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Rivertown Cakes goes on the road: Cottage Grove bakery launches food truck

Heather Carey, owner of Rivertown Cakes Bakery Boutique, launched a food truck for her cupcakes this summer. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia

Not everyone could make a collaboration between sweets and automotives work, but husband and wife duo Chris and Heather Carey are breaking the mold.

Cottage Grove business owners of Modern Automotive Performance and Rivertown Cakes Bakery Boutique, the Careys have found a way to weave the two together with ease.

When Heather launched a food truck this summer, Chris updated and refurbished the vehicle.

Over the summer, they brought it up to Minnesota standards, fitting it with a sink, plumbing, air, a generator and even an oven for baking in a pinch.

"It was basically a shell," Heather Carey said.

Since the end of July, Carey has been driving the truck to fundraisers, school and corporate events and car shows.

The car shows have been a good launching point for the truck, since Chris' business gives them built-in connections to the automotive community.

The school open houses have been fun, she said, because "the kids will tell you if they love it or hate it."

Cottage Grove passed a food truck ordinance in February, and Carey's has been one of the first trucks to be spotted around the city.

"I get a lot of weird looks," she laughed.

It's allowed her to get out of Cottage Grove a little and expand the business into greater Minnesota.

For wedding cakes and deliveries, Carey said she's been doing a lot of business in Red Wing, Minneapolis, St. Paul and even one wedding over 90 minutes away.

She's been launching new treats at the Cottage Grove storefront as well, selling ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, cheesecakes and the Rivertown Cakes creation dough-to-go cones.

Future expansion might even cross state lines, she said.

Special licenses for food truck drivers aren't required in Minnesota, but are in Wisconsin.

That might be a project for next summer, she said.

Carey said that since trucks have to book about eight months out and she got a late start mid-summer, the truck will only be at a couple more gigs this fall.

Next year, though, she plans to hit the pavement running.

"It's been good," she said. "Cottage Grove and Woodbury have been very welcoming."

Carey has been running Rivertown Cakes for about four years, both since it moved to Cottage Grove last year, and when it was based in Hastings.