{Get To Know A Creative} Cake Designer: Bakers Cottage Cakes

11:57 AM, by Unknown

Welcome to our first post in our new blog series: "Get To Know A Creative". Today's creative is Michelle from Bakers Cottage Cakes. As soon as I saw Michelle's work I instantly fell in love! She has a true talent (as you will see in her work below) and she definitely has a uniqueness about her cake artistry. 

1. Tell us a little bit about your company and how you got started.
Bakers Cottage Cakes is a Specialty Cake Business that offers cakes for all occasions, from weddings to birthdays and everything in between. We also provide dessert menus customized to whatever the clients sweet tooth desires!

I started my company officially August 1, 2014 after leaving my executive pastry position with Foodie Catering in Orlando. Before working for Foodie, I completed my externship with the Swan and Dolphin, under award winning pastry chef, Laurent Barnard. Bakers Cottage Cakes has been growing faster than I ever imagined and it has been a very exciting and absolutely wonderful experience! 

Our very first wedding cake and desserts had the distinct pleasure and honor of being photographed by celebrity photographer, Elizabeth Messina and were featured on both websites, Carats and cakes and Green Wedding Shoes; http://caratsandcake.com/valandlee and http://greenweddingshoes.com/dreamy-vintage-inspired-florida-camp-wedding-val-lee-part-2/ 

2. When did you first start baking?
I started baking very young, around five. My grandmother owned her own little restaurant on Suquamish Reservation, in Washington State. She was very well known for her pies. This is where I had my first “back of the house” experience. She allowed me to roll out pie crust and slice fruit, probably more so to keep me busy and out from under her feet. But I was in awe of the things she pulled out of her ovens and remember well, how people would line up especially on the holidays to buy her pies.

3. Do you offer custom flavors? Do you offer gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan, or any other specialty options?
Yes! I have many “Signature” Flavors! I always offer my oddest combinations during tastings because I am a firm believer that they are what set us apart from other bakeries. 
Anyone can offer delicious chocolate and vanilla cake. So many local bakeries are fantastically talented, so how do I compete? What makes me stand apart from another wonderful baker? 
Offering clients something fantastically different!
Yes, we do offer Gluten and Lactose free products, which are very popular for us during the holidays, especially our gluten free pies. However, I have yet to come up with a Vegan cake recipe that I am comfortable putting my stamp of approval on, but I am still working on it!

4. What inspires you?
Other artist! I follow so many cake artists all over the globe, and I am blown away by their sheer talent and the amazing things they create! It certainly has an inspired me to think outside of the box with my designs!

5. What is your favorite cake and frosting combination?
Hmmmm, I have many, though I think the experiment that has turned into my #1 selling cake may be my all-time favorite. It started as a Lavender Macaron that people either loved or hated, no in between. I adored the flavor combination of the Almond and Lavender, but the lavender can be a very acquired taste. Determined that everyone should love this combination too, I experimented until I had a rounded balance of flavors that has proved to please all of my clients’ palates! 

6. What was your favorite cake design job so far?
My first cake from the above links I shared was a simplistic design that brides have liked so much; it is now our top signature cake design. It is a cake simply topped with swirls of Swiss Meringue Butter Cream and highlighted with hand painted Gold.
My more complicated cakes, well my favorite changes each week, but I have a cake coming up that I can’t wait to start! The Bride absolutely loves her dress, as all our sweet brides do, but this young lady wanted to pay homage to her dress through her cake design. I came up with a technique using rice paper to replicate the lace work on her dress. Have I mentioned how excited I am to start this cake? ;)

                                                                         ^This is Yasmen's favorite!

7. Do you have any tips or advice for others looking to start their own bakery? 
I am still in the startup process myself. I rent a commissary kitchen for now but if all goes as planned I will have my own store front in a little over a year. 

The process I am following to start my own bakery is, building relationships with both clients and vendors first. In a very short time I have built a loyal client list where I am finding my calendar booked solid.

Being self-employed, financing companies will want to see copies of business plans and a history of earnings. It can be a long process, one that takes a lot of patience and determination to keep pushing. 

Also, to set yourself apart from what is referred to in the industry as, “Hobby Bakers”, legitimize your company from the beginning. Many venues will not allow you to be a vendor unless you are insured. The liability is too high for them to do business with you otherwise. So if you are not financially ready to make the leap yet, find a commissary kitchen, rent, get your license, and insure your product!

8. Do you offer anything other than cakes?
Yes. I offer Cupcakes, Cookie Platters, Cake Pops, Specialty Breads during the holidays, Pies, Bridal Brunch Menus and Dessert Stations as well.

9. What are your favorite trends when it comes to wedding cake and desserts?
I adore doing huge over the top show piece cakes! But the cost… oy vey! 
Faux cakes are picking up steam and they are a really fun alternative cost wise and so much less worrisome to transport! 
I also think it’s a sweet trend to have a small intimate couple cake and a variety of desserts for guest to enjoy.

10. What tips or advice can you give to couples who are ordering their wedding cake and desserts?
Enjoy this part of the process, this is the fun part! Remember this is your day, and your vision! Try as many bakeries as your heart desires but in the end go with whomever you felt most comfortable with.

I hope you had as much fun getting to know Michelle as I did! Head on over to her website and facebook page for more gorgeous photo's of her work. 

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