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A Surprise 70th Birthday to Remember!

IMG_1284   IMG_1320 Before Marian walked into the lobby of the Paradise Center for the Arts in historic downtown Faribault, she had no idea there were over 100 of her closest friends and relatives waiting on the other side of the door. SURPRISE!

Now, turning 70 is quite the accomplishment and boy oh boy were they ready to party! After visiting at the Paradise, they made their way over to the Loft at the Bachrach Building across the street for an even larger party. A three tiered cake greeted guests in the lobby where they could pick up their place seating assignment cards. The tables were covered in beautiful linens, fine china, elaborate silverware and each plate had a small birds nest with a chocolate dipped apple to take home. The centerpieces (created by local wedding floral shop ‘bloom’) were branches filled with fresh cut white roses, the birthday girls favorite flower. The dessert table was filled with chocolate covered pretzels, malted milk balls, red velvet cupcakes, spice cakes, german chocolate cupcakes decorated with the fine details in chocolate and fondant. The tiered cake, was a white cake with a fresh coconut filling, iced in coconut buttercream. Happy Birthday and oh yes, SURPRISE!!

The Minnesota Bride Magazine 2012 Awards

Tami, Allison and myself – enjoying a sweet treat from Cocoa & Fig!

Nothing could be more exciting to me than getting all of the finest Minnesota Wedding businesses together in one room – and if Minnesota Bride Magazine is hosting it, it’s sure to be one major party! Hosting the event this year was the brand new addition to the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. We walked in to be surrounded by beautiful flower displays by our new friends at Wisteria Design Studio, a gorgeous dessert display from one of my most adored bakeries Cocoa & Fig, a delightful spread of fine chocolates from Sweets Bakeshop and lots of wonderful generous samples from Fabulous Catering and a few other top catering companies in the Twin Cities, like Create Catering, Chowgirls and more! As we headed to the banquet room to see who won the ‘Best Of’ awards in each category, I was happy to cheer on our friends at Graddy Photography for winning Best Photography for their 2nd year in a row and the Basilica of St. Mary for winning Best Ceremony location (I might be partial since that is where I got married). Also cheering on D’Amico & Sons as I’m a big fan of their wonderful food. So yes, the food was great, the atmosphere was swanky and the weather was wonderful, but my favorite part had to be meeting some really passionate business owners as we all support each other. What a cool industry to be a part of. All the nominees were cheered for as well as all of the winners. I can’t wait to attend this party each year and hopefully someday, Confectionery Cake Shop will be up there in lights! 

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Inside A Creative Ad Agency

Carmichael Lynch Cake

If you haven’t seen the inside of an advertising agency, you are missing out. It’s one of the coolest work environments… I know this because I used to work at one, this one – Carmichael Lynch in downtown Minneapolis. It’s a creative atmosphere. That means, when you walk into the lobby, you can sit on the swing while you wait. When you head to the conference rooms, they’re not just numbered, they are given first names, like “Elton”. Energy runs high and the open work environment helps that. They’ve worked on big clients, like Jack Links Beef Jerky, Porche, American Standard, Harley Davidson Motorcycles and so much more. Their mission, as stated on their new website is this: Carmichael Lynch has a history of creating powerful emotional connections to brands. In creating these connections we do more than make our clients’ brands top of mind for their target. We create a lasting bond between brands and people.
When it came time for them to release a new logo this past Monday, they called Confectionery Cake Shop to bring them cake – at 9:30am. Yes, at an ad agency, you can eat cake for breakfast. The cake was a custom cutout of the new logo, the letters ‘CL’ in a funky new shape that just feels organic, full of movement, fun and forward thinking. It will easily live in print, online and of course, in cake.

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Meet Minnesota’s Best Wedding Photographers!

You don’t always need an award to prove that you’re the very best, but if you ask Graddy Photography to show you a couple of awards, they will certainly be able to. Even though they were recently awarded the MN Bride Magazine‘s Best Photographer of 2011, Justin & Chrissy Graddy definitely don’t let it go to their head. They are personable and down to earth photographers whom I met at a friends wedding a few weeks ago. The photos from that wedding turned out so beautiful so when it came time for a few product cake shots for an upcoming ad that will run in the Faribault Daily News‘ Wedding Journal as well as Girlfriend Magazine‘s February issue, I knew who to call.

When I walked in, I was graciously greeted and given a tour. Their studio is converted from an old theater in the heart of New Prague. It has a small town feel, but was a wonderland modern equipment, hip and stylish backdrops, vintage furniture, and creative props. The entry area had a gallery with some of the finest photography in the Twin Cities and Minnesota, okay fine, the Universe.

I often joke that I treat my cakes as if they are people and Graddy’s also seemed to treat them in the same way, having them rest on stools, benches and couches. They were gentle with the cakes and knew how to handle them so they wouldn’t become damaged. The shoot went smoothly and the portraits turned out fantastic. It was a stress-free experience for me, which is what we all hope to feel when it comes to hiring a photographer.

Keep an eye out for Graddy Photography. If you’re planning on getting married in 2013, I suggest calling them now as they will book up fast. When you see their portfolio, it’s no wonder brides want them to capture their wedding on camera. You can find a link to their website to the right of this post in my preferred vendor links list. Enjoy!

* The best way you can support local wedding vendors like us is to please take a moment to vote for us for ‘MN Brides 2012 Best of“. You need to vote for at least six vendors for your vote to count, but you do not need to fill out the whole form. Cakes are listed in the #40s. Thanks!

It’s CAKE WEEK! (not to be confused with Shark Week…)

Lifting the Giant Owl Cake!

What would be a better way than to kick of Cake Week than with the 5th Annual Upper Mid-West Bakery Association’s Ultimate Cake Competition at the Mall of America? Confectionery Cake Shop’s owner, Laura O’Connor (yes, I’m writing this in the 3rd person for kicks) competed in a birthday cake competition with 11 other awesome decorators from all over the mid-west (and South Carolina). All of the contestants had 90 minutes to build, sculpt and decorate a birthday cake out of a sheet cake, using buttercream and fondant that was provided by sponsors. It was a mad rush of controlled creativity and skills on the floor that day in order to get your cake and 24 matching cupcakes finished as well as carried over to the judging table about 75′ away! I only had to stop one time to set mine down because it was so heavy! The winners took home cash prizes and trophies. While Confectionery Cake Shop did not place this time, watch out because there are lots of other opportunities to compete coming up! The next one is in February at the National Convention! Stay tuned.

There was also a Wedding Cake Competition that day where contestants had to build a 5 tier wedding cake in 3 hours (which was a serious challenge.. perfection takes time, people!) and carry it over to the judging table. Tension ran high as teams of 3 or 4 carried over their 50-60lb cakes to the tables!

But the real icing on the cake (yes, I, too, hate bad puns, but I’ll let it go this time)  is that Buddy Valastro from Cake Boss is going to be in Minneapolis tonight! He’s also going to be at the Mall of America for his book signing today at around 11:30am near Barnes & Nobel (or so I heard). I have tickets to the show and can’t wait to see him tonight! Weee!! It’s a cake shop owner’s dream to be as awesome as Buddy and his team. I can’t wait to hear more about how he does it!


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The 5th Annual Ultimate Cake Competition

The Ultimate Cake Competition

It’s time for the 5th Annual Ultimate Cake Competition at the Mall of America and you’ll never guess who one of the main competitors will be… okay, you probably guessed it correctly since you’re reading this post! That’s right, Confectionery Cake Shop’s very own Laura O’Connor has been selected to compete on Sunday, November 13th at the Patio of Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America from 11am-12:30pm.

Decorators will compete in a timed competition before a live audience at the Mall of America. In the birthday cake competition (where Confectionery Cake Shop will surely shine), decorators will decorate a cake and 24 matching cupcakes. They will have the option of doing a sheet cake or a sculpted cake using their choice of icing. This Winter Wonderland themed contest is going to be a hoot and you do not want to miss it! With only 90 minutes to build and decorate a creative 3D cake, who knows what could happen! Come cheer on Confectionery Cake Shop and watch other cake artists complete some pretty amazing cakes in a short amount of time! Craving more details, click here. Craving cake, well, place an order already!

Don’t forget that Buddy from Cake Boss will be at the Mall of America and Minneapolis that following Tuesday, on tour! It’ll be such a great week to celebrate cake!

HAPPY Birthday to YOU!

Every day of of every year, people all around the world have one thing that happens to them, whether they like it or not… their birthday. It’s the one day of the year that just feels different. It’s the day that you wake up and say to yourself ‘it’s my birthday’, even if no one else knows or remembers.  Birthdays are a pretty big deal in the United States and are surrounded with tradition, friends and family. What can we usually expect? Well, a gift or two, a song sung out of tune, a candle and of course, a cake to put it on!

For Tammy Donahue, this year’s birthday was going to have all of those traditional things… with one extra, a surprise. Now the guests were expected, the food was all ready, but the design of the cake was a surprise that only her husband knew about. These two were the lucky recipients of the live auction Confectionery Cake Shop gift certificate from BABS Nights (Bethlehem Academy’s Annual Fundraiser in Faribault), earlier this year and were saving it for a special day. Tammy’s love for flamingos and bright colors were a must for this cake, as well as chocolate cake, red velvet and white vanilla with a variety of fabulous fillings. The cake topper is a hand made fondant flamingo and the edible flowers cascading down the side are fondant as well.

So… Happy Birthday to YOU! Happy Birthday, Dear Tammy… Happy Birthday to YOU! (you’re imaging this being sung out of tune, right?)

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