Local bakers are on the rise.
Published: July 3, 2013
“We still hand-crimp every single double crust pie,” Brown says. —Princess Gabbara
Achatz Handmade Pie Co.’s main location is at 30301 Commerce Blvd., Chesterfield; 586-749-2882; achatzpies.com for more locations.
Taking the Cake
Not all local upstart bakers started out with a business plan. For Cake Ambition’s Jessica Bouren, it began as a hobby. After making baked goods for her friends, co-workers and family, word got around how good they were, and requests came pouring in for her increasingly creative cakes. Bouren decided to leave her design job at a major firm in Louisville, Ky., and come back home to Michigan to pursue her cake-making career.
When designing cakes, Bouren uses the skills acquired from her bachelor’s degree in fine art and design, and her experience as an interior designer, actually making sculptures in the medium of cake, which she learned all on her own with the aid of books and YouTube videos.
Without any work lined up when she first came back to Michigan, Bouren started hustling cakes to make a living. One such hustled cake was for a wedding at the Whitney in 2012. A staff member sampled the cake and liked it enough to call her in for an interview. Jessica was hired as the assistant pastry chef, a position she held for 30 days before being promoted to executive pastry chef. She worked that position for a year before deciding to focus on Cake Ambition.
Right now, Bouren rents space to bake in the kitchen of Detroit’s Traffic Jam & Snug, but says she hopes to move into her own space with a storefront soon, preferably in Detroit. The plan is to make only cakes and cupcakes, having readymade cakes available in the storefront and a place where customers can come in with their own design ideas and work with her to create a concept.
She mostly bakes her cakes from scratch, including her European-style Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. The cakes are brightly colored and whimsical, and many are sculpted and shaped with pop culture themes. Her first sculpted cake was ambitiously, a Lionel Richie head that actually sang. (Well, Lionel Richie music was piped through a hidden speaker). —Katherine Montalto MT
To learn more about Cake Ambition, see cakeambition.com.
Michael Jackman is managing editor of Metro Times. Katherine Montalto is Metro Times’ web editor. Princess Gabbara is a Metro Times editorial intern. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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