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Sugarland's closure causes cakeless customers

Sugarland is being featured on a new show on Food Network.

Sugarland is being featured on a new show on Food Network.

Looking for a cupcake on Franklin Street? You might be out of luck. Local bakery Sugarland has shut down, and the closure has upset not only lovers of baked goods but also a couple who was forced to rethink their wedding cake plans.

Ben Davis and his fiancée were one of the couples that had ongoing orders with Sugarland before the store closed.

Davis said they went to the store in Cameron Village in Raleigh for cake-tasting and thought it was phenomenal. The couple put down a deposit for their purchase and then waited for Sugarland to contact them. With their wedding day in three months, they started to get nervous.

"My wife and I got a little anxious we hadn’t heard from anyone," he said. "We were supposed to be contacted to set up a consultation to do the design, work on the cakes, finalize the order with the wedding."

The couple was persistent in trying to contact Sugarland.

“I called the phone numbers for both the Cameron Village and the Franklin Street location, and I didn’t hear from anyone," he said. "I tried emailing the owner at different email addresses. At the same time, I commented on a post on the Chapel Hill Sugarland Facebook page.” 

Davis then discovered the Raleigh Sugarland location had shut down permanently. He tried to contact Katrina Ryan, the owner of the bakery, but could not get a response.

"Katrina was never able to call me back," he said. "I tried to set up calls for the next day and she wouldn't call me. She just stopped responding to me." 

Davis said he was not alone in this situation and that other couples in the Triangle had similar experiences.

“I wasn’t one of the firsts that did this," Davis said. "There were a number of people who were trying desperately to reach out to someone related to the business.”

Sugarland has taken measures to compensate the customers. Davis said Sugarland has given them a form to submit if they want to try to receive compensation.

Katelyn Johnson, owner of Capital Cakes, a local bakery serving Raleigh, Durham and surrounding areas, offered to work on last minute orders for couples on Capital Cakes' Facebook page.

"With Sugarland closing with such short notice or no notice to brides, we would love to help them out," she said in the post. "Send us a message today to schedule your consultation to put your mind at ease for your wedding cake and dessert needs."

She said she understands couples' difficulties when planning their weddings.

“Weddings cost about 35,000 dollars, and cakes normally cost about 400 to 15,000," she said. "It’s not a cheap item, and most of the times, it’s the centerpiece of the wedding. Some of them are a little on edge, because it’s their wedding day. It’s important to them. But it’s inconvenient for brides, and it’s very, very stressful for them.”

She said Sugarland could have benefited from other bakeries in the local area who are willing to help.

“I’m part of a bakery guild for the Triangle area for local bakeries, and we are all in reference to each other," she said. "If one of us needs help, we would put a message on the group. Had they been part of that group, then they would have gotten some kind of supplemental help.”

Davis expressed his disappointment in Sugarland’s dealing with the orders.

“I am disappointed in Sugarland and the owner Katrina Ryan," he said. "My wife and I chose Sugarland because it seemed like a sure bet. It’s just so disappointing to see that they had every opportunity and advantage both in the dealings with me, yet they just chose to let it all go.” 

The Daily Tar Heel reached out to Ryan for a comment but received no response.

If your wedding was affected by Sugarland's closing, you can fill out the refund request form here.

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