Self-taught baker expands home business to viable cake shop in Old Town Lewisville

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After family encouragement, Irene Cross began selling cakes out of her home in 2001. In 2011, she decided to bake cakes full time and opened Irene’s Bakery on Main Street in Old Town Lewisville when she noticed the area was missing a bakery.

“I came to look for my daughter’s quinceañera dress across the street, and I saw this space,” Cross said. “I was like, ‘Wow, they have everything for weddings here.’ They had a bridal boutique, two florists, photographer—everything was here but a cake shop, and that’s when I decided that I wanted to open up a cake shop.”

Cross said business quickly took off, and she found herself extremely busy juggling cake orders and doctor appointments for her daughter, who is disabled.

“I was working a lot to the point I had to be hospitalized for exhaustion and dehydration,” she said.

A couple years later, Cross would meet her now husband, Danny, who would eventually come to work full time at Irene’s.

“After he proposed, I thought why not do it together?” she said. “Since he joined the team, my sales have increased by 70 percent.”

As a self-taught baker, Cross creates custom wedding cakes, sculpture cakes, birthday cakes and special event cakes made to order. She also sells and keeps a variety of fresh cupcakes, cake balls and cookies in store. The bakery also offers ice cream,  but Cross may discontinue it soon.

Flavors include key lime, marble cake, red velvet, German chocolate, Italian creme cake, pink champagne and carrot cake.

Cross said what makes her bakery stand apart from others is that she makes everything from scratch, including her butter cream frosting.

“My slogan is mixing flavor and art to celebrate life, because it mixes the fact that we make everything from scratch and that we make art,” Cross said. “They are really art pieces what we do here.”

Cross, who is a Flower Mound resident, says she tries to give back to the community as much as possible. She has made cakes for MCL Grand in Lewisville and even made an edible replica of Medical City Lewisville, which was large enough to feed 400 people.

“Everything on the cake was edible except the trees,” she said.

Eventually, Cross said she and her husband plan to create a program in which brides can book same-day appointments with the other bridal shops along Main Street, so soon-to-be brides can conveniently shop for everything they need in one place. Cross said she would also love to expand Irene’s Bakery by opening a second location in the Dallas area.

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Emily Davis
Emily graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in multi-platform journalism and a minor in criminal justice in Spring 2018. During her studies, Emily worked as an editor and reporter at The Houstonian, SHSU's local newspaper. Upon graduation, she began an editorial internship at Community Impact Newspaper in DFW, where she was then hired as Community Impact's first McKinney reporter in August. Three fun facts about Emily: 1.) She is a lover of mystery novels, movies, TV shows and podcasts. 2.) She has an 11-year-old, 3-pound Pomeranian. 3.) She loves lacrosse, and was captain and then coach of her high school team.
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