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Polka Dot is closing

Last year I bought a Passion Fruit cake that changed my life. As I was ordering it from the Polka Dot Cake Studio I started talking to the pastry chef who was looking to hire help at the store. At the time I was still at my 9 to 5 computer job, but I was considering switching careers and saw this as a sign. I asked for an interview and the pastry chef told me to come in and meet the owner, Ayse Dizioglu. When I came in the next day to meet Ayse I was so surprised. I was ready to tell her about how much I wanted to bake, how many classes I had taken, etc., etc., but all she said was “Are you sure you really want to become a baker?” I said yes, and she said “Ok, see you tomorrow.” I was shocked that it happened so fast, and I wondered why she was willing to give a computer girl like me a job in a bakery. Looking back I believe that this meeting was one of the best things that ever happened to me, and I’m not just talking about the job.

I have spent the last 10 months working at The Polka Dot Cake Studio, but now it is time to say goodbye. The retail store is closing on February 15 and Ayse will be taking cake orders by appointment only.

This is a great change for Ayse since she can focus more on her specialty cake designs, but this is a big loss for customers and workers (like me) who love coming to the store each day. Working at Polka Dot and meeting Ayse has changed my life. She is one of those rare people in the world that has a truly generous spirit and only wants the best for everyone she knows. Ayse has been a critical part in my success, and has helped countless people like me pursue what they love and make their dreams come true. She is also a wonderful friend, and I know I will still see her far into the future. Even if I have to make an appointment to do it.

In preparation for closing the store, Polka Dot Cake Studio will be having a yard sale from now until February 15. Cake pans, utensils, dishes, furniture, fixtures, equipment and everything you can think of will be on sale. Please stop by to say bye to Polka Dot and see if there is something you need. Anything you buy is guaranteed to come with good luck, as it served a great bakery for many years.

So, as Ayse would say herself, I give many “kisses” to Polka Dot. Thanks for being a wonderful place to visit.


cheryl says on February 11th, 2006 at 6:31 pm:

This news makes me very sad.

Debbie Bernard says on February 11th, 2006 at 7:24 pm:

Uh oh, where are we going to get Vanilla Bean Lemonade during our summer visits? Good luck to you Ayse.

Griff says on February 11th, 2006 at 10:43 pm:

Polka Dot was a source of inspiration and it is unfortunate they are closing. The daily customer doesn’t undestand the dedication of a good baker and how hard it is to keep a good bakery alive.
I wish Ayse the best and all who worked for Polka Dot.

genevieve says on February 12th, 2006 at 12:32 am:

it is sad to leave the delightful world of baking, especially to return to the corporate world (i did that several years ago, after leaving a wonderful summer at a little bakery for a job in management consulting). but i promise you, you will find many ways to continue fulfilling your passion in baking!

shuna fish lydon says on February 12th, 2006 at 1:45 am:

Indeed, bakeries are a tenuous business. But oh so wondrous. Any chance the tag sale can be accessed online? My favorite cake pan is older than me and almost as heavy.

Good luck to all your baking colleagues. Ours is a passionate road– difficult, unbelievably rewarding, delicious, intense and close.

Have you contacted Maury Rubin? I hear he’s looking for some good people…

McAuliflower says on February 12th, 2006 at 5:28 am:

Ahh Kelli, this is just a little bit heartbreaking. A wonderful thank you post none-the-less.

Kelli says on February 12th, 2006 at 10:25 am:

Ayse will still be in the baking world, just on her own terms which may be the best way to do it! It seems like everyone here can certainly relate to that. Thank you for the well wishes. As for me, I’m starting my own business so I will continue to bake as well. I think once it’s in you, you can’t stop (as Ayse says, I caught the “fever”).

As for the lemonade, the official name is “Kelli’s Vanilla Bean Lemonade” so I think I know the recipe :) I can make you some for a special occasion.

Robyn says on February 12th, 2006 at 12:03 pm:


I mean. Ahh! :(

Good luck to you and Ayse and the baking-inspired joy you guys will create. :D

Jiraffe7 says on February 12th, 2006 at 1:01 pm:

Wow, that’s very sad news. I hadn’t even gotten a chance to eat one of their products! I guess I have a few more days before that chance is gone. Perhaps it’s fate! You got the training you needed and now you can concentrate 24-7 on Amai!

Kristin says on February 12th, 2006 at 10:42 pm:

Seriously!! It’s all about the VBL!! I need to at least get one last fix! How sad :(

Mona says on February 13th, 2006 at 2:56 pm:

I’m sad to admit I never got to go to Polka Dot…But I guess it’s not too late- I can buy a piece of its history now, and yours too:) Your story is inspiring. I’m desperately looking for a career switch-a-roo…

Phil says on February 13th, 2006 at 5:05 pm:

I saw your original post when you found them and I really wanted to try it, but never got to it. Then when I saw this post I knew I had to get down there, so I went a couple of hours ago and picked up some nice books (unfortunately I don’t speak French lol), some baking items, and then a cake! When I saw there were a few things left I knew I had to try it. I got the coconut cake. It was a bitter-sweet visit though, knowing they would no longer be in business. Oh well, I will enjoy the cake and the items I was able to give a good home. Good luck to them in their future endeavors.
-Take Care Everyone

dbdtron says on February 13th, 2006 at 11:54 pm:

Best of luck to all involved–I’ll stop in.. *sigh*


P.L. says on February 14th, 2006 at 1:45 pm:

The coconut cake was amazing! I couldn’t believe how good the cake and the cream were. I honestly wish I had the recipe. Oh well. Will Ayse still be making the miniature cakes by appointment? I don’t need much more than a small portion of them for myself.

Jiraffe7 says on February 14th, 2006 at 3:36 pm:

So sad..I went today, hoping I could catch them (I had never tried their cakes before!) and sadly, they were pretty much all packed up! I guess it’s not a total loss-Ayse will still be making cakes–now to find an event to buy a cake for!

Liz says on February 17th, 2006 at 12:47 am:

Oh no! Polka Dot was on my list of places to hit next time I was in the city with friends.

Hope the mail order works well for her.

(Vanilla Bean Lemonade sounds lovely by the way! Good luck with Amai :D )

chan says on February 19th, 2006 at 9:26 am:

all things happen for a reason.. no?
it seems like this change will now allow you to focus all of your energy on the new business! i am so jealous! i want a bakery one day…. but i have a LONG WAY to go! :)
will you open a storefront or just sell online? i cant wait to watch your business grow!
good luck sista girl…

Paulette says on February 21st, 2006 at 4:38 pm:

Too bad that all of you polka dot fans dont realize that the “chef” owner didnt even come up with the most beloved recipes for her own bakery. The only thing she put on the menu of her own was cheesecake. She was lucky to find people who would share their recipes and what they learned to help polka dot become a success.

Kelli says on February 21st, 2006 at 8:38 pm:

Anyone who has ever made a chocolate cake, vanilla cake or swiss meringue buttercream may have used a near identical recipe to each other, even if they never talked. Creating a bakery is about putting an entire concept together, and making everything from the recipes, to the designs, to the pricing work. I don’t know the source of the recipes, but I do know that it takes a real chef to put it all together and keep it running for many years. I also know the owner would be happy to share anything she knows, just like I’m sure other chefs did with her along the way.

P.L. says on February 24th, 2006 at 7:41 pm:

I would still love to find out where the recipe for the coconut cake came from. Whether it be by book or mouth. Frankly, I don’t care, it would just be nice to know the recipe, LoL. I pretty much figured the recipes were her own interpretation of the best of the best recipes she could find; as with most bakeries. I wonder if Ayse reads these. :)

erica says on February 25th, 2006 at 3:28 pm:

Buh bye.. my first experience was heart-wrenching … picking up my order birthday cake and it looking like posted gov’t cheese instead of a champaigned color harlequin design.. i cried… Ayse helped me as best as she could… the picture in the cake book was distorted (which i assumed was the right color) and she did the cake in its acutal color and cake book photo, gov’t cheese. I cursed holy hell at the staff and her for putting a false representation in a cake book. She fixed it, somewhat, but it throw my whole day off. At the end the cake was ok looking; tasted great.. no one new better.. except me :-(

kate says on April 6th, 2006 at 3:16 pm:

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i wish i could have gone – i know i would have loved it!

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Lovescool is the documentation of a journey to discover what sweet things are out there, why people love them so much, and perhaps what it takes to start something new.

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An interest, that turned into a blog, that turned into a career. Kelli Bernard is now the owner and baker of Amai Tea & Bake House.

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