I've always had a cosmic connection with desserts. Thinking back, I relish those childhood memories of when my parents and I would stop in our neighborhood bakery: The wafting aromas from the second we stepped inside; how mesmerized I was with even the tiniest glimpse of the ingredients and pastry making process I could observe from their kitchen; the pure palatable delight of free samples whenever they were testing out a new pastry. It was as if my tastebuds were on their own little adventure. Even the supermarket held my fascination with their bakery departments and baking aisles packed so full of treats and ingredients, that it was sensory overload with every visit. At family parties and gatherings with friends, my initial attention was not on the celebration or games or whatever frivolity had brought us together. No, I went first to the array of desserts that were served. I love everything about baking, but I have Sesame Street to thank for first showing me that I was a baker.
I was about eight years old. I was sitting in front of the TV, watching my favorite show and eating breakfast. I looked up from my bowl of cereal and froze. On the scene was a baker filling and decorating a cake. Never before had I thought about how these delectable delights were created and here was the answer to my unasked question. My love for baking was finally filled with purpose. The joy that baked treats gave me, I would give to others. I had found my passion. I had found myself. I was a baker. A few weeks later, in a what can only be described as cosmic serendipity, my destiny was sealed.
Looking back on childhood birthdays can sometimes be a blur. Was I 5 when I got that Cabbage Patch Doll, or 6? Did My Little Pony trot into my life when I was 6 or 7? I'll never forget, however, what gift I received on my 8th birthday. My now favorite cousin of all cousins gave me an Easy Bake Oven. I quickly abandoned the pile of other birthday gifts being now focused on the Oven's instructions. I remember pulling my dad away from our guests with the tenacity that an only daughter can get away with, insisting that he help me mount this beauty on the kitchen counter and plugging it in. To my wonderment the oven included a chocolate cake mix packet. Following the directions with the chemistry-like precision I carefully combined the contents with water, poured the mixture into the mini round cake pans that were part of the set, and gently placed them in the side slot. My eyes never wavered as I watched my very first cake batter bake into luscious perfection.
I'm pretty sure that my actual birthday cake prepared from the bake shop my parents ordered from was a thousand times better than the Easy Bake version. But in the minute or so it took for me to whip up, I was filled with a sense of accomplishment that set the stage for the years that followed. That day, I had baked!
Of course I can't begin to count the many baking experiments that went awry as I transitioned from my Easy Bake Oven to real ones, and from elementary age to middle school years. I graduated to using (more like abusing) my parents toaster oven and conventional oven. Any final batch of cookies or cupcakes resulted without cracked bowls, broken appliances or setting off the smoke detector, was a great day for me in the kitchen.
Throughout my high school years I was affectionately called Betty Crocker or Sara Lee. Everyone looked forward to me bringing brownies, cupcakes and cookies to school and sporting events. I have to thank those initial customers, including my high school coaches, whose raves for my chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies built my nascent baking confidence. Alas, the cheer didn't initially translate into a career.
While baking has always been my passion, when high school was over, I joined the rest of my classmates in heading off to college. I earned my graduate degree in psychology. I've enjoyed working with children and adolescents as a licensed clinician, often helping them find their true passions and set their career sights. Perhaps it was in helping them be true to their strengths that I turned to my own, reviving my true passion of baking and taking it to a professional... a few years later.
In 2010 what rekindled as a hobby, eventually evolved into a desserts delivery and catering business: Desserts Capital was officially launched. I am so grateful to my parents for their patience and generosity when they could've easily (and rightfully) banned me from the kitchen during the "novice" years; my husband, for the pep talks and ongoing support that grew my entrepreneurial confidence; my family and friends who've supported me, enduring taste testing and offering encouragement; and of course to my customers who continue to inspire me to create an array of cakefections.
Thank you for taking the time to read this (initial) blog post. If you enjoyed this please share it and future posts with other fellow dessert lovers. While you're here, be sure you look at our menu and treat your tastebuds to our delectable desserts. After all, you deserve to:
Have a sweet day!