What inspired you to start Is That a Cake?!
To be honest, I never had a "desire" to be a cake designer. In actuality, I fell into the profession. I used to own 2 coffee shops. Our business was hit hard by the oncoming recession 3 - 4 years ago. I started playing with frosting cakes when my coffee sales began to decline. It was a way for me to generate additional sales, without having to use my staffs labor. And, thankfully, during that time was also when the Food Network debuted Ace of Cakes. I started watching and taping that show. As they would create their cakes, I would take note of how they did everything and then practice at my shop. Soon, I started to get the hang of things. The Journal Star then found out about my work and ran a cover story about my cakes, specifically a dummy purse cake I made. Once that story published, it literally transformed me into a cake shop. Because I did so much sculpted work, many coffee customers would say "That's a cake?" as orders sat waiting to go out. I finally decided to close the coffee shop and switch my focus to cake design. It seemed logical to call the business, That's a Cake?.
What do you love most about your job?
"I love a challenge. I can't count how many times clients have brought unique sculpted cake ideas to me and asked if I could do them. I dont think I've ever said no. There's many a time after they leave though that I think, "how am I going to pull this off?" Its very rewarding to see their ideas and my visions come to life."
How long does it take to complete a wedding cake?
"The time to complete a wedding cake can really vary depending on its design complexity. The entire process, whether complicated or not, will span over a few days time but some cakes that require a lot of sugar work like flowers can literally take months."
Are you seeing any cake trends for 2012?
"There is definitely a movement to go more simple and smaller, almost a vintage or natural look with buttercream."
Are Groom's Cakes still popular?
"Grooms cakes are definitely popular in my world. Its very common for some of my brides to put more focus on the grooms cake than their wedding cake."
What inspires you in the wedding industry?
"I don't know that the wedding industry necessarily inspires me per say. Honestly, I rarely pick up wedding magazines anymore. I enjoy looking at other cake designers and their work but I try very very hard to encourage my brides to let me work with them to design their own cake. Many times its easy to clip pictures and say "I want that cake." I like to take those pictures and incorporate different elements of what makes that couple unique to create "their" cake. Really, my inspiration comes more for day to day life and colors. I am notorious for snaping photos on my phone of different bed linens or gift bags or even china patterns."
Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 years?
"I would like to say I see myself doing this in 5 years but honestly, who knows. 5 Years ago if someone would've told me I'd be a cake designer, I would've laughed my head off and told them they were nuts. No matter what, whatever I'm doing, I want to do it with a smile on face."
What are your most popular flavors?
"White, tuxedo, and white with rasberry preserves are my most popular but some of my personal favorites came from customers that asked for custom flavors like cookies and cream and peanut buttercup!"
Any advice for Brides?
"My biggest advice to brides in regards to their wedding cakes is that if the cake is an "important" element of their day, to not copy someone elses cake. Take the time to have a cake made that represents you both as a couple. The littlest personal touches add so much. And, in the grand scheme of the entire day, sit back and enjoy the ride. The day will be over before you know it."