Friends and family of the late Caroline Ragsdale Reutter have preserved the culinary
legacy of the Caroline's Cakes founder indefinitely thanks to endowment of the Spartanburg
Community College Caroline Ragsdale Reutter Culinary Arts Scholarship. The scholarship's
endowment was confirmed after a successful fundraising event on May 2, A Cakewalk
in Budapest, which was the culmination of fundraising for the scholarship that began
in summer 2017.
"The SCC Foundation is thrilled to share that the Caroline Ragsdale Reutter Memorial
Scholarship for Culinary Arts has exceeded the endowment level. This scholarship will
live in perpetuity and support SCC culinary art students forever," explains Bea Walters
Smith, executive director of the SCC Foundation and Advancement. "Lea Ann and Dexter
Cleveland initiated this effort and many special friends and family of Caroline's
have graciously given to make this scholarship a reality. Providing scholarships for
students is the number one priority of the SCC Foundation."
The SCC Caroline Ragsdale Reutter Culinary Arts Scholarship was created in summer
2017 by Spartanburg residents Lea Ann and Dexter Cleveland, honoring the legacy and
spirit of Reutter, their close friend who founded Caroline's Cakes and lost a courageous
battle to cancer in the summer of 2017. The May 2 event, which was overwhelmingly
attended by family and friends of Reutter, featured the viewing of Reutter's firm
- A Cake Walk in Budapest- which chronicled her journey to Budapest, Hungary researching
and filming the life and culinary contributions of J zsefC. Dobos, the man credited
with introducing the Dobos Torte cake in 1855 when it was first served at the National
General Exhibition of Budapest. After learning that her Southern layered caramel cakes
were similar to the Dobos Torte cake, Reutter became fascinated with learning as much
as possible about the unique Hungarian sponge cake layered with chocolate buttercream,
topped with caramel and coated sides of ground nuts.
"We are thrilled and so appreciative of the Spartanburg community for their help and
support in endowing The Caroline Ragsdale Reutter Memorial Scholarship fund. It is
exciting to think that the efforts of the SCC Foundation and our friends and family
will provide a student with the opportunity to pursue their culinary dreams with the
same passion and energy that Caroline had," says Richard Reutter, Caroline's son and
CEO of Caroline's Cakes.
"From the stories that have been shared, Caroline absolutely loved what she did. Not
just baking cakes but connecting with and caring for people all over the country.
She especially loved working with and mentoring the people she brought into Caroline's
Cakes and instilling in them the lifelong love of learning," adds SCC President, Henry
C. Giles, Jr., "That's what makes the scholarship and its endowment in Caroline's
memory so meaningful - it's a permanent way for those who loved Caroline to continue
giving back and helping others. I can't think of a better way to honor someone special
than through the gift of education. We are appreciative to the Reutter family and
Caroline's many friends who have generously donated to this scholarship."
Reutter's baking business started in 1982 with the creation of her first and now world-famous,
seven-layer caramel cake that she made for her youngest son's christening. Thanks
to word of mouth and an amazingly delicious product, the business grew over the years
and today, Caroline's Cakes ships cakes to thousands of customers across the country
from their Spartanburg headquarters. Because of Reutter's savvy business skills and
tireless work ethic, Caroline's Cakes has been featured in the 2011 movie, "The Help,"
and are loved by the rich and famous. But, despite her success and fame, Caroline's
family - husband, Charles "Chick" Reutter, and sons Richard and Charles, who now run
their mother's business - say that for Caroline, it was about more than just selling
cakes. "We can honor her legacy by providing an educational opportunity for someone
to grow, thrive and learn. Mom would be honored to give others an opportunity through
this scholarship," explains Richard.
Tax deductible gifts are being accepted for the SCC Caroline Ragsdale Reutter Culinary
Arts Scholarship at www.sccsc.edu/SCCgiving
For more information on the SCC Foundation, contact Bea Walters Smith at email@example.com,
(864) 592-4448 or visit www.sccsc.edu/foundation
. For more information on the SCC culinary arts program, contact Amy Byers, department
chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call (864) 592-4836 or visit www.sccsc.edu/culinary
. Photos are available on Flickr