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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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11/5/2013 6:00:00 AM
SPOTLIGHT ON NEW BUSINESS
PV Library café vendor marks first anniversary
Ken Hedler/The Daily Courier
Arlene Alen, owner of the CafeWorks Library Café inside the Prescott Valley Library, decorates a cookie on a stick Friday afternoon. She is marking her first anniversary as the food vendor in the library.
Ken Hedler/The Daily Courier
Arlene Alen, owner of the CafeWorks Library Café inside the Prescott Valley Library, decorates a cookie on a stick Friday afternoon. She is marking her first anniversary as the food vendor in the library.
Ken Hedler
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT VALLEY - Town government officials opened the new library in October 2009 that included a treat for the public: a café immediately inside the building at 7401 E. Civic Circle.

Library staff parted ways with the first two vendors who operated the café. Arlene Alen of CakeWorks Library Café is the third vendor and is marking her first anniversary.

"We hope she does well," said Ryan Judy, deputy town manager. He said Alen pays the town 22 percent from gross sales at the café.

Alen, a member of the Dewey-Humboldt Town Council and supporter of numerous nonprofit groups, said she rented a commercial kitchen for five years before setting up shop in the library.

"I started CakeWorks as a secondary business," she said. "I was actually looking for retail space when the town called me."

CakeWorks' menu changes daily with an assortment of biscuits, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, cakes, pies, bread puddings, icing shots and more, according to her brochure. She serves piggy puffs (pastries stuffed with pork) and clucky puffs (stuffed with chicken) for lunchtime.

Alen said she serves gluten-free and vegan products. None of the products contain dyes or chemicals.

Alen also caters for events inside and away from the library, and donates a portion of her proceeds to nonprofit groups. Among other things, she is director of marketing and development and vice president of the board of Horses With HEART, and serves on the executive board of the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic.

CakeWorks also serves as a workforce development project, Alen said. She said she trained two unemployed persons who are now working at other jobs, and is working with a major organization to provide job training to people such as returning veterans.

"And baking is a career path," Alen said. "You need math skills."

Alen said she began baking as a child, and opened a catering business during a strike while she worked in the entertainment industry in the Los Angeles area in the late 1980s.

She worked as a production designer for 10 years in the entertainment industry, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for her work on the "Donny and Marie" show.

Alen and her husband, Earl, moved to Dewey-Humboldt from the Los Angeles area eight years ago to take care of family members.

She said she enjoys "the creative part" of baking, adding it makes people happy.

CakeWorks is open from 9 .m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more information, call 759-5509, or log onto www.cakeworksaz.com.



Have you opened a new business that is not home-based? Email khedler@prescottaz.com.









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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Article comment by: Way to go, Prescott Valley Library.

Can't help but point out that the Prescott Public Library has a coffee bar adjacent to its book sale area offering a very few snacks .. muffins & cookies ... and alas has terrible hours!

Closed two hours at lunch time and off and on closed whole weekend days. It seems only right that library users have an expectation that the coffee shop be open the same hours as the library. Maybe the hours will change. Hope springs eternal.


Posted: Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Article comment by: Terry nolan

Congratulations Ms. Alen. I'm happy for you! It's a great service to the community. Thanks for what you do.

Terry Nolan




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