Today we’d like to introduce you to John Hensley.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m a Southland native. I grew up in the San Gabriel valley and always wanted to be in television. Out of college, I landed an assistant job at KTLA. I moved up the ranks at KTLA, becoming the Executive Producer of the KTLA Morning news. In 2008, KTLA was sold and I was laid off. I found another job in television, but quickly realized I didn’t want to be in the industry anymore. I always had an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to start or buy my own business.
I looked at everything from entertainment ventures, to laundry mats, car washes, to hair salons, but nothing really seemed to spark a passion. Then, I stumbled across a small cake shop in Silver Lake. I went in as a customer and purchased a cupcake. Sitting in the shop, eating my Chocolate Mousse cupcake, I fell in love. This was one of the best cupcakes I had ever eaten! I ordered several other items and was blown away by the taste of everything. This sparked my passion. This was something I could believe in. I purchased the shop from the original owner in 2011 and from that moment forward have strived to make Lark the best cake shop in the Southland.
Opened in July of 2007, Lark was started with the idea of baking cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pies and bars that were delicious with a homemade taste. Nearly 10 years later, we continue daily with this original idea.
Whenever possible we use the freshest locally produced or distributed ingredients in our products. We crack our own eggs every day. We do not use liquid eggs or other food service shortcuts. We use gourmet chocolate and Dutch cocoa powder in our chocolate recipes and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla in our vanilla recipes.
We use California butter and pure cane sugar. Our dairy supplier is the Challenge Dairy Cooperative, a cooperative of more than 600 California dairies. We try to minimize our environmental footprint by using only compostable cups, clamshell boxes, utensils, and straws. We also use paper bags and boxes whenever possible.
All of this makes a tremendous difference in the taste and integrity of our products and service. By using the finest ingredients available, we ensure a quality that is second to none. By trying to do our part in helping the environment, we feel we’re making a difference.
In 2015, we opened our second location in Pasadena. We opened at the Shops on Hill, located in the historic highlands/bungalow heaven area of Pasadena. This area is in the midst of a revitalization that is truly amazing. Our building is a historic building that now houses great retail, service and food establishments. The people of Pasadena and the surrounding areas have welcomed and supported us greatly and we look forward to being a part of the community for many years to come.
I’m extremely proud of Lark Cake Shop. We have become a part of people’s lives, gracing their most important events. A wedding, a birthday, a graduation, an anniversary, we’re invited to be a part of these special occasions every single day by numerous people all over the Southland. What an honor and a privilege it is for us to be invited. We all take this privilege very seriously, and we do our best every single day to make sure our customer’s cakes, cupcakes, and treats are something they will be delighted with and will always remember.
Has it been a smooth road?
Owning a small business is very challenging. It’s a lot of hard work and sometimes can be overwhelming if you don’t have the proper people, systems, and processes in place. There are so many moving parts to running a small business and as the owner, I have to be on top of everything. But there’s only so much I can do, so having the proper systems and processes in place allows our associates to perform at their best. This is an ever-evolving process and we try to learn and improve every single day.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Lark Cake Shop – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We use only the finest ingredients and we do everything by hand in the kitchen. We’re not a large operation, so that homemade taste comes from the fact that we actually do things in a similar fashion to a homemade baker.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I’ve lived in Southern California my whole life. I love the Southland as a whole. Both Silver Lake and Pasadena have so much to offer in terms of diversity and great neighborhoods. You can’t get the weather, people, and lifestyle anywhere else in the world.
What do I like least? The traffic is a challenge and the parking in Silver Lake is very tough.
- Lark Cake Shop Silver Lake – 3337 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026. 323-667-2968
- Lark Cake Shop Pasadena – 1355 N. Hill Ave. Pasadena, CA 91104. 626-798-1031.
- Website: www.larkcakeshop.com
- Phone: 323-667-2968 (Silver Lake) 626-798-1031 (Pasadena)
- Email: Info@larkcakeshop.com and Pasadenainfo@larkcakeshop.com
- Instagram: @larkcakeshop
- Facebook: Lark Cake Shop
- Twitter: @larkcakeshop
- Yelp: Lark Cake Shop Silver Lake and Lark Cake Shop Pasadena