Bright pink and brown stripes and paintings of cupcakes line the walls inside The Sweet Factory in Killeen.
Owner Lawanda Winfree said baking became her passion six years ago when her granddaughter wanted a star-shaped birthday cake.
“The theme was ‘Party like a Rock Star,’” she said. “Her mother couldn’t find a cake shaped like a star, so I bought a cake pan shaped like one and made it.”
The cake turned out to be the best she had ever made, so she decided to take some cooking classes. “As I’ve grown and gotten better, I look at it and say it could’ve been better,” she said.
Winfree initially wanted to sell baked goods from her home, but it wasn’t legal at that time, she said. So in 2010, she opened The Sweet Factory instead. She starts baking at 6 a.m. daily, creating a variety of cupcakes, chocolate dipped treats, peanut brittle and specialty cakes. She makes an average of 670 cupcakes a day.
“We make different flavors, including an adult weekend cupcake that has Jack Daniels or pink champagne,” she said. “We also make flavors off the beaten path, like peanut butter and jelly, maple bacon and all kinds of things to fit all types of pallets.”
Amanda Dejournett visits The Sweet Factory at least once a week to pick up cupcakes for her family.
“The cupcakes are fantastic,” she said. “They actually use butter cream instead of whipped cream. They always have a variety, and it’s seldom the case is full since they are always fresh and tasty.”
Some customers said the desserts remind them of treats from their childhood.
“Everything is made in house from scratch and with love,” said Susan Mason of Killeen. “They are very accommodating and warm, friendly people to work with.”
The Sweet Factory operates under the motto, “stressed spelled backwards is desserts.” But Winfree said the customers keep her motivated to get up everyday and bake something new.