The cakes at Butter Baby Bakery are a work of art. Before she was slinging flour and mixing frosting, owner and cake designer Karen DeGuzman was trained in graphic design. One day, she started baking and something clicked that what she was a lot like graphic design, but just a different medium. DeGuzman began creating beautiful things with food and hasn’t stopped! She explains how one of the biggest mistakes of her career actually turned out to be for the best:
What inspired you to get into foodservice?
“I was a graphic design major but was always surrounded by my parents cooking and baking. They not only did it for fun, but they would also sell their food as a side hustle. Cake decorating, specifically, combined my love of creating delicious desserts but also being able to design something just as I would with graphic design. Once that clicked, there was no going back.”
What do you love about your business?
“I love that we not only have traditional flavors like strawberry cake or chocolate cake, but we also have things like Ube Cheesecake Blondies, Ube Coconut Caramel Cake, or even Pandan Biscoff Coffee Cakes. These flavors are familiar to my culture and represent my upbringing but also add a twist in flavor combinations to bring familiarity to those that are already curious about things like Ube. I love hearing people who have never tried Ube try our desserts; that sparkle in their eye and smile on their face makes it so rewarding.”
What’s the most interesting thing to happen to your business?
“We were on the news during the start of the pandemic because we were flourishing with our cake box sales! At the time, we offered cake slices, delivered contactless and straight to your door. I feel like it definitely brought a lot of happiness during that time. It was fun to get recognized for it, and to also make a cake for the news anchor’s birthday that was shown on the news as well during the interview!”
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
“There was a time when we decided to use a new cake flour for a big bake that was due for custom cakes and cake slice boxes. We baked new batches using the new cake flour we got in, only to find out that our cakes ended up gummy, dense and just entirely inedible. By this time, it was already 6am and it was too late to re-bake, reassemble and remake everything. I had to make a hard call to contact the customers and offer refunds and/or rescheduling. Some were understanding, but some yelled and blamed me for ruining their kids birthday celebration.
That day, we took a hard look at how we can manage our time better so we can catch possible issues like this sooner. We also learned to test new ingredients before doing large batches with them. I also just learned that sometimes, you just need to admit fault. I even cried on the phone to our customers about how sorry I was. It was a hard day, and I’ll always look back and remember how we could’ve done better. But now, I can say we manage our time better; we don’t overload our schedule and we test new ingredients before buying bulk orders of them.”
Which Cambro products help make your business work?
“We love to use the Cambro GoBox! It helps us with deliveries to keep our desserts and cakes cold. It also helps us with our farmers markets in keeping items cool during hot summer days. Recently, we were able to travel with a 2-tiered cake 2.5 hours away in the 90-degree Texas heat, only to arrive with the cake still just as cold as when we first put it into the box! We also love to use the 8 qt. and 22 qt. containers for our dry and wet storage. What can we say? We are definitely fans!”
Links for Butter Baby Bakery
Categories: Cambro Featured Business of the Week