Baking and decorating has been my
passion since I was a teenager, but I attribute my
passion for the craft to an incident when I fell
into a large tub of whipped icing when I was one
year old. This happened when I accompanied my mother
when she helped with the wedding preparations for
her best friend. I always went with my mother when
she went to other family's homes to assist in the
preparations of pastries and cakes for large
weddings. Baking for the weddings in Europe took one
week, starting with small cookies, then pastries and
tortes and then two days before the wedding the
icings were whipped. The pastries and tortes were
then iced and decorated. I was always dipping my
finger in for a taste and I called this "quality
When I was in my early teens and able to bake myself, I continued to assist in wedding preparations. There I learned from the Master Decorator the techniques of preparing specialty cakes and pastries. I later enrolled in the gourmet cakes and pastry classes.
After I moved to Canada I baked and supplied European pastries and tortes to our close friends in Toronto for their restaurant. A year later we moved to Calgary and at first I baked only for family and friends, experimenting with new recipes. I had to learn to adjust techniques to compensate for the higher altitudes. This I was forced to because every thing I baked collapsed!
I then worked two years for a very busy supermarket bakery in Calgary. It was in a upscale neighbourhood and I learned the importance of delivering high quality products and good customer service. I remember my husband telling me that I was counting the cakes in my sleep after each “Demo” weekend.
Two years later we moved to Powell River where I worked for the local supermarket bakery for 9 years as a cake decorator/baker and bakery assistant manager for couple of years. In this bakery I made several graduation cakes which were 3 meters long and had to be transported by pickup truck. For a Christmas display table my partner decorator and I made a Ginger bread village complete with ski hill, chair lift and little people on sleds. In following years we used sugar paste to make a Nativity center and a beautiful village with skating rink and skaters. I always looked forward to Christmas so we could make some new and exciting project. All the children, young and old, loved it!
In 1994 I graduated as a certified baker and decorator, having completed a 3-year apprenticeship at Vancouver Community College. Notable from this are that I received an “ExcelLentia Award for Outstanding Achievement in Baking and Pastry Art” from Lentia Enterprises and that I was the only student in the class to get a full 100% marks in the "Food Safe" program.
I truly enjoyed decorating and working with brides, helping them to choose their wedding cake, whether the design is my design, their own, or from pictures in magazines. I received great satisfaction when I heard from our customers how delighted they were with our products and service.
August 07, 2012