• 48°

Jandira’s bake shop takes the cake

By Susan Shinn
sshinn@salisburypost.com
Mmmm…
Mmm…
MMMMM!!!
That sound you hear is a customer sampling the desserts at Jandira’s Subs and Bakery Shop in downtown Landis.
Jandira’s serves breakfast and lunch, but the specialty of the house is Jan Campbell’s cakes.
Her menu includes: coconut, pineapple, red velvet, orange, Italian cream cheese, strawberry shortcake, chocolate truffle, German chocolate, cheese cake and carrot cake.
She absolutely must have pineapple and coconut cake each day, she’s found.
“Everybody’s got their favorite,” she says.
She bakes from scratch.
“By 5, I’m out of the cakes completely,” Jan says. “I have to start all over.”
Jan has developed a loyal following since opening her restaurant last August.
“I always wanted a bakery,” says Jan, who’s cleaned houses for years and still has a few clients. “I love to bake and cook.”
Jan decided to make her dream a reality last spring. She and her husband, Charles, found the bakery location, which was formerly a garage.
Charles worked in the construction business for years, and the couple collaborated to design a bakery.
The two garage doors were removed and now five large windows let the morning sun shine in.
At first, Jan planned only to sell cakes. Then she added sub sandwiches and later cold plates.
“It’s picked up a lot,” Jan says of business.
A native of Brazil, Jan learned to cook over an open fire. Playing house meant learning to cook.”I just love to put things together,” she says.
“She doesn’t measure anything,” Charles says.
“You have to know what you’re doing,” Jan says.
Her cakes are sold by the slice and by the cake, ranging from $25 to $30. She also bakes
custom-made birthday cakes. A sheet cake starts at $16.99 for a quarter cake and $26.99 for a half-cake.
The couple’s daughters, Angela Fortson, a stay-at-home mom of five, and Felicia Campbell, a student at UNCC, help decorate.
As you may imagine, Jan’s coconut cakes sold well over Christmas.
“We did very, very good business over the holidays,” she says.
Jan bakes 10-15 cakes every day.
Her husband especially likes the Italian cream cheese cake.
One man comes in regularly for carrot cake.
Jan often bakes through the night, seldom sleeping more than a few hours.
“To bake at night is so peaceful,” Jan says. “I don’t feel the time pass. It relaxes me.”
The Landis police keep a close eye on her.
“They’re great,” Jan says.
Jan relies on 10-minute power naps on the loveseat in front of a window to get her through the day.
“I am happy if I’m busy,” she says.
Jan came to the United States 42 years ago. She’s lived in Connecticut and Atlanta.
She and Charles met in Myrtle Beach. When they had a family, they decided to move back to the area. Charles is from Concord.
Sarah Peurifoy of Fifth Third Bank is a regular customer.
“We tell everyone who comes in the bank, have you tried Jandira’s?” she says.
Sarah took a coconut cake to her father-in-law, who lives in South Carolina, for his 85th birthday.
“He had one piece and said, this is mine, nobody else can touch it!” Sarah says.
She comes in to pick up bagels and says she’ll be back later for cake.
“There’s not a thing I haven’t gotten here that’s not great,” she says. “We’re so glad they’re here.”
A lunchtime specialty is Jan’s homemade chicken salad ó just chicken, pickle relish, celery, onion and a bit of mayo.
She also makes pimento cheese fresh daily.
But mostly, it’s about the cakes.
Obie Faggart has been friends with the Campbells for 18 years.
“When Jan’s cakes come up for auction at church,” he says, “they have gone for up to $200.”
Interestingly, Felicia says she doesn’t eat the cakes.
“My favorite are the peppermint brownies,” she says. “I like small portions.”
Her mom notes that the mini cinnamon rolls ó six for $1 ó are perfect for a small breakfast.
Jan also makes cakes with Splenda for those who prefer it.
Jandira’s is open 6:30 -10:30 a.m. for breakfast and 11 a.m.-5:30 for lunch Monday-Friday. Hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Cakes may be made to order with 24 hours notice. Call 704-857-0947 for more information.

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