If you’d rather see and listen to the video interview with Julie from The Sweetest Thing, instead of reading the transcript below, click here.
Julie: My name is Julie and we’ve had the ‘Sweetest Things’ business with the last 15 years, more recently moved into our shop which is at Terrigal underneath Crowne Plaza.
Julie: We do predominantly wedding cakes. We do some other things in the shop but our main focus is wedding cakes.
Andrew: Okay. So you’re in the Crowne Plaza building but before that you were just working from your home kitchen?
Julie: No, we had a catering kitchen off-site.
Julie: …which is really good but not very conducive with having people come near because it’s more of just a kitchen.
Julie: Not sort of showroom.
Andrew: And it’s your two daughters that work in the shop as well?
Julie: Yes it is, my two eldest children. So Amy is actively in the store nearly every day. Melissa is more behind the scenes.
Andrew: Okay. If someone comes in, do they see you or one of the girls?
Julie: Or one of the girls, yeah. And we all equally can do all that sort of service talk.
Andrew: Okay, the consultations…
Julie: That’s exactly right.
Andrew: So, as far as wedding cakes, I know with weddings, couples would come and see me and about a year before, maybe down to the eight months before, usually. What about the cake, how far out would people would see you?
Julie: Absolutely. There’s different time because very much you have a wedding season and starting from end of the year – October, November, December is really busy. So we like to sort of say to people about nine months beforehand start really planning and coming and having a chat and doing that; where it’s not quite so busy, through winter months you know you can do three months. So anywhere it’s really from 3 to 9 months is really good planning time.
Andrew: Okay. So, before they come and see you, what do they need to know, you know, cake flavours or styles or…?
Julie: No. Not really because we run through the whole process with them. We do like to give our brides a checklist beforehand though just to help them out.
Andrew: Okay. So, how do they get that? They ring first?
Julie: They can ring, we can email back to them or they can ring the store and just find out what the process is.
Julie: And they sometimes are popping in and just grab one.
Andrew: Okay so you have it ready to go.
Julie: We have it. They’re ready to go for everyone. And then we also have cake tasting days which we hand out that as well. And what we found with that cake tasting days which is where you get to try all the cake, which is the fun the grooms really love to come to. They can pick up a checklist on that day.
It gives them the opportunity to try the cake, pick up the checklist, see where we are, wee our work on display.
Julie: And it can actually help them with that process a lot easier.
Andrew: Right. So, I’m guessing with the checklist, it’s got everything like flavour, how many people you’ve got to feed, what color you want…
Julie: Yes, all that. We have, obviously, and flavour’s actually one of the lower end of ‘hard to do’ list
Andrew: And being a guy – are there are too many flavours?
Julie: Haha, that’s all they think of.
Andrew: The flavour.
Julie: The flavour. So what we actually do is look at what color the bride’s dress is, the bridesmaids’ colors, the flower color, the theme of the wedding, the decorations going into the wedding. And then, it comes down to the flavour.
So what we do then is look at what the people are wanting to use their cake for, so whether it’s dessert size…
Julie: Portions or coffee size portions.
Julie: Which relates to the size of the cake.
Andrew: Okay. So, you can have any flavour of cake that looks like any other cakes, so you can mix and match?
Julie: That’s it, if you have three tier cakes, you can have three different flavours if you wish to.
Andrew: So, the guys don’t need to come in straight away and choose the flavours?
Julie: But you know, it’s in a consultation we go through all these through -they seem like just silly little questions but they’re not. They actually play a huge role because if people were using the cake for dessert, then they like to sort of help them choose dessert flavours for their cake rather than taking coffee flavour.
Julie: So you know, nice, rich chocolate mud cake is good for dessert whereas you might do a nice, white vanilla cake for tea and coffee.
Andrew: Right. So you got to use different things that might give them flavours.
Julie: That’s right.
Andrew: And people will think of that.
Julie: No, they wouldn’t and well they shouldn’t.
Andrew: Yeah. So talking about flavours again, you said you had like the dessert cakes and the tea and coffee cakes, I’m assuming that you like to do many fruit cakes anymore, like I had at my wedding, would that be right?
Julie: That is exactly right.
Andrew: All right.
Julie: Fruit cake is so not in at the moment.
Julie: And probably won’t be ever again, simply because people are not eating fruit cake like they used to. There’s a percentage of fruit cakes done, yes, but it’s nowhere near as popular as it used to be.
Andrew: So do you think that’s because grandmothers used to make the cakes in the past or fruit cakes were able to support the weight?
Julie: Well, actually we still get that question abut fruit cake – it has to be fruit cake because it’s so heavy and because it will be able to support the weight – that’s not the case.
Andrew: So, you have three-tier cake and it can be chocolate?
Julie: That’s right. The way we structure our cakes they will not fall over. So with the whole fruit cake thing, that was based on a really old tradition and that was literally a hundred years ago when that’s when they had fruit cakes because they had the best ‘keeping’ qualities. We don’t need that anymore.
Julie: And so people don’t eat fruit cake like they used to. It’s more a Christmas thing.
Julie: And so, less and less for weddings. But if you’ve got a family who’s really into fruit cakes, that’s when you probably do a layer of fruit cake.
Andrew: Right. So, would that be the one or…?
Julie: Not necessarily but more or so, yes, the top one. But sometimes people get the top two and then a different one down at the bottom because they want to take the top layer and have that and keep it and things like that.
So in magazines or articles they say that the fruit cake which is just so not in keeping with our time now.
Andrew: Yeah. Often, I find when talking about the magazines, they just seem to write one article, more than ten years ago and it stays the same.
Julie: And it stays the same.
Andrew: Which is really hard.
Julie: Which is really hard because when you—you know we may see six people on the same day for cake weddings and I would say five out of six of those couples I am actually going to explain to them that, “No, you don’t have to have fruit cake.”
Andrew: Is this view coming from their grandmother or magazine?
Julie: Some magazine and on blogs and things like that you know, and it just seems so silly. We’re in a modern society.
Andrew: Sure. I remember when we had our wedding we had a simple cake. Everyone told us we had to keep the top layer, to have it a year later. I’m assuming that doesn’t happen either anymore?
Julie: Right, because if you have just a mud cake or a vanilla cake, caramel in a freezer up to three months is what we say.
Julie: We have people who would freeze their top layer of the cake 12 months and do that successfully. Me, I don’t have room in my freezer to keep the whole cake for a year and I will always educate them saying that having a cake while it’s at its best and that’s when it’s made that week for your wedding and enjoy it.
Andrew: Right. I mean, I remember having my fruit cake a year and it wasn’t that great.
Julie: No. And you think about keep it correctly, it’s so disappointing when they bring it into us to get re-iced, tizzed up for the Christian cake.
Julie: And they haven’t kept it promptly and you get to cut into it and it’s all moldy inside. Not a good look.
Andrew: Not a good look.
Andrew: Okay. So, just back to flavours quickly, what’s the most popular?
Julie: And chocolate has been around forever.
Andrew: You didn’t have to think about that for too long!
Julie: Chocolate will always be such a safe flavour because people know what it is. Yeah, absolutely, but having said that, we do do a chocolate marble cake as well which is sort of lighter version of a chocolate cake.
Julie: So, it’s not as heavy.
Andrew: That would be like your after dessert cake.
Andrew: Or it could be a coffee cake.
Julie: Yeah, although it can do both. When you’re doing desserts, it’s really nice if you have two marble cakes. We might have caramel and chocolate marble. If you’ve got a marble it’s so nicely presented, because you’ve got a layer of cake with the gnashes and you know, you got the swirls through the cake.
Julie: It’s quite pretty.
Andrew: So it’s a chocolate, fruit cake, vanilla you said?
Andrew: Any other flavours?
Julie: Caramel. There’s almond and praline. There’s orange and poppy seed, banana.
Andrew: Okay. So it’s you can have almost anything.
Julie: Nearly anything.
Andrew: Okay. So with the marzipan you were saying if they do decide to have marzipan in the fruit cake was it?
Julie: Yeah in the fruit cake.
Julie: That would put a layer of marzipan on there and a layer of a fondant. And that’s if they are really into their fruit cakes and they love marzipan.
Julie: But otherwise, if they request it we’ll do it. But it’s not something we ever would do as standard, even on a fruit cake.
Andrew: Okay. So, okay so going back to the original consultation when the couple comes to see you. So, they might say, we want chocolate cake and one layer of banana and the next layer, does that affect the pricing?
Julie: No. It doesn’t.
Andrew: You can have any flavour.
Julie: We would do any flavour of configuration.
Julie: Providing that it works best for the wedding.
Julie: Because some people think, if you serve people Jaffa cake, you know in a whole cake, they’re not going to eat that. So, would like to go through with them and say, okay perhaps you may want to think of having one layer of Jaffa cake.
Julie: And then offering other other ones so you could cater to people because your top layer that you have is the layer for you guys.
Julie: And the others two would be for your wedding. So, when you’re catering for people, you try to choose flavours that will hopefully agree with…
Andrew: Everyone’s happy.
Julie: …the majority of the people there.
Andrew: Okay. So okay, we have our flavours. I know at some wedding I see the cakes – is it fondant – the white stuff on the outside of the cake, an inch thick and always left on the side of the plate.
Julie: And that is not what we do either.
Andrew: Okay, so what do you do then?
Julie: Our process of our cakes is we actually split our cakes twice and fill them with ganache. And ganache is cream and chocolate melted together.
Andrew: So, it goes around the outside of the cake.
Julie: And then it goes on inside layer and then it goes completely over the outside of the cake.
Julie: And we get that ever so smooth. And after that we apply the fondant.
Andrew: So in the old days they used to use thick fondant because it’s what gets it smooth.
Julie: That is exactly right and preserving because with fruit cake, if you have a fruit cake you would have so much fruit and there’s a high sugar content and there’s lots of butter in there and all that stuff.
And so, they wanted a cake to keep for a year, so they put a layer of sugar which what a fondant is, the thicker you get that, the better. Seal it up and it has great keeping qualities.
Andrew: Okay, so we don’t need to do any of that anymore.
Julie: We don’t need to that.
Andrew: So, the actual fondant tastes nice now.
Julie: Yeah. Do you know it’s sort of a vanilla flavour but you actually don’t get a lot of that because the ganache is underneath it. So, if you mix it together, you’re not tasting it.
Andrew: Okay, so you get the chocolate hit.
Julie: You get the chocolate hit.
Andrew: Awesome. Awesome. So, who what would be the most popular, square cakes, round cakes, two-tier, three-tier?
Julie: I would say anywhere from the two to three layer cake is pretty standard for here—now that comes back to whether you’re using the cake as dessert or not. And round is by far the most popular. People sometimes come in and ask for square cakes because they think it’s easier to cut up but it’s not really. It goes out to the kitchen and they would greek cut the cake for round cakes so you know…
Andrew: But they won’t be cutting the cake anyway.
Julie: They will not.
Andrew: Isn’t it the chef.
Julie: The chefs out in the kitchen, they know how many slices to get out per layer. They’re good like that.
Andrew: So the couples have to know how many guests they have before they order their cakes.
Julie: Yes. And that’s just a way an outside number because it only usually varies by 10 or 20 people which is not huge.
Julie: When you’re catering.
Julie: And then, you can also have a kitchen cake.
Andrew: Kitchen cake. So, what’s a kitchen cake?
Julie: A kitchen cake, which we get asked because I just sometimes at the consultation would rattle that off and I forget that the people don’t know about this. And so, a kitchen cake is one that is simply served out of the kitchen. It’s not out on display and that can actually make that serving time so much easier for the venue.
Andrew: Okay. So, I’m assuming the chef gets that all ready
Julie: That’s right.
Andrew: Even before the cake’s cut…
Andrew: …and then it will be prepared in time for dessert.
Julie: Because just a way with people, more and more people, About 90% of people are using a cake for dessert so…
Julie: It still has to get cut out out the front. So, with the ceremonial cut.
Andrew: Yes. Sure.
Julie: And then, it would go out the back and get prepped for x amount of people.
Julie: So, if they have a kitchen cake out there, it gives the kitchen some time to get prepared and then they can wisk away the cake from out front and take it out back to finish that off.
Andrew: Okay. Say if I had a hundred guests and a two tier cake and it wasn’t going to feed 100 guests. Am I better off having a two tiered cake and a kitchen cake or a three tiered cake?
Julie: That’s one of the hardest questions ever.
Andrew: I am sorry.
Julie: Simply because the design of the cake.
Julie: Because you have a lot of intricate designs on a two layer cake that may cost you a bit and then you can put the plain cake out at the back which we don’t put the fondant on because people peel it off. So, we just have the ganache cake out the back.
But the way they serve their cake now, it doesn’t necessarily go to—every piece of cake does not necessarily go to every guest. It can just be served on a platter to each table.
Andrew: I just though I’d ask, I know that I when I go into your shop, there’s all sorts of cakes and I see them all at different weddings and there’s even one behind you there. With all of the designs and patters and decorations and colors, do the couple choose that with you or they come with magazines or…?
Julie: They hopefully come in with as much information as they possibly can. If they were having say, these birds on their invitations and stripes or something on their as well – that could be included with their wedding cake.
Julie: So then we would sit down and listen to all those answered questions, hopefully from that checklist.
Julie: They would have brought some photos hopefully of things that they like and possibly things they don’t like because sometimes it’s easy to see what they don’t like so you can actually discount a lot of sort of cake designs that way.
Julie: And it’s a positive thing, because people find that hard to say to say to you, I hate that.
Julie: But I actually don’t mind because I’d rather them tell me than me design something and then they don’t like it.
Julie: So, I find you know, the negative things just put it out there to make the design that you like a lot easier. So, hopefully there will be a sample of their fabric color for the bridesmaids because…
Andrew: Okay, so color’s a big thing.
Julie: Color is a huge thing. So, if they come in with that I can sort of say that even if we’re not using it on the cake, I know that it will work in. And pictures of their flowers.
Julie: That’s great. If they’ve got an invitation sample, that’s fantastic. And if they’ve got photos of the decorations or a theme in their mind…
Andrew: Okay, you can run with that.
Julie: We can run with it.
Julie: And if all else fails and everything in their wedding is really, really hard sometimes a beautiful white cake is perfect.
Andrew: So, it will go with everything.
Julie: It’s going to fit straight in, look like a wedding cake and do its job.
Andrew: Okay. And I notice some of your cakes have got some fancy flavours and decorations, so I guess all that affect price?
Julie: Absolutely. If we have a cake that has masses flowers on it, it would be priced accordingly.
Andrew: So, it’s all cakes are priced individually.
Julie: Yes and so we have to factor all that in. Coloring too. For us to make the colors of the cake to go on the icing of the cake, that takes forever.
Julie: So, and matching colours, we can match colours quite closely and this is where a designer cake, that’s what you’re paying for.
Andrew: You get the right colors.
Julie: That’s exactly right, yes.
Andrew: And I don’t see very many, maybe a couple of european weddings I do in Sydney with the towers and pillars—is that what they call them? I don’t see many of those anymore.
Julie: And you won’t. They’re very much a dated cake.
Julie: The cake, you know, they’re not in at the moment.
Julie: So, every now and then and it does surprises me. Sometimes we will make this cake and we think… You take it to the venue and it goes wow that really does fit it.
Andrew: Right. So, that fits in in that particular reception venue.
Julie: That’s exactly right. So, it may look old fashioned at the time but when you consider what they’re having there and you put it together with the different things in their room, it can look fantastic.
Andrew: Right. I’m guessing you have a high ceilings and intricate decorations and…
Julie: That’s right. We do a really big, pink American cake and we looked at it while working so closely with with the cake, right up close. And you look at it and you think, “Oh my gosh that’s just so over the top.” And we took this one particular cake into its venue and it looked fantastic and particularly from a distance because most of your guests see your cakes from a distance. And this cake just looked fantastic.
Julie: So, I had to eat my words.
Andrew: So, someone wants that, they can have it?
Julie: Within reason.
Julie: There are some things we don’t do.
Andrew: Right. But you’ll be able to tell people.
Julie: Absolutely. And I will guide them with that because I will only do things that I am comfortable with too, because at the end of the day I want this to work.
Julie: You know? That’s…
Andrew: It’s your name isn’t it.
Julie: Well, that’s right. Yeah. Yeah. So we’d like to that sort of thing. But with the big, pink cake I—this bride was so lovely and she just wanted her pink cake and it had to be a particular shade of pink with this particular piping because this particular piping was on something that she had in the wedding.
Julie: And I think in my mind I wasn’t really convinced but it still looked good but not something that I thought I would probably do.
Julie: And so, once I put that in that into that venue, it was like wow.
Andrew: Yeah. Right
Julie: It was fantastic. And then they came back a year later for their first anniversary cake.
Andrew: Did they?
Julie: Yes. That was just so great.
Andrew: That’s been awesome, all that information, can you maybe give me some idea on what most people spend? What does it cost to have a cake?
Julie: When we have people ring the store, and they’re after prices particularly for budgeting purposes. We never give out direct prices.
Andrew: Because you don’t know?
Julie: Because we don’t know. And quite often, they haven’t finalized their guest list or anything like that. They don’t have a lot of detail. So, what we do, we have starting prices. So, our two-tier cake will start from 450 and our three-tier cakes will start from 595.
Julie: And what we do with that is let them know that these are our starting prices. They can get a fairly basic cake for that and then prices will go accordingly. So if you have one with lots and lots of detail, lots and lots of flowers, it will then be priced accordingly.
Julie: And to the amount of guests.
Andrew: Okay. Sure.
Julie: That you have.
Andrew: So, you have the cake and then the kitchen cake as well…
Julie: Yes. And some people hire our stands as well, we’ve got beautiful silver stands. So, all that is there – then we give them a list of our delivery prices.
Julie: Because the last thing you want to do on your wedding day is pick up the cake.
Andrew: Yeah. Sure, okay. So how does it get delivered?
Julie: We deliver.
Andrew: And I guess you set it up too?
Julie: Absolutely. We can do that. If it’s out of the area, we quote accordingly.
Julie: And anything above a two layer cake, so if you’ve got a three tier cake, four-tier cake we will definitely recommend that we deliver it.
Julie: Because the structuring of our cakes is really good, however, people get nervous and you don’t get the right person drive your car.
Andrew: Okay, yeah.
Andrew: You have a catastrophe
Julie: Absolutely and we don’t want that.
Andrew: So you said structure a couple of times, what do you mean by that ? What’s structure’s about?
Julie: The cake needs to look beautiful on the outside but the inside is so critical to get the look on the outside. And so, for us everything needs to be structured correctly on the inside so the cake’s are leveled. They are then skewered and there’s wooden skews that we use are at a certain height so the next cake can sit on top of that and be nice and leveled.
Andrew: So, the actual base cake that is supporting the next layers.
Julie: No, the skewers. And they will support the weight of the cake that’s on top of it. So, if you have a three tier cake, there will be a center pole inside that cake, so each cake is on its own separate board. The weight of those skewers is then done accordingly. And then the center pole is to help with the structuring of the cake.
Andrew: So, I’m imagining that your home cook doesn’t do that.
Andrew: Wouldn’t even now about it?
Julie: Yeah. That’s right. So, for us, it’s really important and that has to get done. We don’t skip on anything like that. It’s done to a set standard. It’s a standard that has worked for us for many years. So, that’s we keep doing it.
Andrew: Okay. And then, there’s probably people watching this, let’s say maybe in the States or Europe and obviously Central Coast brides as well. If they’re looking around for someone to do their cakes, whoat do they look for? How do they tell, say you at the Sweetest Thing are so much better than someone down the road – how do they tell…?
Julie: We get asked that, you know. Like sometimes, wow, am I paying that much for a cake and that is a valid question. The answer is to that is ingredients. We use real chocolate.
Andrew: Okay. So, some people don’t use real chocolates?
Julie: That’s right. And so, it affects the taste. Yes. So, we use everything’s fresh ingredients and the ganache. Some three-tier cakes can have like 4 kilos of chocolate in it. Yeah. You know?
Andrew: Don’t tell Linda that.
Julie: And you know, it’s one day that you’re eating all this chocolate. But so, these questions for people and it’s very valid for couples to want to know these. Even each in three tier cake, we’re using five cake boards in there, you know, your skewers, your…
Andrew: You can’t really use those.
Julie: Yeah. They’ve gone, they’re out of there. We don’t really use any of that. Every client has new.. everything.
Andrew: What could couples actually ask to make sure they getting the right thing, like, what ingredients can they check that they’re using?
Julie: They need to check the ingredients they’re using are good quality ingredients because it does affect the taste of the cake.
Andrew: Okay. So they can only check that by tasting?
Julie: By tasting, yeah, to make sure that they like it and things like that.
Julie: We actually had people come in and they told us that somebody who’s making a cake from home, they reuse their boards and things like that. We don’t do any of that. That’s to me, if you’re having a wedding cake, it’s yours.
Andrew: Yeah. Sure.
Julie: You’re not getting somebody’s second hand board. And things like that so, they need to know the structuring of the cake as well to make sure that they know that it’s going to be stable for them and things like that.
Andrew: So it won’t fall over.
Julie: And one of the questions we got asked a lot of and I think people should ask this question, how long before the wedding is the cake made and things like that. So, our cakes last for two weeks.
Julie: So, I would have them for a week and they would have them for a week. So, that means the process of that cake would start on a Monday.
Andrew: For the Saturday.
Julie: For the Saturday. If it’s a Friday, we’d still have to start on a Monday as well. I mean, if it’s a Sunday wedding, we start on a Tuesday.
Julie: We have a schedule that we stick with. So, we’ve got baking. We’ve got ganaching, icing, decorating and all these processes actually need to dry out in between.
Andrew: Okay, so you can’t make a cake a day before the wedding?
Julie: Absolutely not. And the cakes that we use, they’re made with such rich ingredients that they get better the longer they’ve sat there.
Andrew: Okay, that’s why you wait a week.
Julie: The flavours become intense. Some cakes are best off leaving for few days before you can touch them.
Andrew: So you make the kitchen cake at the same time as you make the wedding cake?
Andrew: What happens to…?
Julie: No. I’ll just do that the the day before for the kitchen cake, that’s fine to do that because the cake would have been made a couple of days before hand but the day before, I will be just ganache it.
Julie: Get all that ready to go after the wedding the next day.
Andrew: Right. Okay. And it’s always delivered at the same time to the reception at the day of the wedding?
Julie: That’s right. That’s exactly right. So, we’d like to get all our cakes out before lunch time. Some occasions we have to over because of requirements.
Julie: And things like that. But are fine traveling in the cooler part of the day is much, much better.
Andrew: So, you’re saying that some wedding will have gluten free guests there? How do you manage that?
Julie: We don’t put gluten free in our wedding cakes, we will provide individual cup cakes that are packaged into little boxes and then they’re marked GF for gluten free or the guest’s name, that way the cake won’t get mixed up with the wedding cake.
So, there’s chocolate, gluten free cupcakes are then placed appropriately and to whom ever and in that way it won’t get mixed up so there’s no problem there.
Andrew: Awesome. Okay. So, this is just to recap. So, if you know if there’s ‘Betty’ down the road with advertising to do your wedding cake and obviously she is going to be cheap, working from home, and she may be cutting corners and stuff like that and not using the boards or the spikes, what do you call them?
Andrew: Yes. Skewers, so how do the couples tell that?
Julie: They need to ask the simple question, how do you present your cake? How do we know that it is going to be a nice stable cake?
Andrew: Right. Okay.
Julie: And they can ask those questions. They can ask to look at photos. Try the cake, all that sort of thing. Ask to look through the website. If they don’t have a website, there’s a very good indication that it’s not so good.
Andrew: Okay. It means they don’t do that many wedding cakes.
Julie: They’ don’t do many weddings. They may only do a couple every couple of months which is not a lot. So, the skill level is not always going to be be there if they’re not constantly doing cakes.
Julie: We keep up with the latest trends. I do courses.
Andrew: You had a course, just last week.
Julie: I did which is fantastic. And we like to keep up with the latest work. And that is a really good indication also that people are still passionate about what they do. They want to go and learn.
Andrew: Do you need a qualification?
Julie: No. You don’t.
Andrew: It can be asked and it’s the same in wedding photography.
Julie: That’s exactly right. People ask if I’m a pastry chefs and things like that. No, I’m not a pastry chef. Everything I’ve done, I’ve learned from scratch. I have a lot of books.
Andrew: Done courses.
Julie: Done courses.
Julie: Things like that. But they’re not actually qualifications which I kind of think sometimes it would be a good idea if there was.
Julie: Because it would help weed out a lot of people who shouldn’t be making cakes. And I think, with getting back to if they don’t have a website and they just have a Facebook page, that’s still not enough for me.
Julie: They just get little snapshots and things like that because anybody can have a Facebook page.
Julie: Just the same as anyone can have a webpage. On the webpage, you’re hoping you’re that they’re putting up their work. So that you can…
Andrew: Yeah. There needs to be more substance to have a website.
Andrew: It needs more than a couple of photos.
Julie: Yes. Exactly. And Facebook is great, too but it’s not the same as going to a professional person who wants to really portray their work in the best way possible.
Andrew: Okay. What about word of mouth referrals? I’m sure they’re good.
Andrew: I imagine that reception centers are probably one of the best.
Julie: Reception center is great. They will point you in the right direction. They may give you a couple of cake people to look at which is good because some people may want a crockenbush. I also know people that have wanted an ice cream cake.
Andrew: Okay. That’s. Another specialist will do that?
Julie: That’s right. We wouldn’t do an ice cream cake, it kind of does not make sense to me because it would melt. But you know, there’s just things like that. I think the reception venues are good at doing that type of referral work. And they also can weed out people who should be doing cakes.
Andrew: So, they are only going to refer someone that is good to deal with…
Julie: That’s right.
Andrew: That does a good job.
Julie: That’s exactly right. And like yourself, you see the wedding cakes. You’re at the wedding. You know what goes on.
Julie: You would see a cake if it’s fallen over.
Andrew: Yes. I’ve seen a couple of those – not good
Julie: Because sometimes—I mean, I’d look at it and think it’s funny.
Andrew: Yeah. I probably do to – inside.
Julie: But you know, that can really make a terrible day for brides. So you know, florists we work quite closely with the florists too because people love fresh flowers and…
Andrew: On their cake?
Julie: On their cakes, yes. So, their would of mouth is really good and we are the same, we know really good florists as well because we see flowers.
So, that referral work if you’re getting—a few people saying “you’ve got to go to this person” then you’ve got to be pretty well sure that it’s okay. Yeah. Absolutely.
Andrew: I just heard the term skewers before
Andrew: And I know I’ve only heard that term from you because you’re talking about the structure of the cake. You mentioned that a couple of times.
Andrew: What’s structure?
Julie: Structure is the way the cake is presented on the inside which can make the outside look really, really beautiful and stable. And structure is important because you want your cake upright. So, each cake is on its own separate board. There’s skewer supporting the weight of the cake that’s on top. And then, if it’s a three layer cake, there will be a center pole in the center and the same thing with the four layer, four tier cake. That has a center pole as well.
Andrew: So, it’s not the cake at the bottom holding up the cake on the top.
Andrew: It’s the skewers.
Julie: It’s the skewers.
Andrew: And the boards inside.
Julie: And the boards. And keeping it nice and straight is that center pole which is great for traveling. We have double boards down the bottom. So, a three tier cake can have five boards in them.
Andrew: That’s right. So, the home cook wouldn’t be using any of that?
Julie: No. And the home cook may reuse the boards – which os not preferable.
Andrew: You guys don’t do that. Okay. Well, that’s unreal Julie. How can people find you if they’re. You service Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle.
Julie: Yeah. Newcastle, Hunter Valley.
Julie: A lot of work in Hunter Valley. We’re situated at Crowne Plaza, Terrigal and our website is www.thesweetestthings.com.au
Andrew: Fantastic. I’ll add links to your site on the blog.. Thanks for coming in. That’s awesome.
Julie: My pleasure. Thank you.
Andrew: Thank you, Julie.