnhart recalls. “Luckily we both did.”
Barnhart is excited for new products in fall and winter, saying there will be more pies, hot chocolate and other cooler weather baked goods in the shop. There may even be some classes on the horizon, such as a macaron baking class. Stay up to date by visiting Sweet Paige’s on Facebook and Instagram.
Sweet Paige’s is located at 405 E Main St. in Brownsburg. For more information, give them a call at 317-306-9561 or visit them online at facebook.com/sweetpaigescakes.