I was driving through Richmond on my way to St. John Fisher Catholic Church to pick up the tamales I had ordered the day before. This congregation is known as "The Tamale Church" because of their amazing tamales. They sell thousands of dozens a year during the holidays and maintain a Health Department–certified kitchen.
Margarita's Bake Shop
505 North Second St.
It seems like this little corner of Richmond, Texas is a center for food entrepeneurs. On my way to the church, I saw a sign in the front lawn of a house on North Second St. that read: Margarita's Bake Shop. I liked the multi-tiered cake on the sign with a "15" on top—an advertisement for fiesta de quinceañera cakes.
Home bake shops were once common in small towns all over Texas. You don't see them much anymore, despite the passage of the Texas Cottage Food Law, a change in regulations that makes home bake shops legal.
Inside, I met Margarita, the head baker. As required by the law, she had completed a food handler's course and displayed her certification on the wall. She gave me a sample of the $4-a-dozen mini-cupcakes she sells—I went with the red velvet flavor. Full-size cupcakes are $8 a dozen.
Margarita said she is happy to make cakes from scratch, but most of her business is theme cakes with cartoon characters for kid's birthday parties. The kids like brightly colored cakes, and she makes these from a box.
Margarita doesn't do tres leches cake—she specializes in big cakes for weddings and parties. Her prices are extremely reasonable.