Edina cake eaters: Immortalizing Minnesota's favorite villains in cotton

Edina owns its sense of entitlement. It's hosted the Cake Eater Classic, a girls hockey tournament, for more than a decade.

Edina owns its sense of entitlement. It's hosted the Cake Eater Classic, a girls hockey tournament, for more than a decade. General Sports

We have a name for people who live in Edina: cake eaters. It's an all-purpose slur aimed at denizens of that affluent suburb to south, one built on a foundation of envy and enmity. But it burns brightest in hockey forums under headings like “most hated hockey town.” The Edina High Hornets, a hockey power going back decades, seem to symbolize the great chasm of the haves and have nots. 

Edina is something akin to a movie villain in the eyes of the rest of the state. Maybe it’s the wealth, and the advantages that come with it. The Edina Hockey Association has racked up more than 50 state championships.  

So it makes sense that the reputation be immortalized in fashion. Behold the Edina Cake Eaters T-shirt. It looks like something off a Betty Crocker box, featuring a succulent wedge of yellow cake with the announcement: “Edina Cake Eaters: Breakfast of Champions.”

But what’s special is where it’s sold: Edina. It’s designed by General Sports, the gear shop on 50th and France, and it’s been flying off the shelves. Manager Matt Haapala says they never carry a single design for this long, but somehow, this vaguely insulting shirt has never gone out of style.

“It’s one of our better sellers,” he says. People buy them as gag gifts for friends who move to Edina. And yeah, they laugh, but many still wear this thing with pride.

There are imitators out there. You can find Edina Cake Eater T-shirts, mugs, and other merch on several online custom apparel sites, like TeePublic.

Maybe the town has reclaimed the nickname with affection, but that’s not generally how the rest of Minnesota uses it.

Still, Edina has been owning its entitled reputation. Since 2005, the town has turned up for the Cake Eater Classic, a girls hockey tournament where teams vie for a silver cup shaped like a gleaming, silver, three-layer cake. In 2016, the town’s nickname and its bougie attitude were commemorated in the popular YouTube hit Cake Eater Anthem.

If you ask Haapala, there’s a little grain of truth to the moniker.

“They have their own little swagger,” he says.

Edina is just really, really proud to be Edina. And frankly, after seeing all the competitors online, Haapala thinks it's time to double down on the cake eater brand.

“I’m pretty sure we’re going to have to launch a few new T-shirts.”