Kittie's Cakes

Couple opens bakery with neighborhood in mind

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JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THISWEEKNEWS
Co-owner Kelly Fankhauser, center, waits behind the counter as a customer decides on a cupcake while partner Mollie (background) works the cash register April 10, at Kittie's, a bakery on S. Third St. in German Village.
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Sure, Mollie and Kelly Fank-hauser wanted to open a first-rate bakery in German Village.

But they also had the neighborhood in mind with Kittie's Cakes, which recently opened at 495 S. Third St.

So they designed the dessert destination to be modern and approachable to the public, accenting the narrow storefront with wood and glass.

The 1,200-square-foot space has a high ceiling, a small number of seats at a large picture window in front, and a long exhibition kitchen with endless stainless steel.

"We wanted to have a more residential feel so people can see what we're doing," Mollie said.

The Fankhausers, a couple who lives in German Village, moved their bakery from a licensed kitchen downtown.

It offers several mini cupcakes, also called "cakes," plus assorted other treats, including an oatmeal cream pie, the recipe for which dates back 50 years.

Kittie's also features full-sized cupcakes and special-occasion cakes by order.

On the weekends, when the shop opens at 8 a.m., Kittie's sells breakfast options: coffee cakes, oatmeal cakes and the Dutch cake -- banana, bacon, crushed red pepper and maple butter cream icing.

The store is open five days a week, closed Monday and Tuesday.

Kathy "Kittie" Fankhauser, Mollie's mother, is the inspiration of the shop, which is distinguished by a conspicuous "K" sign out front.

"She was always in the kitchen," Mollie said. "It's just something I enjoyed too."

Yet, Mollie's first calling was golf. She eventually made the LPGA tour, where she met Kelly, who was on the mini tour, and eventually became Mollie's caddie.

"Golf is great," Kelly said. "Baking is much better."

In September 2011, the day after they stopped touring professionally, they opened Kittie's Cakes, which did not have a retail component, something they both wanted.

"The reception here has been fantastic," Mollie said. "We want happy customers. And we've had that. Everybody's happy."

Kittie credits her mother, Micky O'Shaughnessy Lape, with developing the original recipes, which Mollie and Kelly refined.

"They perfected the recipes," Lape said. "They made it their own."

Still, she's flattered to be the bakery's namesake.

"It still hasn't hit," Lape said. "I'm so stunned. Sometimes I drive down Third Street and see that 'K' and I can't believe it. I'm so honored."

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