Business profile: Cake Happy brings happiness to Camas

Nikki O’Keefe appreciates downtown Camas for helping her business during trying times

CAMAS — It all started as a way for her children to have the best ingredients in their desserts.

“I wanted them to be able to have treats that weren’t full of high fructose and artificial everything,” Nikki O’Keefe said.

It became way more than a hobby, though.

It became Cake Happy.

Nikki O’Keefe, owner of Cake Happy, shows off her chocolate peanut butter reindeer cupcakes on Tuesday. She said the Camas community has done a great job of supporting small businesses during the pandemic. Photo by Paul Valencia
Nikki O’Keefe, owner of Cake Happy, shows off her chocolate peanut butter reindeer cupcakes on Tuesday. She said the Camas community has done a great job of supporting small businesses during the pandemic. Photo by Paul Valencia

Her bakery has been open in downtown Camas for more than six years, and she has maintained the same philosophy as when she was only baking for her family. 

“Everything’s done fresh and from scratch,” O’Keefe said. “We use real ingredients, real vanilla,  real butter, all the good stuff. 

“It’s not the cheapest way to do things, but it’s the only way I’ll do things.”

In fact, among the many decorations in her shop at 340 NE 4th Ave., Camas, is a sign that reads: Good cake isn’t cheap. Cheap cake isn’t good.

Amen to that.

O’Keefe specializes in custom cakes for all occasions. On a daily basis, her business offers a variety of cupcakes. (By the way, Tuesday is National Cupcake Day.) Plus the scones are popular. The shop also has espresso, with coffee from Mount Hood Roasters.

Photo by Paul Valencia
Photo by Paul Valencia

On a normal day, pre-COVID-19, the shop would be busy with mom groups, or dancers from a nearby studio, or parents and their children. These days, the shop is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with safety protocols in use.

Cake Happy is taking orders on customized cakes, as well. Go to the website for more details:

http://cake-happynw.squarespace.com/

Like so many businesses, 2020 has been a challenge at Cake Happy. 

The business missed out on the wedding season, a lucrative time, as well as many of the events that Camas puts on throughout the summer, bringing people downtown. Also, no tree lighting ceremony this year.

“That’s the busiest four hours of the year,” O’Keefe said.

Still, Cake Happy is carrying on, thanks to Camas.

“If we weren’t down here, we wouldn’t have been able to keep our head above water,” O’Keefe said.

“I could not ask to be in a better place, location-wise on the street, and just the town itself. It’s such a tight-knit community. Everybody knows each other and everybody helps each other. If we weren’t here, we wouldn’t still be open.

“Everybody supports each other. We have an amazing DCA, the Downtown Camas Association, that does whatever they can to support everybody. It’s been really special to see everyone come together and try to help.”

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