Calumet City resident bring Sweet Potato Cakes to customers

Margaret “Phoebe” McBride is the owner of Phoebe’s Sweet Potato Cakes, a business she runs out of her house in Calumet City. Photo provided by Margaret McBride.
Margaret “Phoebe” McBride is the owner of Phoebe’s Sweet Potato Cakes, a business she runs out of her house in Calumet City. Photo provided by Margaret McBride.

 Calumet City resident bring Sweet Potato Cakes to customers

By Tia Carol Jones

Margaret “Phoebe” McBride has turned her family’s recipe for Sweet Potato Cakes into a business. McBride launched Phoebe’s Sweet Potato Cakes in 2018.

McBride, a Calumet City resident who grew up in Bronzeville, always liked to cook, but she never baked. McBride is the youngest of nine children and when her mother passed away, she wanted a hobby. She decided to try to make the cake from the recipe she got from her mother, who got the recipe from an aunt who lived in Alabama.


McBride made the cake a couple of times to make sure she had the recipe down, since it was her first time baking. Then, she started taking the Sweet Potato Cake to gatherings, including repasts and stepping events, to get people’s reaction to the cake. People were blown away and wanted to know what kind of cake it was.


“A lot of people never heard of Sweet Potato Cake, they’re used to eating a pie. So, I told them if they liked Sweet Potato Pie, you’re going to love the Sweet Potato Cake,” McBride said.


The Sweet Potato Cake is a moist, Bundt Cake, decorated with icing. McBride said everyone who tastes the cake falls in love with it. Once people started to ask how they could get the cake, she knew she could turn it into a business.


The cakes are delivered by her husband, Sam, who owns AB Transport & Logistics. It makes it easy to deliver the cakes, because he knows all the ins and outs of delivering and can get it to customers in good time.


McBride estimates that she makes six to 10 cakes a week. Since Phoebe’s Sweet Potato Cakes launched in 2018, McBride has baked more than 1,500 cakes. She ships the cakes nationwide.


During the holiday season, business gets a lot busier. She makes around 300-400 cakes between Thanksgiving and Christmas. While people come to think a Sweet Potato Cake can only be eaten during the holidays, McBride said people can enjoy the cake any time, with their coffee at breakfast, with ice cream on any day of the week, even birthdays.


McBride makes Sweet Potato Cakes and a Sweet Potato Cupcake. People love both, but for larger gathering, she finds people order more Sweet Potato Cupcakes. McBride recalls a time when a company was ordering 300 cupcakes every other week. She’s not sure why, but she appreciates the business.


McBride was working full-time and doing her cake business on the side. Now, she is devoting her full time to the cake business. She runs the business out of her home, but her goal is to open a storefront. She also wants to partner with a commercial baker to help grow her business.


The cakes are available at Carver47, located at 1050 E. 47th St.; Wilma’s Famous BBQ, located at 1223 E. Sibley Blvd. in Dolton.


 They also are available for purchase at sweetpotatocakes.com.

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