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Pleasant Surprise 

Marsells is proving itself to be the little bakery that could

click to enlarge The small and delectable bites found at Marsells.
  • The small and delectable bites found at Marsells.

Although the address places them on Division Street, cake and dessert boutique Marsells is actually on Cataldo Avenue, tucked between Chipotle Mexican Restaurant and a hair salon. Still can't think of Marsells? Owner Marcel Kopplin says that's the problem.

"I think we're kind of a well-kept secret," Kopplin says. "I've had people tell me that we are Spokane's best-kept secret. I don't want to be a secret anymore."

Marsells has called the location home for four years, and those who have found the shop on the busy corner aren't disappointed, as evidenced by their strong word-of-mouth reputation and stellar online reviews. Kopplin says there are a couple of reasons for the praise.

"Customer service, family-run, things other places don't do — the petit fours, pineapple upside-down cakes, whoopie pies — that's what sets us apart," Kopplin says. She says the low prices of her high-quality treats also draw people in. Cookies, gourmet brownies, and cupcakes are just a couple of dollars. Specialty cakes for all types of events start at $25, wedding cakes at $3.50 a serving, and every cake is beautifully hand-decorated and can come in flavors ranging from tried-and-true chocolate and vanilla to their top-selling flavor, lavender.

"We're known for our lavender cake and the rose petal cake," Kopplin says. "They have a really subtle, soft, floral flavor."

Not sold? Kopplin often offers free cake samples in the store and will even send samples all over the country at no charge. She's that confident in her cakes.

"I know I'll get a customer," Kopplin says. "Ninety-nine percent of the time, they'll book through me."

She has the experience to back up the confidence. Kopplin taught at the Inland Northwest Culinary Academy at Spokane Community College for 22 years, has her AAS degree in baking, is a certified cake decorator and journey baker, and worked in wholesale for 10 years before opening Marsells. But she says nothing on paper matters if the passion isn't there.

"[The certificates] don't mean a lot to me, because if you don't have your heart in it, then it means nothing," Kopplin says. As for her secluded little shop? She plans on keeping it small, in the family and full of heart.

"I've got my teenage granddaughter in training," Kopplin laughs. ♦

Marsells Cakes and Desserts Bakery • 920 N. Division • Open Tue-Fri, 11 am-5:30 pm; Sat, 11 am-3 pm • marsellscakes.com • 448-2512

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