Real Detroit Bride's Guide takes a look at a local vendor "Cakes Our Speciality, Inc." by Paula. Read on to get an expert opinion on selecting a cake vendor for your wedding, and for more info on Paula's business.
Bride's Guide: So give us some background on your company.
Paula: "Cakes Our Specialty, Inc" by Paula was started in 1991, and it was at that time I finally had the pleasure of meeting my Brides, a custom I had not experienced working at the bakery for 18 years. It was very refreshing to actually sit down with my Bride and design her wedding cake. And it was these ideas presented to me by the Bridal couple, that have put the magic into each and every cake I have designed. My husband Gary and I developed our signature cake, “Paula’s SpecialtyTorte”. This torte is well known through out the area and clients come from all over for Paula’s torte.
B: Yum, tell us more about "Paula's Specialty Torte."
Paula: It started out with cake slices layered with fillings for the family to eat. It was so good we decided to come up with a way to market the idea and share its uniqueness with our clients. If you have this torte for your wedding cake or any occasion your guests will never forget your dessert and will talk about it for years. I will say no more...you have to try it for yourself!
B: Describe the process a bride goes through when buying from you: Do most
brides know what they want when they come in, or do you spend some time educating them on the selections available?
Paula: Most brides have their favorite topics when planning a wedding; be it cake, flowers, etc. If cake is one of their favorite topics they will come quite prepared with styles and designs on paper or in their mind, also what flavors and fillings are of interest to them. If wedding cake is not at the top of their list or they just don’t know what is available to them, I will begin by showing them the size cake needed to feed their number of guests, styles and designs in order to educate them on what is available.
B: What are some of the major decisions a bride has to make when purchasing a wedding cake?
Paula: STYLE: round, square or both; DESIGN: what type of decorations are to be placed on the sides of the cake; FLOWERS: fresh, silk, Gumpaste or none at all; CAKE TOPPER: flowers, bride and groom or monogram; FLAVORS and FILLINGS; DESSERT or FAVOR.
B: What questions should a bride ask a cake vendor when choosing a wedding cake?
Paula: Will you be the person baking, designing and delivering my wedding cake? If the contract passes through many hands, the end product may not be what the Couple really choose.
Examiner: What is the price range that a bride can expect to spend on a wedding cake at your company?
Paula: Wedding cake prices start out at $3.00 per slice. The price can vary with the flavor, filling, decorations, etc. that a Bride chooses. However to reduce the overall cost of the wedding cake a Bride can reduce the size of the decorated cake and go with additional serving of cake in the kitchen.
B: Describe any unique or different things couples are doing with their cakes nowadays.
Paula: The couples are asking to incorporate crystals on their wedding cake. We are also using ribbons on the cakes to incorporate color without incurring additional cost.
B: Do you offer cake table centerpieces, or what’s your opinion on having this at a wedding?
Paula: Yes, we have done centerpiece cakes though out the years, a different look and feel when you enter the room. The biggest drawback would be that each centerpiece cake will serve more than the amount of guests seated at the table; therefore you are actually purchasing more cake than what you need.
B: In today’s rough economy, what advice would you have for a bride in general when planning their wedding, to save a few bucks?
Paula: The most popular way to cut the cost of a wedding cake is to go with a smaller decorated cake (a size that will look like it will feed your guests), and put cakes in the kitchen to make up the additional servings needed. I would also like to express a myth that having a faux wedding cake is not always the most economic way to go. You still have to pay for the decorated faux cake along with cakes in the kitchen to serve your guests. Keep in mind that if you plan to get a small wedding cake from one vendor and serve wedding cake to your guests from another, the cake decorator will generally refuse to take your order.
B: What else do you do besides Wedding Cake?
Paula: Besides Wedding and all occasion cakes, we do cookies and favors, 3-D shaped Cinnamon Bread, strudel, muffins, scones. Also, we offer a variety of Cake flavors and fillings: Fondant, non-dairy whipped icing, and our very own buttercream icing made with butter and pure vanilla.
B: What sets your company apart from the competition?
Paula: My goal is to make every Bride and Groom feel like they are the most important couple planning a wedding. That the cake style, flavor and fillings they choose compliments their personality and wedding style. An important factor also is that they will be dealing with me, the owner and pastry chef, throughout their appointments, in the baking process, and in the designing and delivery of their wedding cake. One of the most gratifying compliments I have received was from a banquet manager, she said “Paula, not only do your cakes look beautiful, they taste wonderful, are cut beautiful and are the perfect ending to our meal."
B: Any other advice you can give to Brides?
Paula: Some Brides do not like cake and therefore think their guests do not like cake either, but they are your guests and the majority would like a slice of wedding cake. Keep in mind a delicious wedding cake served at the end of a meal makes the whole meal experience wonderful!
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Tom Santilli has been in the Detroit wedding industry since 2002, and in that time has established himself as one of the top in his field. His company, Complete Video Solutions , was named as the #1 Best Wedding Videographer in Detroit by local brides and Channel 4 FIVE consecutive years and is currently inducted into TheKnot.com's "Vendor Hall of Fame." He also has won several awards for his wedding production, and is a member of WEVA (Wedding & Event Videographers Association.) As the Detroit Wedding Examiner, he has helped hundreds of brides with their weddings, with a local knowledge not found anywhere else. Being in the industry for so long, he is an expert in all areas of wedding planning, not just videography. He welcomes your questions, article suggestions, or feedback, and he can be reached