Charlie Dunmire is a cake whisperer—or is it whiskerer? After all, fluffy meringues and luscious buttercream don't whip themselves into existence. In either case Dunmire is the baking mastermind behind her cake shop Deep Sea Sugar and Salt, where she dispenses layered confections from an airstream trailer in the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall.
As you can imagine, she often sells out. Seattle, unsurprisingly, really loves cake.
So a year ago, when Dunmire moved into her new home in Georgetown (though she's been in the neighborhood for the better part of a decade), she walked around the corner to her nearest store: the Carleton Avenue Grocery, a charming spot for a future cake shop. "Oh, it's perfect," she thought. She told co-owner Alan Phillips that she'd take over the space when the time comes. That time was November 1, the market's last day, and Dunmire's been outfitting it with open kitchen prep space and equipment ever since.
"I’ve always wanted to do something in Georgetown—a cake shop, something!" says Dunmire. That something, it turns out, will be to continue stocking essentials for the neighborhood. In vintage lockers, shelves, and refrigerators neighbors will be able to grab pantry staples, beer, wine, and, yes, whole cakes to go. It's been the site of Seattle's oldest grocery store since 1911. "I think it's important to keep that alive."
What else to expect: Fresh flowers by the stem or bouquet, drip coffee, plus cake's faithful companion...ice cream. Grab pints of Sweet Lo's Homemade Ice Cream—Dunmire's particularly fanatic about Lauren Wilson's cookies and cream flavor—or get it by the scoop. Of course there will be a daily lineup of towering cakes—check your recommended level of sugar intake at the door. Off a butcher paper menu, read a list of eight or 10 flavors including some favorites like marbled London Fog, lemon cream, 9lb. Porter, and chocolate salted caramel. With considerably more prep room will come considerably more cake. Since Dunmire will hang on tightly to her cake shop inside a trailer she'll be able to go on a cake run should the airstream quickly sell out as its wont to do.
Soon you'll be able to go on some sweet, sweet cake runs, too, once mid-May rolls around. Deep Sea Sugar and Salt will be open from Tuesday to Sunday, 11 till 7, to start, at the corner of Carleton Avenue and South Warsaw Street.