May 11th marked the two-year anniversary when Seattleite.com first introduced the world to Deep Sea Sugar & Salt, then an up-and-coming, pop-up bakery serving cake with unmatched flavors like The Peach Bourbon, a bourbon soaked ricotta olive oil cake with a dark salted caramel and peach filling and cream cheese frosting. Now, this bakery’s Boss Lady, Charlie Dunmire, and baker extraordinaire, will open her very own market, Deep Sea Sugar, Cake, & Grocery, this Saturday, May 19th, with the help of Seattle and cake-lovers alike.
Back in November 2016, patrons started flocking to Georgetown Trailer Park Mall located in South Seattle for Deep Sea Sugar & Salt’s Airstream Cake Shop, where one can grab generous slices of multilayered cakes ($6) and cupcakes ($3.75) from a revolving menu of seasonal flavors like Rhubarb Cornmeal and popular ones like the fan-favorite 9LB Porter Chocolate Cake that is baked with and soaked in Georgetown Brewery’s 9LB Porter and my personal favorite, The London Fog, an earl grey cake with honey and earl grey syrup and bergamot mascarpone cream topped with cream cheese frosting.
With a menu and satisfying servings like hers, it is no wonder that Dunmire has been selling out of these delectable treats (oftentimes hours prior to closing time) since opening day, so arrive early and be prepared to wait patiently in line. Not surprisingly, her following has ballooned resulting in her baking an average of 40 cakes per week. Needless to say, this bakery has outgrown its tiny vintage Airstream Cake Shop.
Enter, the historic Carleton Avenue Grocery. Not only was this market’s building situated a mere eight blocks from her successful Airstream Cake Shop, but right in Dunmire’s backyard—truly, she lives in the house directly behind the store. After learning that the building would be up for lease, Dunmire launched a successful Kickstarter campaign and surpassed her $35,000 goal to renovate, supply, and open in its place what is soon to be Deep Sea Sugar, Cake, & Grocery. That soon is now.
Dunmire just announced that this Saturday, May 19th, will be her new shop’s official grand opening. Deep Sea Sugar, Cake, & Grocery will serve the Georgetown neighborhood as its only market offering select essentials like milk, toiletries, beer and wine, plus coffee alongside her signature desserts, including whole cakes for purchase.
When asked about her vision for her shop, Dunmire says it will “provide a new social center for the neighborhood. A beautiful bakery right in the middle of all the action. A place to meet your neighbors, enjoy a slice of cake, relax after work, and grab a beer.”
And beautiful it is. Dunmire and her crew of family and friends have been renovating the shop for months but are keen on keeping its old school aesthetic. For instance, she handpicked a retro gold pendant light from Ballard Reuse that reminded her of the iconic Space Needle, salvaged the building’s original 1910 wood shelving that lined its walls to build new tables and paired them with navy blue school chairs, picked up colorful metal trash receptacles from a recent warehouse sale, and added a royal blue, functional gym locker to the decor, reminiscent of our high school days. This unassuming shop will welcome people of all backgrounds and ages to sit and eat more cake, just like Dunmire intended.
While her Airstream Cake Shop will still be up and running during its regular weekend hours, it will shut down for the grocery store’s grand opening.
“I need all hands-on deck!” Dunmire tells me.
Kickstarter backers can expect to pick up their rewards while other attendees can purchase limited edition t-shirts and raffle tickets for whole cakes. (I once won her 9-inch London Fog cake in a raffle, held an impromptu cake and coffee dinner party for 20+ guests the following night, and easily still had a third of the cake left. Her cakes are that massive so winners are in for a treat indeed.) The new market will also be selling cakes by the slice and cupcakes from the following grand opening menu: Lemon Cream, Peach Bourbon, S’mores, 9LB Porter, London Fog (pictured below), Chocolate Salted Caramel, Rhubarb Cornmeal, Blueberry Lemon Balsamic, and the new Northwest Jam, a chocolate cake soaked in the 9LB Porter, Douglas Fir Ganache, Blackberry Jam, and Coffee Cream because it cannot have “northwest” in its name and be lacking some coffee in its ingredients.
Swing on by and support this locally, homegrown pop-up turned bakery, turned market. I know I will.
Locations & Hours
Deep Sea Sugar, Cake, & Grocery, 6601 Carleton Avenue South, Seattle
Grand Opening: Saturday, May 19th from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Regular Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Airstream Cake Shop, 5805 Airport Way South, Seattle
Saturday 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.*
Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.*
*or until cakes sell out
Need to Know
Cake by the slice: $6.00
6” cake (serves 6–10): $45.00
9” cake (serves 12–16): $65.00
Cupcakes All flavors available; One flavor per dozen: $45.00/dozen
For more information, visit Deep Sea Sugar & Salt.
ABOUT ERIKA ALMANZA BROWN
Erika Almanza Brown is an experienced educator, freelance writer, and amateur photographer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Grinnell College and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from American University. A Texas native, Erika, has called Seattle “home” for seven years by way of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Her articles have appeared in When she is not writing, Erika serves as Co-President for the La Isla Foundation Board of Directors, a Seattle nonprofit organization offering hurricane relief to those in Puerto Rico, enjoys traveling, exploring new beaches, and hosting gatherings with her husband and young daughter. Follow her @AlmanzaBrown on Instagram as she attempts to maintain her street cred all the while parenting alongside her husband in the PNW. magazine, Seattleite.com, and .