PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — With superstar Taylor Swift bringing The Eras Tour to major cities across the US, retail bakeries such as Dolce Bakery in Prairie Village, KS, are adding limited-time baked goods to their menus to join in the frenzy.
Katlyn Howard, Dolce’s creative director and social media manager, first pitched the idea to create the line of Taylor Swift-inspired baked goods to Erin Brown, the bakery’s owner and founder, a little over a month ago.
With Erin’s stamp of approval, Katlyn forged ahead with the Swiftie Collection, named after the singer’s fanbase. It includes snack cakes and 7-in. cakes. The snack cakes were inspired by the singer’s third album, “Speak Now,” which is set to be re-released July 7, the same day as the first show in Kansas City, MO. Katlyn created four different versions with references to the tour stop and tracks on the album such as “Sparks Fly in KC.”
She also created a 7-in. heart-shaped cake inspired by Swift’s album, “Lover,” and pitched the idea of creating designs for each of the singer’s 10 albums.
With the same chocolate base cake and shape, every album-inspired cake is decorated with a popular song lyric from one of the album tracks and topped with edible luster dust to make the whole bake shimmer.
“The color scheme of each cake goes with each album,” Katlyn explained. “We created a sprinkle mix to tie in with each album, and I went through the most popular lyrics on each album and picked what would flow best.”
Katlyn posted the Swiftie Collection on Dolce’s social media accounts, rolling out each album-inspired cake over a 10-day period to create buzz.
“She had the idea to debut an era every night on Instagram for ten nights and that went wild,” said Kathleen Cussen, COO of Dolce. “The first night she said, ‘I’m basically turning the Dolce Instagram account into a Taylor Swift fan page,’ and the fun began.”
Kathleen shared that the Swiftie Collection series drew in some of the highest social engagement Dolce has seen on its Instagram page, collecting hundreds of likes per post with two garnering over 1,000 each.
“We have our tried and trues who show up for us daily, weekly, monthly, but we were able to capture new engagement and individuals who weren’t following us,” she said, noting that Dolce used Instagram to drive business directly to them.
In addition to racking up likes and comments online, Dolce also racked up orders — 768 pre-orders to be exact, with the “Lover” cake, decked out in pink, blue and white frosting and heart-shaped sprinkles, emerging as the top seller.
The number of orders rivaled Dolce’s second-largest holiday sale, Thanksgiving Day pies.
“We have strong systems in place, and we know how to adjust into a holiday; this has now turned into its own holiday,” Kathleen said about how the bakery is keeping up with the demand. “We’ve just been applying those same systems, and we’ve got a great team that’s able to do just about anything we put in front of them.”
For the Swifties that didn’t meet the pre-order deadline, Dolce has snack cakes — in the “Speak Now” theme as well as “Lover” — and “Speak Now” sugar cookies, as well as a mixed berry Lavender Haze Lemonade, available on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last.
Given the success of this collection, Katlyn expressed that the bakery may look to more LTO collections related to pop culture moving forward.
Kathleen shared that limited-time offers like the Swiftie Collection affirm the bakery’s value of showing up for celebrations of all kinds.
“It’s been a really energetic and fun way to do that,” Kathleen said. “It falls in line with what we do best.”