One of the cool things about being a wedding photographer is getting to work with so many great vendors week in and week out. Over the next couple of months I will featuring a few vendor interviews with some of my favorites in the area.
First up are Debbie & Joyce, the lovely ladies at Edible Art in Longview. If you are looking for a fun/unique/great tasting cake, you have to consider them. I stopped by their shop on day on my way to an engagement sessions and snapped a few shots of them hard at work.
How did you guys get started, how long have you been doing this, why cakes?
“Edible Art Specialty Cakes & Cookies” has been in it’s current location for 18 months. Debbie was a cake decorator trainer years ago in college for a grocery company and later with Wilton Inc. In college, she was a commercial art/graphic major until a counselor suggested to change her major to business which she did. Joyce was also a published book author of many artistic works and worked as a manager in the corporate world for 20+ years. Both total strangers left their corporate jobs to raise a family. When our daughters started kindergarten a mutual friend introduced us. Debbie was making a few cakes and cookies for her daughter after being unhappy with the quality of cakes available in our area. When you take a really cool 3 tiered lipstick cake to your daughters 5th birthday party, watch out other moms notice! From that one cake, 10 moms ordered their children’s birthday cakes that year. After those 10 cakes, a client following began. Debbie asked Joyce one day when dropping the girls off at school if she wanted to help bake and decorate a couple of days a week while the girls were in school. Joyce said “Absolutely!” From that moment a friendship and mutual respect was born. We baked and decorated from home while researching the business. After a few months, equipment, a building and business plan came together. We were told bakery’s were a high risk business much less a custom cake & cookie shop and no bank would want us since neither of us had worked in over 5+ years. One day, we were prepared to visit a dozen banks with our research and business plan in hand. Our prayer was answered when we heard “We want this little business,”…it did help that we had made a cake for their grand opening a year before this presentation. The loan officer and vice president had seen and tasted our product. When the bank asked about our husbands co-signing, we both said “No” because we didn’t want them to tell us how to run our business. Well, Bancorp South of Longview gave us the green light. The dream of a custom cake & cookie shop was now a reality! Career women to mommy’s to business owners, what a dream!
What is your favorite part about your job?
The stories are always the final inspiration of all the cakes & cookies. We laugh and learn and meet so many people with stories to tell. Some examples: the guy that wants his dogs sculpted in 3-D for his groom’s cake because he proposed with the engagement ring on a shoe lace around the pets neck. Pit-bulls “G & Miss Daisy” can be seen on the website, notice the edible shoe lace and ring around “Miss Daisy’s” neck. Then, we have our regular “Mr. B” that comes by every few weeks and purchases 12 cookies to hide them under his bed so his family want eat them. Then, he has to find a new hiding place because a sticky note was left in an empty cookie box “Daddy, you know you aren’t suppose to have these!” Next, the little kids that come in with a hand colored drawing of their dream cake and we get to bring it to life…what an honor!
What are some of the more fun and creative WEDDING cakes you have done?
We love the one of a kind, never before made, over the top crazy wedding cakes! Once we were asked to make a pink “Fantasy Garden” design with butterfly’s and ranunculas flowers (on the website site under Wedding Cakes). Then, there was the copper, gold, bronze and pearl glossy: The “Royal Della” was a 29 hour hand painted cake that took all of us painting with #1 paint brushes all night to complete. Personal favorite was the young couple who wanted their vows written on the sides of the cake. The young bride-to-be brought her vows by a month before the wedding but her groom was in the service in Iraq. When this handsome solider arrived in Longview early one Sat. morning, he came straight to the shop from the airport, in uniform to hand deliver his wedding vows. WE were the first to see him before his family and future bride because he came home a day early! What an honor to read and write this couples vows to each other on their wedding cake before anyone else in the whole word knew what they had written. There was not a dry eye on the Edible Art Design Team as we were preparing this wedding cake.
How many eggs do you go through in a busy week?
Lots of crazy cracking on a busy week. We don’t believe in frozen eggs at “Edible Art.” If we could ,we would have a hen house out back for super fresh eggs…being across from City Hall and inside the city limits, well, we guess the hen house is out of the question. On a busy week we go through about 200+ eggs.
What are some things brides should look for when looking for someone to bake their wedding cake?
There is so much more than meets the eye! Open those eyes and LOOK around the place. Is it clean, employees professional, do they have hairnets on, clean finger nails, what are they working on while you are there? If they answer the phone, do they wash their hands before continuing to decorate an order . Are the displays current or old? Does the place smell fresh or stale. Can you taste the product? If not, RUN!!! They have something to hide. Do they make the cakes fresh or frozen for a month? Ask to see current pictures. Ask around town before you book any special event cake, make sure you know who you are hiring for this once in a lifetime day. Do they have a payment plan for wedding cakes? Can the designer sketch your dream cake so both of you envision the same wedding cake design? If they can’t sketch on the spot, chances are they do things straight by the book without custom one of a kind, WOW! Yes, price is important but the quality of cake both inside and out is what is the best value. Don’t settle for anything less than what YOU want on YOUR DAY!
Anything else you wanna say?
“Edible Art Specialty Cakes & Cookies” is by appointment only. First, because we are mom’s. Yes, we lock the doors and run to school party’s and events with our kids. Second, because each cake is an honor and we want to sit with you to plan your ideas into the design you have in mind. What a blessing to be asked to make a wedding cake, then their baby shower cake and next a first birthday cake. What about those Sweet 16’s that come to us for that coming of age design. WOW, 50 Year Anniversary cakes…we always want to interview these couples and ask how they made it 50 years without killing each other. The lessons you can learn by listening to these married couples. Then, you have those 70, 80, 90 and what about 100 year old birthdays. Every time we touch a cake, we truly think about the person we are making this one of a kind cake. Is it the best cake of their life, maybe the first or eve
n last…what an honor to be asked to be a part of a special moment in someones life.
Alex, you asked why cakes? “THE CAKE” is the gift God gave us to share with others. This is a love and passion that is not taken for granted especially in today’s economy. It is truly a gift from heaven when you find your God given passion and can share it with others. Every “CAKE” made is a gift to someone special and each of us on the “Design Team” is so grateful to be a part of this moment in another person’s life. Truly blessed!!!!
Edible Art Specialty Cakes & Cookies
504 W. South Street Longview, TX 75601