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Success? It's a piece of cake

Blackmarket Bakery's Costa Mesa location celebrates its first birthday with a cakewalk, free samples and plans to expand again.

January 25, 2014|By Jeremiah Dobruck
(SCOTT SMELTZER…)

Inside Blackmarket Bakery in Costa Mesa Saturday morning, Chef Rachel Klemek was taping numbers to the floor to get ready for the storefront's first birthday Saturday.

Klemek was about to have some customers partake in a moment from her childhood.

"If it's totally dorky, I apologize," she said. "it's a really big memory of mine."

In fourth grade, Klemek won a cake walk — musical chairs where the person left standing on the winning number wins a cake.

As a gradeschooler, she was overwhelmed when she won a giant coconut cake.

"That was the best day of my life," she joked.

She thought the game was appropriate to commemorate the first anniversary of Blackmarket Bakery at the Camp.

The stylized storefront is Klemek's second Blackmarket location. The alternative shopping center was a perfect place to open after years of success at the original store in Irvine, she said.

The roller derby team Hightide added to the bakery's off-kilter flair Saturday as they handed out cake and cookie samples while wearing their uniforms and skates.

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"We can get around quicker too," Chantel Palomino said, handing out a sample.

Blackmarket's interior is now completely decked out in its signature retro-industrial feel.

Signs declaring "powered by butter" and cake-shaped UFOs complement the store's skull-and-crossbones inspired logos featuring a cake and two swords.

But it's is still a work in progress.

"There's just more to do. We're still not done yet," Klemek said, pointing out a newly expanded sandwich station waiting to be installed.

But that's a constant cycle the chef is comfortable with — so much so that after a year in Costa Mesa, she's already scouting for the next location.

"I feel like if you're not moving forward, you're not growing," she said.

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