Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vendor Spotlight - Jenn Cakes-A-Lot

Jennifer Williams created the incredible cake for Steve & Nicole's wedding at the Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club. The cake {and accompanying cupcakes} were a huge hit!  Not only were they beautiful and absolutely perfect for the feel of the wedding, but alllll the guests raved about how delicious it all was!  Check out her site, read on and learn a bit more about her company, and yourself a favor and order a cake from her.  I can won't be disappointed.

How long have you been operating?  If you count peddling my goods from my easy bake oven at 6 years old, I’ve been operating Jenn Cakes-A-Lot for over 25 years. However, I didn’t start taking it seriously until about 3 years ago. I started making more elaborate birthday cakes for my boyfriend’s two kids, and before I knew it people were asking to pay me for my work. It was then that I decided perhaps this wasn’t just a hobby, and something I should take a little more seriously.

What areas do you serve?  I’ll serve anywhere that can receive my baked goodies without them crumpling into a pile of sugar and butter! This is a greater feat in the summer heat than in the winter. I actually chatted with someone I met at a conference in Seattle about how I might start shipping certain things. That said, generally I serve Hampton Roads, and should delivery be required I may charge a little extra for it depending on how far I need to go.

I used to watch the cake shows on Food Network and think the drama over delivering cakes was ridiculous. If anyone has seen them you will know what I mean. Now that I have to deliver my own cakes, I can verify that this is without question the most stressful part of the whole process. You just don’t realize how much force is applied when coming to even a slow stop in a vehicle!

What services do you offer?  I love making cakes for any occasion, be that birthdays, baby showers, weddings, bridal showers or retirements. I also make cupcakes, and cake pops and I’ve even been known to do cookies. I can make them themed or decorated or I can focus on flavor. Whichever best suits your needs.

How would you describe your "style"?  There is nothing wrong with traditional almond cake with simple white icing, and I’m happy to accommodate the traditionalists. However, I like making new traditions. I think a cake with a simple clean design and pops of color can make a bigger statement than one that is intricate and traditional.

What's the most memorable event you've ever worked?  I have had many! First let me say that while I love making cakes and cupcakes and other sweet treats, the best part is getting to be a part of really big events in people’s lives. A cake is an integral part of most celebrations. We blow out candles to them and share our first moments as husband and wife with them. All of this gets commemorated in pictures that we will look back on for years to come.

I created a five tier cake for the retirement of an Episcopal Priest. He’d been with his congregation for so many years and was so loved. I created a beach themed cake for my best friend’s wedding. Recently I created a three tier sesame street cake for someone turning three years old. When I delivered the cake and he saw it, he walked over, stared up at it with wonder, and said “It’s Elmo… and its cake!” It was as if his two favorite things had been combined and it was magic.

What are your favorite types of events to work?  Of course I love working weddings. While they are the most work, they are also probably the most rewarding. That said, kids events are fun too, and allow me to create some really fun themed cakes and cupcakes.

Who are your favorite vendors/venues to work with/at?  I’ve had good experiences with both the Lesner Inn and Williamsburg Winery. The goal, I think, is to find a venue with people running it that seem to genuinely care that your event is going to go off without a hitch. The rest can be worked out.

Any advice for brides trying to choose a baker?  I think it’s important when doing business with anyone that you look for someone who is a professional. If they call you back in a timely manner, and answer all of your questions in a detailed fashion, you know they are going to fulfill their commitment to you on time and with all of the details covered. This way you can just sit back and enjoy your event knowing that everything is going to be taken care of! 

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