A few weeks ago, when Niki Ross came to take our engagement pictures, she wanted to drop by our venue, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, where a bridal fair just happened to be taking place. Truth be told, I'd been there earlier that morning with Mama Goodlaff, visiting every cake booth in the place (there were about five). One of the vendors we talked to was Donna, and after tasting just one of the samples she had brought along, I was pretty much sold.
When our little motley picture crew stopped into the Foundry, I dragged Mr. Goodlaff to Donna's booth and forced him to eat cake. I know, I know, twist his arm, right? He agreed that we should set up a formal tasting, which we scheduled for the very next weekend.
We met with Donna on a Saturday afternoon at a local restaurant that her "other half" owns. She brought a binder full of her work, some of which had appeared in The Knot and other bridal magazines (major points there). We chatted about the cake bar idea and she was totally open to helping us execute our vision of widespread tastiness, and though most of the designs in her portfolio were detailed beyond what we're looking for, her work is just beautiful.
We were so impressed that Donna was able to do everything under the sun when it came to cake design. From simple and elegant, to intricate and ornate, she nailed every design. She sent us home with a bunch of cake samples, told us to taste them, and if we still wanted to work with her, give her a call. It really was a zero-pressure situation, which Mr. Goodlaff and I really appreciated.
And then, there was the complete and total taste bud victory known as the cake samples.
There was so much to love about her cakes that we were incredibly glad not to have to choose just one flavor for our wedding. The great thing about the cake bar set-up is that every flavor we loved can and will make an appearance in our cake bar, which is awesome, because we tend to be indecisive people.
Mr. Goodlaff and I went back and forth, but ultimately decided on the champagne cake with wild raspberry mousse and lemon preserves with a European butter cream frosting for the small two-tier cake that we will cut into on our wedding day. Um, yeah. I know. It was amazing. I'm still drooling...
About ten seconds after the cake samples were gone, we called Donna and booked her.
I know it seems like we took the long way around when it came to choosing a baker, but I'm so glad that we held out until we got the vendor we really wanted and that we were dying to work with. I know our cakes will be magnificent, and I can't wait to taste them on our wedding day!
*As a side note, Mr. Goodlaff and I are huge Food Network fans, and somehow during our visit with Donna, our love of Ace of Cakes and Food Network Challenge was discussed. Turns out that Donna was invited to be on one of those extreme cake shows. We had a little geek-out moment over that, as both Mr. Goodlaff and I secretly wish to give up our current jobs and make cakes with Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore.
Did you hold out for a vendor to get what you really wanted?