Happy Hump Day…and what better way to start today, but with something sweet… especially by Gail owner of Cheesecake Etc. We always love working with Gail and her cakes are TO DIE FOR…she does everything from cheesecakes to special occasion cakes to beautiful wedding cakes. She is always accommodating and you know that the end result will be something that your guests rave about!
I grew up in lower NY in an Italian family where food is an all important aspect is our lives. Some of first memories are of me standing on a chair at a stove with my grandmother stirring what ever was in the pots. Both my mother and grandmother were fabulous cooks. It’s in my blood. I went on to college studying math and Italian. My career took me to NC as a sales rep for a major electronic distributor. After 20 plus years in that industry, I decided it was time to pursue my true passion of cooking and baking. So I left corporate America and never looked back.
How long have I been baking and designing wedding cakes? ::
I started Cheesecake Etc in 1997. In the beginning, I did cheesecakes only ( thus the name) but family and friends encouraged me to add other baked goods. At that time, I had no decorating skills. After taking a very basic cake decorating class at Michael’s, I was hooked. It was not long until decorated cakes and then wedding cakes became the bulk of my business with cheesecakes taking a distant second place.
What sets me apart from others? ::
Many things sets me apart from my competition….100% of my products are made from scratch. My icing is made with real butter. All the icing is colored to the brides specifications. I meet with each bride personally for their tasting and design consultation. I personally bake, decorate, deliver and set up their cakes. I provide a cake stand for each wedding cake.
Some of the larger bakeries have many hands involved in the process. The bride talks to one person about design, the baker makes the cake, someone else fills and preps the cake and yet another person decorates it. Then it is handed to the delivery staff.
With me- I handle every aspect of each cake. That bride is my top priority. Consequently, I do a limited number of wedding cakes on a weekly basis to assure that each bride gets the level of service she deserves.
How do I keep my recipes current? ::
Very honestly, my recipes have been in my family for years. It’s hard to improve on something that is working. What I do keep current is flavor combination trends.
How do I test out new recipes?::
My husband Steve is my biggest fan and official recipe tester. I have no shortage of people volunteering for this position.
How did I get my name? ::
When I started the business in 1997, the original plan was to make cheesecakes only. If I were to pick a new name, it would be called Bella Cakes to incorporate my Italian heritage.
What has changed most in the past 5 years? ::
With all the cake shows on television, the general public is much more aware of the possibilities of what can be done with cake. So the designs are more extreme, the colors bolder, and instead of a single flavor,here are multiple flavors in the same cake. Cakes can be sculpted and made too look as though they defy gravity. Gumpaste flowers look almost real and then there is the “bling” factor. We can make edible jewels, sparkling butterflies and so much more.
What are the 3 things in life I could not live without? ::
ONLY THREE??? …how about three categories?
The first would be family and close friends.
The second would be my passion for cake decorating and all that comes with it. That includes the drama!!
And finally would be food. Take away my pasta, bread, and sweets, and live is no longer worth living!
If I was not a cake decorator what would I be? ::
It would have to be something involving food. Not necessarily a chef, but something involving baking and creating sweets.
Here is a quick sampling of Gail’s creations ::
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