Lloyd’s Carrot Cake Continues To Build A Legacy In The Bronx
The recurring story of Lloyd’s Carrot Cake is as follows: Man creates cake, man builds that cake into a local legend, man dies, and man’s wife carries on his legacy. With that man’s name baked into the very name of this Riverdale institution, it’s easy to forget that Betty Campbell-Adams, widow to Lloyd and successor to the business they built together, has been running the shop for a decade. In that time, she’s not only preserved Lloyd’s legacy, she’s also worked with her family and their team of bakers to build upon it, taking the business to new horizons.
“I don’t think he’d be very surprised,” said Campbell-Adams with a chuckle when asked what Lloyd might say if he could see the business today. “He’d be amazed as how fast, but not surprised as to what we’ve done with it.”
Even so, she admits that this role was not in her plans when Lloyd passed away in 2007. While she was always supportive of Lloyd and knew what it took to run things, Campbell-Adams kept up her career in marketing while he was building up the family business; it wasn’t until the sudden closing of Lloyd’s that she made the leap to cakeboss-in-chief.
As it turns out, the executive role suits Campbell-Adams fine. Over the past decade, she’s expanded the bakery’s operation, opened a second shop in East Harlem, and turned down endless requests to turn this mom-and-moxy operation into a franchise. While she considers the long-term picture of Lloyd’s Carrot Cake, she always comes back to her pride in the quality of that cake, and the story of a small-town couple that built an enduring legacy out of a New York basement. Whatever happens to the bakery, it will honor the roots that both of its founders put down in the Bronx.
Edible Bronx is collaborating with filmmaker James Boo the mastermind behind 1 Minute Meal. Subscribe to 1 Minute Meal to see food films from all five boroughs.