about-dianne4991

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 .... at least sometimes it seems that's how my story should begin.  I'd love to be able to tell you that I trained in the pastry arts at a culinary institute- or even that I took a baking course once.  But the truth is much more interesting:

In '77 my father was a salesman providing soda fountain supplies to a local old-fashioned ice cream parlor.  The manager mentioned to him that she was looking for someone to provide birthday cakes for children's parties as part of a package deal she was hoping to offer, and he mentioned I might be interested.  When he told me about their conversation, I said, " But Dad... I don't know how to decorate cakes!"  He reminded me that I loved to bake and that I could do anything I set my mind to, and convinced me to just go and talk to her- so I did.  

She explained that she was hoping to offer children's cartoon character cakes- the type that are covered all over with icing stars.  As I listened I thought, "How hard could this be?"  Little did she know that my only experience was baking for the family as a kid!  So.... I told her I'd give it some thought and get back to her in a few days.

Meanwhile, the idea was planted, and I began designing the catalog in my mind.  I drove straight to the cake decorating supply store and purchased a Wilton® yearbook showing all the novelty cartoon cake pans, with pictures of the finished cakes.  I cut out the pictures of the character cakes I thought I might be able to accomplish, put together an album of about two dozen cartoon character cakes, and proceeded to "dream up" prices according to what I thought customers in my area might pay.  (Literally dream up- I've never taken a business course and certainly had no idea how long it would take me to decorate one of these cakes!)

Several days later, we met again and I brought her my "catalog".  She chose three cakes for her display case..... and I flew back to the cake decorating store and purchased those three Wilton® character pans and followed the directions included with each pan.  Those early cakes were nerve-wracking, and took many, many hours apiece- the first one took me a whole day to decorate.  I had two small children at home at the time, and only made 5 or 6 cakes my first month, but patience and a steady hand won out.  Business steadily increased, and I learned that offering a moist, delicious cake and attention to detail brought me repeat customers and referrals.  Word-of-mouth is always the best advertisement; tasting is believing, and it wasn't more than a few years before I had more business than I could handle.  

Today I design wedding cakes exclusively, and still work in my licensed home kitchen.  I meet with clients in my studio where the sugar flowers and decorations are created.  I'm very grateful to be on the "recommended vendor" lists of several lovely wedding venues, and continue to get many referrals from happy customers.  All of which makes me realize how blessed I've been since that day years ago when my father convinced me to "just go talk to her". 
Thanks for believing in me, Dad!