A new bakery in downtown Winter Garden is just the spot for those with a craving for custom cupcakes.
Sweet Dee’s Cupcakery and Custom Cakes — 21 S. Main St. — opened Nov. 9. From cookies, brownies and cheesecakes to macarons and, of course, cupcakes, downtown Winter Garden’s newest bakery offers a confectionary creation for anyone with a sweet tooth. The bakery even offers gluten-free and vegan options, as well as keto, dairy-free and sugar-free options by request. Sweet Dee’s also offers a selection of desserts for dogs.
“We do everything — pretty much everything sweet is what I tell people,” owner and executive baker Diandra Culver said.
Although Sweet Dee’s offers an assortment of cupcakes, Culver said her bakery’s claim to fame is its custom cupcake bar.
“The most unique part of it is going to be the cupcake bar,” Culver said. “The guests get to pick their flavor of cupcake, fillings, icings, toppings, drizzle, and the kids always love the glitter. We have edible glitter that we can top any of our cupcakes with, so it’s kind of cute and fun and different. All of our cupcakes have different fillings in the middle, so they get a nice surprise when they bite into their cupcakes.”
Originally from Orlando but now a resident of Ocoee, Culver traces her culinary background as a baker to her childhood. She had a neighbor who was an avid baker and spent a lot of time in that neighbor’s kitchen growing up. She never went to culinary school full-time for baking, but it’s always been a hobby. Additionally, she went to The Wilton School, a cake-decorating school in Darian, Illinois, and participated in the school’s masters series on baking, piping, fondant, sugar work, gum paste and gluten-free baking.
“I had the most amazing neighbor … and she had the most amazing kitchen,” Culver said. “(She) went to all the Wilton (cake decorating) classes at JoAnn (Fabrics and Crafts) and things like that. I just spent all of my time over there. It was a fun little hobby to have. She taught me all of her techniques and everything like that. It was just a fun thing to do.”
Although baking has been a lifelong hobby for Culver, it wasn’t her original career of choice. She went to college at the University of Mississippi for a degree in parks and recreation management. She worked in professional sports as a gamer operations coordinator for the Mississippi RiverKings, a minor-league hockey team in Southaven, Mississippi.
After that, she came back to the Orlando area and went on to work seven years at Walt Disney World as a children’s activities and special events coordinator. While working for Disney, she worked part time at a bakery in Clermont.
“I thought that (Disney job) was my new dream,” Culver said. “Then I was working part time for my friend’s bakery and decided that I wanted to be my own business owner. This vision kind of started, and through a lot of ups and downs, this place kind of just presented itself to me.”