The Chris Cakes Story
Chris Cakes Nationally. Chris Cakes had its origins in Pocahontas, Iowa in the mid 1960's. Mr. Lorin (Chris) Christiansen, a member of his Kiwanis Club's annual pancake fundraising team had an idea for building a custom designed portable grill that would dramatically increase the number of pancakes they could cook and significantly decrease the number of people required to conduct a large pancake breakfast. The original thought was to use the grill for their own pancake breakfasts and occasionally to lease the grill to other civic groups for their fundraisers. While the patented custom grill and batter dispenser dramatically increased pancake productivity as envisioned, it soon became clear that having talented and zany flipmasters was the final ingredient that people craved at pancake breakfasts -- pancakes with attitude.
Chris and his team soon found themselves in demand for pancake breakfasts by civic organizations, churches, schools, agricultural and corporate businesses not only across Iowa, but also in Minnesota, North and South Dakota and parts of Nebraska...and Chris Cakes was born to provide great meals prepared quickly, efficiently and reasonably priced...plus a fun time for all attendees.
A young engineer named Steve Hamilton joined Chris' team, working fundraisers as a volunteer on weekends for several years just because he was having so much fun. The picture below shows Steve Hamilton (left) and Lorin Christiansen (right) at a Chris Cakes event in the late 1960's. In 1984, Steve took Chris Cakes to the Kansas City area. Today, Chris Cakes is scattered across the country, and by pooling resources, we can feed almost any size group.
Chris Cakes in the National Capital Region.
Sue Agazzi first encountered Chris Cakes as a graduate student biking across Ohio in 1990, when daily breakfasts were provided for the bikers by Steve Smith and Chris Cakes of Ohio. In 2006 Sue...now a caterer in Maryland in business for over a decade...was joined by her teenage daughter on another bike ride across Ohio...and once again enjoyed the food and fellowship provided by Chris Cakes flippers. By the time of her third encounter with Chris Cakes in 2008, again on a bike ride across Ohio, Sue had decided she wanted to change her traditional catering business into a Chris Cakes, and traveled to Kansas City to meet Steve Hamilton, long-time owner of the Chris Cakes brand and Guinness World record holder for most pancakes flipped in an hour, to learn more about the business and get permission to open her own franchise.
A long-time friend, David Spain, was Sue’s business coach as she transformed her traditional catering business into Chris Cakes of Maryland to bring the excitement, fun, and great food of Chris Cakes events to the national capital region of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. David immediately became a great fan of Chris Cakes and he, his wife, and his two children even assisted Sue at a number of her Chris Cakes events over the last five years.
In late fall of 2013, Sue decided that she was no longer able to continue as a small business owner. When she advised David of her decision, the wheels immediately began turning.
David had grown up as one of nine children in Alabama where family, church, community, food, and fellowship were of paramount importance. His mother was a superb cook, baker, and hostess and passed along her love of cooking and feeding large groups of people at casual fellowship meals to most of her nine children, including David.
David graduated from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis and after retiring from the Navy worked as a defense contractor, tax accountant, and Federal civil servant. He has long been interested in the hospitality and food service industry and used GI Bill education benefits to earn a certificate in culinary arts and a degree in food services management. Sue's decision to discontinue her Chris Cakes business provided David with the perfect opportunity to follow his dream of bringing great food, fun, and fellowship in a casual environment to large groups of people.
So as 2013 ended and Sue Agazzi's Chris Cakes of Maryland passed into the history books, David's Chris Cakes LLC began operating in 2014 to continue providing Chris Cakes to the national capital region of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Thankfully, Sue Agazzi continues as the sweetest and most experienced Chris Cakes flipmaster serving the national capital region. We welcome all of Sue's friends and clients and look forward to expanding our business to many new clients.