1. Why hire a professional vendor?
All the time we hear about people who find a friend to make the cake and then cry when the cake sags (or worse, falls!) during the party. Usually the friend who offers to make it gets in over their heads and feels bitter for having ever offered. A professional cake design company should create the perfect WOW factor, deliciousness, dietary requirement, and structure in a cake or dessert for your party. They can guarantee that the cake will survive a properly cooled party location and alleviate stress on the clients.
2. How did you get started with your business?
Donna & I started our cake & dessert company in hopes of working more sane hours…well, that was the plan. Donna had been working for Presidents Clinton & GW Bush at The White House, and she was excited to expand her horizons as an owner-operator in pastry. I was burning out of working in the restaurant business yet loved the creativity & connection I felt with cake designing for special events clients. We finally found an opportunity to rent space in someone’s kitchen and jumped at it.
3. What inspires you in your field of expertise?
I am most inspired by people and their personalities. Any way we can incorporate someone’s STYLE into their cake or dessert buffet makes it fun (be it displaying cupcakes on top of cookbooks, sculpting someone’s puppy for the cake topper, or designing a cake after someone’s bedroom wallpaper) . My personal style is NATURE and all of the amazing flow & beauty found in the sea, forests, jungles, and rolling hillsides.
4. What is the most challenging and rewarding part about your job?
Most challenging can be communicating to a client how much time/labor/$ it costs us to create their dreams and disappointing them if their budget does not fit the vision. Most rewarding is receiving rave reviews from our clients and knowing that we exceeded their expectations, both in look and taste!
5. What does a typical day at work consist of?
We have a team of 13 people, all of whom carry out various tasks to make our cakes come to life. Some start at 6am, others finish after 9pm ~ measuring, baking, mixing, lifting, washing, mopping, designing, painting, delivering, laughing, quoting, emailing, meeting & greeting…these are all parts of the whole.
6. What makes you successful and stand out from the rest?
People who’ve worked with us and other vendors in the industry TRUST US and know that we will go above & beyond for our clients, so they refer us regularly. We love to create FUN and unique flavors, sourcing all natural ingredients – like our “Bomb Diggity” mini bite: spicy chocolate with cinnamon ganache & salted caramel. YUM! We also do everything we can to accommodate special dietary needs (VEGAN, Gluten Free, Lactose Free) and design inspiration. We have many repeat clients who order for all of their special family occasions, whether they need Bar/Bat Mitzvah cakes, Sweet 16 cakes, wedding cakes, bridal shower desserts, or corporate celebrations.
7. What was the most memorable event that you have done?
Each event is so individual & special, whether it be a child’s birthday cake or a 3,000 person convention for BMW. One of the most important cakes we ever made was for Baby Paxton’s 1st birthday. He was not expected to live long enough to reach his birthday due to his severe illness, which limits him on foods that he can swallow. He LOVED airplanes, so we created a cool cake for his family and a special individual smash cake for him…absolutely adorable (photos attached). His mother, upon picking up the order, lapsed into tears of appreciation…it was extremely emotional for all of us here. We think of him often.
8. What has been your biggest accomplishment within your company? Share an accomplishment you are most proud of. (ex. reward, membership, organization, etc.)
Apart from feeling loved & appreciated by so many fellow vendors in our industry (which affects us more daily than anything else), I guess the most obvious “WOW” factor is having been featured numerous times on network TV – being called by FOOD Network & featured on “Road Tasted with the Neelys” in our first year; getting nearly an hour of national exposure on TLC’s “Fabulous Cakes!;” being called regularly by local NEWS stations to join them for interviews; and most importantly seeing our bakers winning “Cupcake Wars!” on FOOD Network. So cool watching that all together when it aired!!!
Optional: Any additional information you would like to share.
At Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. we enforce quality over quantity and often have to pass on orders to avoid over-booking our designers & bakers.
We started as an all-woman team, owned & operated by two women whose love for yummy cake & goodies transcended most other food. We have expanded to adore the new male energy in our kitchen; their dedication to quality & efficiency is awesome! Plus, our husbands now have an “out” and don’t have to help with all the heavy deliveries…yay!
For more information about Sweet Cheeks Baking Co., please visit our website at www.sweetcheeksbaking.com