Meet the Pros – Interview with Karen Ankrom / Tiers of Sugar

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Tell us a little bit about your business and how you got your start?
Cake decorating has been one of my hobbies for as long as I can remember, so when GM Moraine Assembly closed their doors and I found myself jobless it was an easy decision to start making wedding cakes. I took two years to go back to school and get an Associate’s Degree in Business at Sinclair Community College. All this while continuing to further my cake decorating and gumpaste skills by taking classes at Cake Craft, Inc. in Beavercreek.

What was your first childhood memory involving baking?
My Mom always made our birthday cakes growing up and I was more than fascinated with buttercream. From the point that I was tall enough to stand on my tip toes and reach the counter I was asking for a bag of buttercream and tips of my own to play with. I now know how fun those tips are to wash, I’m sure she was thrilled when I would use every one just to see what each one would do.

What is your top 3 best selling flavors/products?
This year my top selling flavors have been white cake with raspberry filling, my newest flavor, vanilla bean with blueberry filling, and of course the ever popular wedding flavor, red velvet with cream cheese filling. I have two buttercreams Ivory and Almond. I make them both available for tasting and intended to weed one out based on which one customers seemed to favor, but it’s been a 50/50 split so I’ll keep offering both. My personal favorite is Ivory Buttercream, rich creamy tradition buttercream deliciousness. Gumpaste Hydrangeas, Roses, and Peonies have been to most requested flowers this year.

What is your favorite flavor?
My favorite flavor would have to be Lemon Chiffon with Lemon Curd filling and Ivory Buttercream, seriously can’t get enough of it!

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What’s the most memorable cake you’ve done?
The most memorable cake would have to be the first wedding I did, a three tier red velvet cake with trailing gumpaste flowers and hand made fondant toppers, Mr. & Mrs. Owl. It was the first time we put a three tier cake on the floor of our vehicle and drove for 45 minutes. They were the longest 45 minutes of mine and my husband’s life, I broke out in hives. It made it safely though and the bride and groom loved it, at the end of the day that’s all that’s important.

What words best describe you?
Creative, dreamer. You have to have a little of both to do what I do.

What words best describe your company?
Dedicated, reliable, intimate . I value the personal relationships I develop with my brides and grooms and their families. Working with them to create the cake of their dreams is my dream job so it becomes the cake of my dreams for that week.

When you are not working on a wedding, what do you like to do for fun?
Learning photography; throughout my life I have had many hobbies but there are two that have always been at the forefront, cake decorating and photography. I’ve recently joined the Focus Photo Club and I hope to learn as much as I can about photography, maybe one day I’ll add that to my list of options for clients. Right now I’m just learning how to shoot in full manual and my main subject is nature. When I’m not wondering through the woods to find the latest waterfall to photograph I’m hanging out at home with my husband watching movies or my favorite show Friends.

What trends do you see for 2013-2014?
Simple and elegant, I’ve done a lot of scroll and dot patterns this year and I think I’ll continue to see that be a favorite. It’s simple yet adds an elegance to the cake without breaking the bank. As for colors, the bold purples, greens, and blues, the peacock colors. Most definitely a fad, but I think they will hang for a little while yet.

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Anything else you’d like to add?
While I can pick a most memorable cake, I could never pick a favorite. If you ask me each week the cake I’m currently working on will be my favorite, I love them all equally. I look forward to each new challenge, and hope that I master each to the utmost satisfaction of my clients.

Be sure to visit Karen and Tiers of Sugar at http://www.tiersofsugar.com/


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