Inflation hits Calhoun County’s “cake man”

One Calhoun County pastry maker is pushing past rising costs to sprinkle holiday joy
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 10:37 PM CST
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Altha, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - As the holidays approach people across the country are feeling the effects of inflation, but one Calhoun County pastry maker is pushing past rising costs to sprinkle holiday joy.

James Brooks has been baking pastries for more than two decades and delivering them across Northwest Florida. He says that is what scored him a legendary nickname.

“A lot of people call me the cake man. they might not know my name, but that’s what they call me when they see me,” said Brooks.

He has never sold a single cake. He just gives them away for free. However, this year Brooks says the high cost of ingredients is forcing him to cool down his craft.

“I’ve spent about a little over 200 more than I normally do at thanksgiving. Everything just went up that much,” Brooks said.

He has seen an increase in the cost of every item needed to create his delicious desserts.

“Well cooking oil, the prices have doubled. Cake mixes went up about 38 cents per box. Eggs is almost five dollars a dozen. The sour cream has doubled in price,” he said.

Essential items like pie crust have even been out of stock.

But despite the struggles, Brooks is still forking over whatever dough he can to keep the cakes coming. So far, he has already baked a total of nearly 1200 cakes and pies this year alone. A variety of flavors are up for grabs including cinnamon swirl, lemon cake, pumpkin and pecan pie.

Brooks does not ask for anything in return for these pastries, he does not even ask for donations, but if you are interested in donating ingredients you can call (850) 381-9123.