Edina residents Allison Sundquist and Kim Sabow have started their own chapter of a national cake-baking nonprofit in the Twin Cities.

The pair opened the local chapter of the nonprofit, For Goodness Cakes, earlier this year just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. After needing to shut down for months, they re-opened for business last month. The two co-chairs said even if it was delayed, the work is important because kids deserve something special on their birthday, especially a cake.

For Goodness Cakes, which started in Los Angeles in 2016, gives underprivileged youth the chance to receive a birthday cake baked by matched volunteers. Now, the Minneapolis chapter has about 65 volunteers and is working with three agencies, such as foster-care agencies or homeless shelters, to make baking and giving the cakes possible.

“Can you imagine a little kid not getting a birthday cake? I mean, that, just in my mind, breaks my heart,” Sabow said.

Sundquist, who has volunteered for various organizations in the past, was looking for more ways to give back when she came across For Goodness Cakes. After attending a gourmet cooking class, where she met Sabow, the two decided to start their own chapter in Minnesota.

“It just basically boils down to me having a passion for volunteering and then, just wanting to combine that with my passion for baking. And so, it just seemed like a good fit,” Sundquist said.

Cakes have been a source of joy in Sabow’s life since she was young, when her mother would often make her and her siblings a buttermilk cake. When her mother died, Sabow had the cake recipe in her mother’s handwriting framed for all her siblings. “That birthday cake, as simple as it was, was a big deal to me,” she said.

Even though the pandemic delayed its impact, the chapter is now back up-and-running.

So far, the chapter has produced three cakes – but Sabow and Sundquist are hoping to do more as they look for more agencies to partner with on the initiative.

Though starting the chapter has been challenging, “it’s exciting,” Sundquist said.

“The cakes are beautiful,” Sabow observed. “I can’t believe some of the cakes that (our volunteers) make.”

– Follow Caitlin Anderson on Twitter @EdinaSunCurrent

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