Bakery steeped in tradition, innovation

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

Nestled on the corner at 12 West 3rd Street in Luverne, Pre’s Sweets N Things is more than just a bakery. It’s a heartfelt tribute to Presha “Pre” Wright’s late grandmother, Minnie Lee Matthews, who hailed from the Pigeon Creek Community and passed on her culinary skills to her granddaughter. 

Opened in October 2019, the charming bakery pays homage to Matthews through sweets Wright creates with her grandmother’s baking on her mind. She grew up learning to bake from her mother, Cynthia Green, who ran a successful catering business. 

Wright’s desire to preserve her culinary heritage inspires every delectable, handcrafted treat. She blends traditional flavors with her own creative twists and said she doesn’t cut corners to save time or money, pouring the same love and warmth into her baking that her late grandmother did.

“My grandmother passed before I was born, but I use what I remember Mom teaching me and I have come up with my own concoctions using what I can remember,” Wright said. “I always think of my grandmother when baking or creating recipes, but I think it is my own personal, modern twist that my customers enjoy.”

One of the bakery’s standout features is the introduction of a cake ATM located in Troy outside the Piggly Wiggly. The ATM is one of the only two in Alabama and a rare find in the entire southern region. This innovative contraption allows customers to indulge in their favorite sweet treats with just the push of a button. 

After much prayer and contemplation, Wright said she decided to take the leap and introduce the cake ATM to the Troy area. To her surprise, the response exceeded her expectations. The 24-hour ATM quickly became a sensation, with customers eagerly awaiting the restocking of the machine.

The treats sell out almost immediately each day and the overwhelming popularity of the dessert  ATM has made it challenging to keep up with demand. But Wright remains committed to never compromising on quality for the sake of quantity.

“I started praying about putting a machine in the area and was pushed to go ahead and step out and make it happen,” Wright said. “I had initially thought of placing another one in a different city, but at the moment, the overwhelming popularity has made it hard to keep up with the demand. I certainly want all my products to taste like my Granny could have made them so we certainly will never give up quality for quantity.”

Grateful for the overwhelming support from her customers, Wright acknowledges the power of community and social media in spreading the word about her business. With over 6,000 followers, the bakery’s reputation continues to grow, thanks to the loyal customers who share, post and send messages of support. 

Customers like Erica Saunders from Luverne say they have been captivated by Wright’s desserts from the very beginning. Saunders fondly recalls ordering cake slices from Wright when she used to bake out of her home many years ago. Since then, Saunders has become an ardent fan, appreciating the dedication and heart that Pre pours into every creation. She admires Wright’s journey from a home-based operation to the thriving establishment it is today, recognizing her well-deserved success.

“My co-worker had told me about Pre and I ordered some cake slices,” Saunders said. “I have been hooked since. Her desserts are amazing and she is the hardest working woman I know. She puts her heart in every single thing she bakes and if you have ever tried her desserts you understand what I’m talking about. Pre has a servant’s heart and to see business grow from her home to where it is now makes me so very happy for her. She is so deserving.”

Cindy Miller, another satisfied customer, praises the deliciousness of Pre’s products and commends her innovative marketing strategies. As a small-business owner herself, Miller applauds Wright’s creativity and considers the vending machine a brilliant way to spread awareness about her small business. 

Miller also expressed her gratitude toward Troy Piggly Wiggly, where the dessert ATM is located, for supporting small-business owners like herself.

“First, her products are delicious,” Miller said. “Packaging is great and the vending machine is an excellent idea for the community and a great marketing idea to spread information on her small business. I pray for her great success in the future. I met Pre and her family through my small business where I make affordable grave markers. I also sell my products in Troy Piggly Wiggly and that store is a blessing to small-business owners because they truly support us.”

Wright agrees that Piggly Wiggly and the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Steve Garrett, have been very supportive and she is grateful for them allowing the dessert ATM to be placed. Wright also stated that is forever grateful for the support of her husband and sons and for the irreplaceable continued hard work they  put into what is now a family business. 

Step into Pre’s Sweets n Things on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Fridays from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. to experience their handmade confections. Pre’s takes custom cake orders for weddings, birthdays and other events on Saturdays. They are available to take orders for cakes and personalized orders on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. To inquire or place an order, call 334-335-2522.