Smallcakes Cupcakery

If satisfying your sweet tooth is the order of the day, then look no further than Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery in Bryant. There, you’ll find more than a dozen gourmet cupcakes, baked goods, and ice cream options to choose from, capped off by an incredible customer experience, courtesy of owners Russ and Robbie Rhodes.

“We have between fifteen and seventeen different flavors of cupcakes. Some we make every day, and specialties we make weekly,” said Russ. “We don’t sell second-day cupcakes, so everything is made fresh every day. We also make our own ice cream in-house from fresh milk and fresh cream. And we have cookies, cake pops, and more. 

“We make customized birthday cakes or any kind of cake you would want—several sizes,” he added. “We also have gluten free cupcakes on the weekends. We make gluten free cakes as well. We have cookie cakes. It’s a sugar rush, is what it really is.”

That sugar rush came to the Rhodes family when they least expected, after their neighbor let them know he intended to sell the business, and offered to sell it to them.

“I was like, ‘We need to pray about that,’” Russ said. “I’m a stay-at-home dad, homeschooling my kids. I had a full plate already. I told (Robbie), and after some more conversations with the owner, we prayed earnestly over that. God moved in miraculous ways to make it all happen; the loan and everything just went easily.”

Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery is an international bakery chain with more than 200 locations around the world. Their site says they’re aiming for “Worldwide Cupcake Domination,” boasting more than 230 cupcake flavors and 100 ice cream flavors on a rotating basis, so there’s always something new to try.

Along with the Bryant location, Smallcakes has shops in Hot Springs, Maumelle, and Pine Bluff. “We have a license to build stores in Conway and Texarkana,” Russ said. “I’m not sure if I want to do that. I need to get my kids raised first.”

The path to cupcakery ownership certainly hasn’t been a straight line for the Rhodes. Originally from Wichita, Kansas, Russ met Robbie while both were going to school in Conway. The son of a pastor, Russ initially pursued a similar life path before concluding God was leading him in a different direction.

After marrying, Robbie completed medical school and residency and went on to begin practicing medicine as a pediatrician, and Russ began his career as an IT director. “We were both working over sixty hours a week and agreed we didn’t want someone else raising our kids. We knew we wanted someone to stay home, and after some thought and prayer, I said, ‘Okay, I’ll do it.’

“They are my top priority, and getting their homeschooling completed and raising them to be young men who add value to not only the kingdom of God, but also the community—that’s my top priority,” he added.

With both sons now in their teens, the Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery’s timing couldn’t have come better for the Rhodeses. The couple took ownership of the franchise in October 2023 and hit the ground running. 

“There’s a lot more competition in other markets, like say, Maumelle,” he said. “But we’re really ‘it’ here Saline County. I don’t know of any other place that does what we do, especially since everything is made in-house and made every day. That’s one of the things that I love about it. We do all kinds of flavors, and they’re done fresh at the store.”

Russ says his team also emphasizes community partnership and charity among their core principles.

“We do a lot with local schools during Teacher Appreciation Week, as well as donating cupcakes to different organizations locally, just to say, ‘Thanks for all your hard work that you do,’” he said. “There’s a lot of opportunity across Saline County and Central Arkansas. We do stuff with the Ronald McDonald House in Little Rock, all the school districts in our immediate area, and during Nurses Week at Saline Memorial.”

The Smallcakes name and brand is also spreading among local businesses, including meet-and-greets with neighboring small businesses and providing cupcakes to the waiting area of Everett GMC. Russ says he’s constantly on the lookout for new opportunities.

“I have a food truck that came with the business,” he said. “One of the things that I would love to do is take the food truck to small communities around Central Arkansas that don’t have Smallcakes, put up some signs in advance to stir excitement, then go down for a weekend and bring ice cream and cupcakes.”

With new ideas always around the corner and expansion still a possibility, Russ says his chief priority as owner of Smallcakes will always be his employees. “They are my number one asset. I can’t do this without them,” he said. “This business presents more than just an opportunity to make cupcakes and put smiles on customer’s faces. It’s also an opportunity to invest in the employees we have, giving them an opportunity, too.”

Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery is located at 4909 Highway 5 N in Bryant. To learn more, call them at 501-943-7277 or find them on Facebook and Instagram.