To Decorate with Fondant or Not to Decorate with Fondant…that’s the question?

Thanks to shows like the Ace of Cake and Cake Boss, most people are familiar with the use of fondant as a way to customize and decorate cakes, cupcakes and cookies.  For those who are unfamiliar, fondant originated in Europe in the 18th century.  It is a pliable sugar paste which can be molded and sculpted to create Imageliterally whatever can be imagined.

We’ve used our fair share of fondant to decorate desserts for our clients.  Honestly, if you want something truly unique, custom and stylized, there’s nothing like it.  The dilemma has always been that fondant is unnatural.  It’s loaded with artificial flavors and colorings which don’t fit our all-natural philosophy.  In addition, it adds considerable cost to the project and most people don’t care for how it tastes, so they pick it off and discard it which we believe to be wasteful.  For those reasons, we try to steer people away from its use or at the very least we encourage them to use it sparingly. 

How do we satisfy our customers and ourselves?  There are several bakeries in our area that are very good at and interested in decorating with fondant.  Lately, we have been referring our customers who desire this kind of elaborate decoration to them.  The customer is satisfied, we’ve referred them to a local business and we remain true to what we feel is most important…at Baked Dessert Cafe, Fine Art & Wine Gallery we serve foods that are free of artificial color, flavor, preservatives and trans-fat and our customers are well served.

 

 

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A “pipe dream” come true…

In the beginning…I lived and operated a cake and cupcake business with my “bff” Lori just outside of Washington, DC.  We were having a blast and contemplating how to grow our business.  The only problem was, I didn’t want to “grow” and commit to a business in that area.

For years, most of my childhood actually, my family vacationed in and around Ocean City.  Several of my family members have moved to Berlin, Maryland and love it.  My kids and I spent the Summers there and so began the dream of one day calling Berlin home.

My sister Shelly and I have long discussed opening a bakery right on Main Street.  You see there is this awkwardly shaped commercial space there that has been home to several businesses and bakeries.  It was just in need of a little TLC in order to be something special.  It could be perfect, Shelly could make her pies and famous cookies and I could continue to  be creative with cakes and cupcakes.  We could “tag team” the rest.

This was only a “pipe dream” until one day our neighbor emailed me a listing of a “bakery for sale” in Berlin.  This had to be the place we had looked at so many times, Berlin is only so big!  We asked our friend and neighbor Jill to join us as the “business brain” of the operation and  BAKED DESSERT CAFE was born.

It would take way too long to detail the amount of thought, work, time and effort that has gone into this “small business”.  Suffice it to say, it’s been a lot.  Honestly, I don’t think anyone of us could have done this alone.  As a matter of fact, we didn’t.   Along the way, our husbands, our children, our parents, Jill’s parents, our talented siblings and the surrounding community has donated their time, talent and support.   We’ve learned so much over this past year, not only about the business, but about ourselves!  I’ll just speak for myself here; I never knew I was such a control freak.

As Spring brings with it the change of season, change too is coming to BAKED in April.  Jill has decided to return to a life with a more flexible schedule.  Shelly and I can be a lot of fun, but not as much fun as playing with grandkids.  We are really going to miss her and her brain!   We intend to pressure her to work with us on festival days and lucky for us she lives right next door so we will still see her smiling face daily.

Shelly is learning the bookkeeping end of the business and I am trying desperately to “come up to speed” with the technology piece.  Filling Jill’s “shoes” won’t be easy.  May God help us both!  We’re taking everything that we’ve learned about our customers, our community, our products and we’re “streamlining” things.  No worries, we are still focused on providing the best all natural desserts, breads and beverages on the planet!  That will never change!

I can’t predict the future, but I hope that we are here, getting everyone “BAKED” at the beach, for many years to come.  I truly believe that the “stars aligned” for us.  To be here, close to family and friends, working with people we love, serving this community; it’s been a “pipe dream” come true.  Our advice…Follow your dreams and then find us and get “BAKED” at the beach!