Protecting the Northwest one chocolate cake at a time

You never quite know what to expect from your first week of work, but rarely is caramel sauce tasting a key part of your on-the-job training.

Photo by: Lucy Shirley

I started at Forterra a little over a month ago as the digital media & graphic design manager, and I secretly think I got hired because I mentioned my love for Hot Cakes’ motto, “Be Honest. Stay True.” What I didn’t know at the time was that Forterra is a friend of Hot Cakes and founder, Autumn Martin, who even spoke at Ampersand Live last fall.

Fast forward to my first week of work, when I was told my attendance was required at a clandestine Hot Cakes meeting—okay, maybe that’s being dramatic, but I was prepared to use a special knock and code word “chocolate” at the front door of the sweet shop’s Capitol Hill location if they had asked.

Hot Cakes recently debuted their Wilderness Collection—a group of their tastiest sauces and toppings inspired by Autumn’s love for nature. Martin explained, “I’ve been struggling as a restaurateur… and how to protect and love the wilderness.” Autumn’s solution is to incorporate natural, local elements into Hot Cakes’ products. The Wilderness Collection includes items like juniper berry caramel sauce, smoked chocolate chips, and my personal favorite, the white sage caramel sauce.

I’ve been struggling as a restaurateur… and how to protect and love the wilderness.
Autumn Martin, founder of Hot Cakes

A portion of these proceeds benefits three local nature-oriented organizations: Forterra, Washington Trails Association and Washington Wild. As part of the Wilderness Collection launch, Hot Cakes invited members of each organization to attend a sneak peek launch—the results were inspirational and delicious.

As I sat there—eating the fanciest s’more I’ve ever had and listening to each of these passionate people talk about what they’re doing to protect the Northwest—I felt I had found my people. Thank you Hot Cakes, for caring about this place we love. We’re honored to be a part of the Wilderness Collection.

Hot Cakes serves up a delicious s'more.
Photo by: Lucy Shirley
  • Lucy Shirley

    As a kid, Lucy loved spending summers in the northern woods of Wisconsin surrounded by pine trees. She traded Northwoods for the Northwest and thinks the pine trees are just as good here—maybe even better. In her free time, Lucy is helping launch a fair trade athletic wear company, patrols Craigslist for furniture to refinish, makes quilts, and walks around her neighborhood looking for cats to pet.
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