Southaven baker helps make birthdays special for local students

Bright Spot
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Let’s face it. It’s hard to resist these mini cakes with their tempting colors and toppings.

“Sometimes we do hundreds a day, sometimes thousands a week it just depends on the time of year.”

Five years ago Lauren Rhoads traded in her scrubs and a hospital job to pursue her passion of baking.

“The owner said she was looking to retire and she was wondering if I was interested in buying the bakery, and the rest is history.”

History but not the end of the story.

“It’s one of the best days every month. Our kids get to come in, their eyes light up. They love their cupcakes. It makes them feel special on their birthday. It makes school fun.”

Kindergartners line up first and then it’s time for the older students. Each child born in November gets a cupcake on this day.

“A lot of our kids they don’t get birthday parties. We are in a high poverty area and ends don’t always meet.”

The sweet treats are a hit with the kids. The Cake Lady Bakery donates about 100 cupcakes a month to the students at Southaven Elementary School.

“You’re really just excited to get something at school.”

Principal Christy Upchurch says it’s vital for community partners and businesses to show students they are valued.

“With our community partners coming in it helps with academic and it helps with behavior. They were excited when they came in this morning.”

“Our kids matter and when our kids feel like they matter then everything rises.”

For Lauren giving the cupcakes is a small gesture. For the children getting them, they’re a big deal on a day set aside just for them.

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