West Orange home-based cake businesses add a dash of special, a pinch of sweetness and a whole lot of love to family occasions.
Across West Orange, experienced cake bakers have started home-based cake businesses. Some have backgrounds in high-end bakeries, while others learned their craft through family recipes. .
Say Yes to the Cake
For Kim Frey, it’s important that her customers like the taste of her cakes just as much as the look.
On high-end cakes, fondant often is used to create smooth look and intricate designs, but many people don’t enjoy the taste. So Frey came up with a solution.
“Because people don’t like the taste of fondant, I do buttercream with fondant accents,” she said. “It also keeps the cost down of the cake.”
Sometimes customers come to her with a personal photograph, and she is able to use an edible printer to scan the photo into an edible image that will appear on the top of the cake. She also likes to carve cakes into unique designs, like the head of an alligator.
In 2014, Frey officially started Say Yes to the Cake by opening her Facebook page, but she has been making cakes since she was 16.
Frey bakes cakes for birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. She is also a wedding planner, decorating and working the wedding in addition to baking her own cakes. Although baking cakes is not her full-time job, she has made as many as 11 cakes in one weekend.
She learned how to bake cakes from watching her parents, who owned a bakery in Oklahoma, and spending time practicing the craft. She dreams of opening a storefront.
For more information, sayyestothecake.com.
Get Just Desserts
Watermelon-flavored cake is actually a reality.
In fact, it’s only one of more than 30 flavors Christy Lowery-Qualls can use in her custom-made cakes.
“If it’s possible for me to make it, I will make it,” Lowery-Qualls said. “If it’s not possible, I will try to find a way to make it.”
Because she often creates cakes for children’s birthday parties, she has come up with kid-friendly flavors such as grape, watermelon, strawberry, green apple and blue raspberry.
Lowery-Qualls, who has a background in restaurant management, officially started her company, Get Just Desserts, in 2009 and built her clientele by attending farmers markets and other local events.
Before launching the company, she attended culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu and became a certified pastry chef. She creates all kinds of desserts, not solely cakes.
When creating cakes, she asks her clients to tell her the theme of the cake they want, and from there she draws out an idea for the cake. However, she has developed a consistent group of repeat clients who will just text her the theme, tell her what they want and let her create what she thinks will be best.
Lowery-Qualls buys local and uses products that are in-season. She also can create cakes that are gluten-free or sugar-free.
For more information, visit facebook.com/GetJustDesserts.