I can still remember the girls lunch date I had one fateful day in 2009 with my friends Emily and Amy. For a few years I had been making fun cakes for my kids, and was really getting into it. At our lunch date they started talking to me about how I should start a cake business. I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure I was good enough, and had no idea how to start a business. Little did I know, Emily who is a graphic designer, was already coming up with ideas for my new business. That lunch date was the day that ‘The Cake Mom’ became more than just a mom baking cakes for her kids, and pushed me over into baking cakes for customers. I went home after our lunch date excited and started the process of figuring out how to start my new business.
I had no idea in 2006, when I baked my first decorated cake for my daughter’s birthday, that that cake would propel me into a career that I love and am passionate about. Before that cake, my extent of baking a cake was putting cake mix in a glass 9 x 13″ pan, letting it cool, and slapping some store bought icing and candles on it. Looking back, my first cake wasn’t anything spectacular, but after making it I was hooked and wanted to make cakes for all of our birthday’s and celebrations. I slowly got better each time.
On October 30, 2009 The Cake Mom became an official business from my home kitchen in Sikeston, Missouri! It was an exciting first step at becoming who I am today. My first official cake order came from a family member a few weeks after I opened for business, and I can still remember the stress of driving my first cake and cupcakes 10 minutes across town.
There was a point in 2011 when I thought I was finished making cakes. I had moved to Tennessee, and came back to Missouri for what I thought was my final wedding cake order. But by 2012 people just kept calling and asking for cakes. Not sure how I could continue on making cakes from Tennessee, my friend Emily who had taken some basic Wilton cake decorating classes, decided to come aboard as the “& Co.” and we became The Cake Mom & Co. in 2012.
In 2013 I came back to Missouri and continued making cakes. I found out then that cake decorating was my saving grace, and something that looking back was given to me by God to get me through tough times. I also had to move once again, this time to Kentucky. I was horrified to find out that out of all the states around me I could move to, Kentucky was a state with a limited cottage food law. This meant that baking from home for me, since I was not a farmer was going to be illegal. I finished my final few cake orders and once again wondered if I would have to give up my dream of being a cake decorator. I’d take a few orders here and there, but it was a real struggle balancing cake orders ,that were usually in Missouri, with a real job.
By 2017 I had decided that if the Kentucky law didn’t change soon then I was hanging up my apron for good and just going to make cakes for fun. I had waited patiently for years watching a few women try and change the cottage food law. From 2014 onward, I had followed a Facebook page that would give random updates on their progress. Then they would stall, then their would be a shimmer of hope and this happened a few times. In 2017, a new Facebook page was started by two women and this time I had had enough. I slowly got up the courage to step out of the shadows and decided I would create my own Facebook page to gain attention for this new movement. Little did I know, I would somehow become the face of the entire thing! I contacted the Institute for Justice and with their help and the help of Representative Richard Heath, House Bill 263 was filed. We had supporters show up to the state capitol in Frankfort, KY and people sharing my petition. In 2018 House Bill 263 passed unanimously through the Kentucky House and Senate and was then signed by the Governor! As of July 14, 2018 everyone in the state of Kentucky can now bake from home kitchens legally!
I am excited now to be free again to do what I love! What would have happened if 9 years ago today I had never stepped out of my comfort zone and started my own baking business? I can say that starting a business and having that to fall back on time and again slowly built my confidence as a woman. It is also very rewarding to create edible artwork for customers and be a part of their special day. Thank you to all of the customers who over the years, have trusted The Cake Mom & Co. to create a cake for your event and let us be a small part of your special day!