Family makes friends of their customers at Lisa's Rum Cake from an early age

Lisa's Rum Cake
Lisa's Rum Cake is a three-generation family shop with (from left) Megan, Lauren, Lisa, Madison and 3 1/2-year-old Madelyn Rose. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Lisa's Rum Cake is a three-generation family shop with (from left) Megan, Lauren, Lisa, Madison and 3 1/2-year-old Madelyn Rose. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Madison puts the finishing touches on a cake pie for a customer needing something for a party. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The sisters say ideas for flavors come to them sometimes after midnight. Madison came up with the idea of selling “cuts” of the many different cakes. (Isabella Short/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Limoncello (left) gets a lot of love, but the Strawberry Rum Cake is still the best seller. ((Isabella Short/Community Impact Newspaper)
Editor's note: Lisa's Rum Cake, 219 S. William Dillard Drive, Ste. 135, Gilbert, is open and will bring orders out to customers' cars for anyone with more than one person in their party or who does not wish to step in the store. 480-304-5077.

Every group that comes into Lisa’s Rum Cake seems to have someone who knows the family running the business.

That could be the sign of a very small business, such as a retail bakery set in an industrial building off the beaten track. But with a customer database that the Power family said is approaching 20,000 listings, perhaps a high degree of customer service would be a better explanation.

Lisa Power, the co-owner with her name on the business, said she looks at is as more the customers than the service.

“Don’t you girls think we have the best customers?” she asked of daughters Madison and Megan.

“We really do,” Madison answered, punctuated by Megan’s “Honestly.”

They proceed to tell stories about people who come in, from celebrities to old friends to regulars met along the way.

“We literally call [Lisa] the cake doctor because people come in here to order a cake, they’ll be here for hours telling my mom their whole life story, and she’ll counsel them,” Madison said. “She’s a people person.”

The business is a from-the-cradle outfit. Lisa learned the business from age 13 working for her mother at Cathy’s Rum Cakes. Madison, Megan and their oldest sister, Lauren, started even younger.

In 2009, Lisa and her husband, Kelly, started a shipping arm for Cathy’s in the industrial building. But her mom retired, the recession hit and the family found their way into doing retail.

The daughters, all in their 30s, still work there to one degree or another. And granddaughter Madelyn Rose, age 3 1/2, may even take your order.

“If something ever happened to me, they know what they’re doing,” Lisa said of her daughters. “I can trust them to carry on the tradition with the quality.”

A Gilbert and ASU tradition

The Powers will happily tell anyone how much they love Gilbert and Arizona State University. The family has long ties to both. The old Power homestead gave rise to Power Road on the town’s eastern border, and ancestor James Power was on ASU’s first football team in 1896.

Lisa's Rum Cake

219 S. William Dillard Drive, Bldg. 4, Ste. 135, Gilbert


Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 9-11 a.m., closed Sun.
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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