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Sugarland expands to Cameron Village in Raleigh

Sugarland's contract with the University is now requiring it to move from its Franklin St. location.

Something sweet is coming to Raleigh April 1 — courtesy of Chapel Hill’s Sugarland, which is set to open a second location in Cameron Village.

Katrina Ryan, Sugarland’s owner, said she signed a lease for the Cameron Village location in December and construction began Jan. 10. She said the shop is twice as big in square footage, though the size of the store front is similar to that of the Chapel Hill location.

The expansion comes after Ryan asked the UNC Property Office to allow her to add nearby storefronts to her Franklin Street shop in April, but was denied.

Ryan began looking elsewhere for room to expand, eventually settling on the Raleigh location. She said the new store will offer kitchen, freezer and office space that Sugarland desperately needs.
The bakery has been renting freezer space from University Florist, and Ryan and her catering manager cramp into a small, closet-like office with a single desk.

Ryan said the new location will serve the bakery’s state and national customers, while the Franklin street shop will still cater to customers in Chapel Hill.

“We have delivered wedding cakes for everywhere from Miami to D.C.,” Ryan said. “This sort of becomes the dedicated kitchen for our customers in Chapel Hill.”

Michael Morelock, an N.C. State University student and an employee at Medlin-Davis Cleaners in Cameron Village, said he thinks the bakery will succeed in its new location because the shopping center caters to Raleigh’s affluent customers.

“It sounds like something that is going to do well here,” he said. “Small, sort of more fancy shops like that tend to flourish.”

Ryan said the new shop will retain the original menu but could modify it if demand is different, and it will open and close earlier.

“What people want here is cupcakes and martinis at midnight,” she said. “But there, there is no coffee shop.”

Ryan said she expects Cameron village employees headed to work will stop by for a cup of coffee.
Though her office will be located in Raleigh, Ryan will split her time between the two shops. Half of her kitchen staff will transition to Raleigh, so that both shops are staffed both by experienced employees and by new hires.

“It’s kind of like cell division,” Ryan said.

Lora Castar, Sugarland’s catering director, will be making the move to Raleigh.

“I’m excited about it,” she said. “I’m excited to see how busy we get.”

Amanda Gorman, a UNC junior who grew up in Raleigh, said that she thinks the shop will be a good fit for Cameron Village, which is full of boutiques.

She said she herself might visit the new shop.

“I live like 20 minutes from Cameron Village, so it will be nice to have a cupcake when I’m there shopping,” she said.

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