Before I get started, I just want to say this was one of the har...um, most difficult stories I've ever done. It's about Seattle's Erotic Bakery closing. And ya'll know I love me a pun, a play on words, and an innuendo. But because I don't want to be fired, and/or fined by the FCC, this story will remain sparkling clean. So please, PLEASE feel free to make your own innuendos as you follow along.
The Erotic Bakery opened in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood in 1986 and has been making delicious, gasp-worthy, marzipan genital topped cakes ever since.
"Typical phone call: Ring ring ring. 'Hello, Erotic Bakery.' [Customer:] 'Well, this is going to sound like an unusual question...' [EB:] 'Probably not.' And then we take it from there," laughs the Erotic Bakery's owner, Kimmie Barnett.
She bought the bakery in 1999 after many years of working for Lover's Package, her husband's family's business. To the community's horror, The Erotic Bakery will be closing its doors on September 30.
"I need to retire. I live in Enumclaw, go Hornets! Oh yeah! It's just time. It's an 80-mile round trip. I like to consider myself a professional volunteer and that's really what I want to do with the rest of my life."
Kimmie has seen and heard it all, nothing can faze her. She says the way the body parts are displayed on the cakes have changed over the decades.
"We've probably noticed less hair. We used to put a lot more on when we first started decorating. Now we don't do any and if people want it, we add it later," she laughs. "We do a lot of piercing, so that's actually another thing we've noticed over the years. We actually can hand paint tattoos. We actually can paint someone's tattoo."
Some of Kimmie's favorite cakes haven't been erotic at all.
"I am a breast cancer survivor, a three time cancer survivor actually, and I love making the breast cancer cakes for people who have survived. So every single one of those that we have ever made, we paint the little stitches on, and we put the pink ribbon on top. Those are favorites because they represent true celebration."
She's even designed a (not erotic) cake for one of Seattle's least erotic celebrities.
"The one that really sticks out in my mind is, I'm a Patches Pal. We did JP Patches' 80th birthday cake. And to have that honor, for them to come to me and ask me to make that cake for him, I will never forget that."
The Erotic Bakery is an institution, and when it closes, who is going to bake the requisite below-the-belt bachelorette party cake? Kimmie says business is actually better than ever and the store is for sale, if anyone's interested. Which would mean the Erotic Bakery wouldn't have to close forever.
"My children grew up in this bakery and I will be forever thankful that I was able to work with my kids. MacGyver here, my oldest, he's worked here since he was about eight. My other two children, Benny and Brandon, basically since they were born. I would just like to say, thank you Seattle for the mammaries, and the Barnett family loves you all," Kimmie says, choking back tears.
Well, Kimmie, on behalf of all of us, in your own words:
I had to get one in there.