As the owner of one of Philadelphia’s newest restaurants, Kyle Cuffie-Scott has been faced with more than just the usual challenges that come with opening a food service business. Darnel’s Cakes opened its Old City storefront not more than a month ago and is already exemplifying the pandemic-necessitated to-go model with a great deal of success.
“It’s a gift and a curse,” says Kyle. of the current state of affairs. “It’s a gift in the sense that I have more time to get this place open, buy more equipment, and make my mistakes at a small level. When things are back to some level of consistency, we’ll be at a point where we’ve worked out all the kinks and we know what we’re doing.”
Darnel’s Cakes is named for the memory of Kyle’s cousin, who died of HIV/AIDS complications. While still a for-profit business, the bakery works closely with nonprofits such as Bebashi to raise money for AIDS relief efforts and honor Darnel’s memory beyond just the name itself.
Kyle has brought his baked goods to farmers’ markets and sold them wholesale to other vendors for years, but having a physical building will broaden the horizons even further for him, as he hopes to expand the menu beyond desserts. Planned items for a full breakfast menu include biscuit sandwiches and quiche; for lunch he will offer a robust selection of salads and sandwiches.
Currently operating only on weekends and producing a fixed quantity of everything, a physical store will allow for a more robust inventory in the future. But until things are more certain, Kyle’s focusing on what he knows best—and demand continues to be high.
“When things sell out, they sell out—and that’s just how it’s gonna work for now, so place your orders early.”
Darnel’s Cakes is located at 444 N. 3rd Street in Old City. Its current operating hours are Friday from 4-7 and Sunday from 11-4 at the Old City location, and at the Lansdale Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.