Technically the CakeSpy shop on Capitol Hill doesn’t sell any actual cake, but baker-artist-owner Jessie Oleson’s illustrations of cupcakes in various unexpected scenarios (including a few compromising ones) have become a bona fide Seattle institution. Except that Oleson is now in Philadelphia taking advantage of some grant funding to grow the business, and her gallery of cupcakecentric cards, artwork, and other locally made crafty delights is up for sale.
According to a post on the CakeSpy blog, “CakeSpy as a business and product line is not disappearing, but we’ve decided to go down different paths than the gallery.” While Oleson first made a name for herself with those anthropomorphized cupcakes, and created possibly the world’s first combined baking-art career, she went on to write a cookbook and seems to focus more on recipes these days. As noted in the blog post, plenty of people come to the store and are surprised it’s not, in fact, a bakery.
Oleson’s husband Danny and store manager Natalie Samford have been running the gallery in her absence. The blog post has more details on the why and how, and expresses a fervent desire to sell to someone who will keep the space a locally focused gallery. The text even uses the term "shift date" instead of "close." There’s no firm date on when the shop will close, er, shift, but fans are probably going to ignore the blog post’s specific instructions: "DO NOT BE SAD."