The Boynton family bakes with love at Sweetcakes Tbc in Ocean Isle Beach.
Beverly Boynton has loved to bake her whole life.
“My parents gave me a teal Easy Bake Oven when I was five years old,” she says. “I was so thrilled that I promptly baked my parents a cake. They showered praise on me for baking that first cake, and ever since then I’ve loved to bake.”
Although Beverly always enjoyed baking, she wasn’t always in the baking business. Originally from New Haven, Connecticut, Beverly and her husband, William “Bill” Boynton, decided to move to Brunswick County in 2002 after Bill put in 25 years with the New Haven Police Department as a police officer.
Their daughter, Erika Boynton Evans, who’s now married, and her two siblings were young when they moved to the Tar Heel State. “Our goal was to have them grow up not in the city but in a more laid-back environment,” Bill says. Their oldest daughter, Jesika, moved to North Carolina a few years later.
Beverly has a B.S. in counseling from Lee University and an M.S. in criminal justice counseling from Liberty University in Virginia. Bill studied sociology at Southern Connecticut State University.
Both Boyntons worked full-time jobs at Novant Hospital in Bolivia, North Carolina — she was in registration and he was a safety supervisor — but other dreams tugged at them.
“I longed to have my creative side come out, and for me that means baking cakes, pastries, breads and pies,” says Beverly, who is the sole owner of Sweetcakes Tbc. “A county-certified home kitchen a few years ago worked out great. People were happy and we got so many requests that the next step was to open my own bakery.”
When a store on a main road in Ocean Isle Beach had a ‘for rent’ sign on it in 2018, they inquired about it. “The stars were aligned because all of a sudden things came together, and we were inviting our first customers into the store,” Beverly says.
The bakery opened in August 2018. They offer everyday treats and cakes as well as desserts for special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, baptisms and more. Sweetcakes Tbc has been a family business since opening its doors. Erika is a full-time employee, Bill helps, and when they’re really busy in the summer, their granddaughters and grandsons also pitch in.
Beverly estimates that 85 percent of their business is for the custom-ordered cakes.
“When people want a cake for a wedding or another very special occasion, we ask them exactly what they want,” Beverly says. “We don’t say, ‘This is what we have,’ we let them choose all of the designs and flavors of their cakes. Our goal is to help make that special occasion extra special for them.”
Walk-ins account for the other 15 percent of our business. Locals stop by for cinnamon rolls, scones, donuts and more. Before COVID-19 customers could help themselves to a cup of coffee or tea with their pastries, but now the staff pours it.
“Vacationers to southeast Brunswick County are delighted to find us for the first time, and our repeat vacationers often make it a point to stop here at Sweetcakes,” Beverly says. “One customer who lives out of town said that when driving into town he and his family pull into our parking lot and get their pastries before even stopping at their vacation homes.”
Sweetcakes Tbc bakes daily breads and pastries, and when they sell out, that’s it. They don’t make second batches and usually sell everything they have.
The name Sweetcakes is obvious since it’s a bakery, but the Tbc has a special connotation.
“I added the ‘Tbc’ to the name for ‘The blessed creations’ because I firmly believe that with our faith all things are possible,” Beverly says.
“My vision was to have a community-based place where people can eat, drink coffee, relax and unwind, and this has been a dream come true,” she adds. “The coronavirus pandemic has had an impact in terms of social distancing, and we’ve made accommodations. These past several months we’ve increased curbside pickups and deliveries to homes and businesses. We make it work for our customers’ needs.”
Beverly, Bill and Erika are ordained ministers. Beverly and Bill also volunteer as chaplains for the Sheriff’s Department of Brunswick County. Before the pandemic they went to the Sheriff’s Office in Bolivia and prayed with staff members and helped family members after fatal accidents, for example.
Now they get called in and maintain social distancing. The Boyntons are part of an eight-person roster of chaplains that takes turns being on call. Beverly and Bill are on call for four days straight then not on call for four days when other chaplains volunteer. They have shifts twice monthly.
When Beverly dreamed about having a family-run bakery, she had another part to that dream.
“I want Erika to take over the business when I retire in a few years,” Beverly says.
“She’s got the skills, the baking talent and lots of level-headed business sense, so I know that when the time comes, things will work out. The vision I had before starting this business entailed watching it grow and flourish. This bakery is a business that Erika and I love. As a mother it gives me an enormous sense of comfort knowing that I’m laying a strong foundation for her and her family’s future. What we’re doing today will help them down the road, and that’s a great feeling.”
Bill says Beverly is known as The Cake Lady in the neighborhood because people enjoy everything she bakes.
“The whole secret to baking delicious-tasting cakes and pastries is one main ingredient, which is love, and baking them so they come out light, fluffy and moist,” Bill says. “When you bite into them, you’ve got a perfect combination of flavors swirling around in your mouth.”
Each year Erika bakes her mother her favorite flavored birthday cake: a chocolate layer cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. It’s a hit, naturally!
Craving something sweet?
Live Oak Plaza, 7026 Beach Drive SW, Unit 4, Ocean Isle Beach