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New bakery opens in Pleasant Gap

CHRIS MORELLI/THE EXPRESS The CakeShop by Tati is a new bakery that recently opened its doors at 113 W. College Ave., Pleasant Gap.

PLEASANT GAP — There’s a new bakery in Centre County.

On Feb. 16, The CakeShop by Tati had its ribbon cutting and grand opening.

The CakeShop, at 113 E. College Ave., Pleasant Gap, features a plethora of sweets, treats and beverages. The CakeShop is located at the space formerly occupied by Taco, Inc. It is owned by Tatiana and Derek Polay.

“I started by doing some custom cakes,” Tatiana explained, “then the opportunity came up and we took it. We just went for it.”

The CakeShop has a small sitting area for those who want to grab a coffee and a pastry. At the front counter, there is a case where customers can check out all of the goodies — cupcakes, cookies, muffins and croissants — just to name a few. Tatiana is Peruvian, so she does like to make some exotic pastries, but the Polays said there is something for everyone at The CakeShop.

CHRIS MORELLI/THE EXPRESS Tatiana and Derek Polay cut the ribbon to mark the grand opening of their business, The CakeShop by Tati, on Feb. 16.

Derek was born and raised in State College. The couple met in 2014 while attending culinary school in New York City and lived there for six years.

“It was up there that we trained and worked with some of the best in the world,” Derek said.

The couple returned to Centre County in May of 2020 after COVID-19 forced many businesses in New York City to close. Tatiana did some cakes for family and friends in Centre County. As word of mouth spread, the cake-making took off.

“She kept getting orders … more and more, it was getting to the point where we couldn’t do it out of our house or a rental kitchen anymore. The space kind of fell into our lap and the opportunity expanded from there,” Derek said.

The Polays said that they like being near the main intersection in Pleasant Gap. In addition to The CakeShop, they are neighbors with Little Mamma’s Pizza and the Red Horse Tavern, two popular destinations in the Pleasant Gap/Bellefonte area. The Polays noticed a void and are hoping to fill it.

“There’s really nothing like this over here. The kind of food we’re doing is comfort food, still pretty affordable. Everything is made from scratch. It has that high-end feel to them without the high-end price tag. We wanted to offer coffee and breakfast pastries for anyone who is headed into State College for work or for dessert when they’re headed home. We felt like Bellefonte and Pleasant Gap as a whole are up and coming,” Derek said.

Thus far, business has been booming. The Polays said that croissants are without a doubt their most popular item.

“We sell out of those every single day,” Derek said.

Another popular item is a an alfajore, a classic Peruvian sugar cookie with a dulce de leche filling. Their “compost cookie” is also very popular, Tatiana said.

“It’s so different. It has many components. It’s salty, sweet, chewy, crispy. It has a lot of different things in it,” Tatiana said.

The CakeShop also features banana pudding and chocolate banana pudding.

“It does well in a fridge and it is quite large, so you can bring it home, share it or save it for later. You can even freeze it and eat it like an ice cream,” Derek said.

The Polays also do special orders for birthday cakes.

Although The CakeShop has been open just a short time, the Polays say business is booming.

“It’s really nice to see,” Derek said. “We’ve really grown this business and it’s only been a week.”

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