We love a great cake, and bet you do too. Today we are thrilled to feature the very talented, Leisl Kern! Leisl has not only created some of the most gorgeous looking cakes for our clients, but also some of the best tasting.
For our Vendor Spotlights, we ask a couple questions about wedding days and the planning process to help brides get to know their vendors both professionally and personally. Here’s what Leisl Kern, the owner of Sunshine Cake Shop, has to say!
1. What was your dream job growing up?
I originally wanted to be an Orthopedic Surgeon. I love science and biology. I especially loved it when we had the opportunity to dissect things. Seeing how things work and go together has always been interesting to me.
2. What does a typical wedding day look like for you?
I finish any last-minute details of the cake(s)/cupcakes, which usually includes stacking the tiers and adding borders. Then I prepare my emergency kit. These are items that I could need at the venue to fix anything that might have happened during delivery and/or anything that could not be finished before delivery, such as adding gum paste or real flowers. I print out directions to the venue (if I haven’t done that already) and put everything in the car that can go in early (directions, emergency kit, camera, dolly, extra cake boxes, etc.) I usually arrive at the venue with my cakes 2 hours before the reception time, unless the client needs it there sooner. Once there, I set up the cake and put on any details that could not be added before I left the shop. I take pictures of the finished product and then leave the venue. Set-up usually takes about 20-30 minutes, unless there are many items to complete at the venue.
3. How did you get into the cake business?
I have a friend that I went to college with that started making decorated cakes many years before I did. She always emailed pictures of the cakes she made and I was amazed. I wanted to try my hand at it, so when my oldest son was about to turn 4 years old (2007), I decided that I wanted to make him a custom, 3-D train cake. I had only ever made 1 other decorated cake. (See attached picture of the train cake.) It was a simple cake, but it did make me want to continue making more cakes. I decided that I would make my kids a custom cake every year for their birthday from that point on. Once people started seeing the cakes I was making for them, they started asking me to make them for their children. As word of mouth got around, I needed to decide whether I wanted to keep this a hobby or make it a career.
4. How long have you been in business? Why did you decide to start a business?
While I made cakes for money starting in 2010, I didn’t have a business license and commercial kitchen until January 2013. I decided to go all-out with the commercial kitchen when I started having people that I did not know asking me for cakes. Having a legal, registered, tax-paying business was important to me. There are a lot of “home-bakers” out there. While my kitchen is located at my home, it is a separate commercial kitchen that is inspected by the Rutherford County Health Department at least twice per year.
5. What is your favorite part of a wedding day/event day?
Driving home after the last delivery! All of the stress is over and I can relax, knowing that I have added a little bit of joy to the Bride and Groom’s big day.
6. What is your favorite cake flavor?
Orange cake with pineapple curd filling and Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It reminds me of a cake that my grandfather used to make every time we came to visit. The flavor is almost the same and it brings back a lot of good memories.
7. What would be the most extravagant cake that you could dream up look like?
I have simple tastes, but I am very detail-oriented. I love doing realistic, 3D cakes of everyday things. Cars, shoes, buildings, guitars, etc. Lots of Groom’s cakes fall into this category.(See photos attached.)
8. Who would be your dream celebrity to create a cake for?
Rob Thomas (lead singer of Matchbox Twenty)
9. If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
Hawaii. I have been there before, but I was in the first trimester of my first pregnancy, so I was too tired to do everything we wanted to do. I would like to go back and do a lot more hiking.
We know all of our vendors are busy so big thanks to Leisl Kern for finding the time to participate!