Category Archives: Company News

Creating Little People

Normally I don’t post images of cakes that I have not yet completed, but I had so much fun creating this little guy that I just couldn’t wait. For some reason, there have been a number of SMB themed cake requests recently, and I am loving making them. There are loads of great SMB cakes out there to give inspiration for the composition of the cake, and I have found myself spending a lot of time online looking at screen shots, wallpaper and other cool stuff.

Although it is very time consuming, and I don’t charge anywhere near the “correct” price for these cakes, I really love modeling little things for cakes. I think that I have Lorraine McKay for that.

I travelled to Scotland for a holiday a few years back and took the most amazing class with her in her studio. It was so much fun that I bought all of her online tutorials and can’t wait to take another class with her when she travels to this part of the world. If anyone is interested in her tutorials, you can find short free ones on YouTube (under Aine2) and amazingly detailed ones for purchase from her website. I would highly recommend purchasing them, they are not very expensive and are easy to follow. You will be amazed at what you can create.

Following her tutorials, taking classes whenever I can and continually being inspired by other cake artists will give anyone the confidence to start modeling figurines. Now…the patience required is a whole other story.

Lorraine’s tutorials can be found at www.extraicing.co.uk.

Field trip!

I don’t know about you guys, but I love making “field trips” to food stores and suppliers…especially ones with retail outlets.  That is exactly what I did today.  Into my car, over the bridge, down Boundary Rd and…voila…the newest location for a Vancouver institution…Galloways Fine Foods.

I met Arlene Kroeker there to talk about their store and the possibilities of supplying some of the more interesting ingredients that we use at PPC.  I first met Arlene by chance at the cupcake throwdown a few weeks ago.  She was there helping her chef friend with her super yummy grand marnier cupcakes and we got to chatting.  Not about business, but just about life and cupcakes (while cakes are my business, they are often also my life).

A few days later, Arlene emailed me for some information on my cupcake as she was mentioning it in her Galloways blog (check it out here).  We then got to emailing and she invited me out to see what they were all about.  Woo Hoo, a perfect excuse to go food shopping.

Galloways has two locations (and neither, sadly, is on Robson St where they were located for so many years).  I remember when I moved to Vancouver when I was little with my parents.  If you needed anything unusual for cooking, you went to Galloways.  They are a Vancouver institution.  Sadly, no longer located in the city of Vancouver (rent is just way too expensive to be able to keep the prices down) they have an amazing location right off Marine Way on Glenlyon (just at the intersection where those cool salmon topiaries are – for those that know the area or have ever driven to the Queenborough bridge).  They are part of the new commercial development that is being erected where the old Newhaven Farm used to stand.

The best part is….there is a huge retail store!  Now, don’t go expecting the number of items that you would find at Safeway or Whole Foods, but what they do have is a great array of some of the more difficult to find flours, beans, spices, and other cool ingredients.  You will also find very reasonable prices, a commitment to quality and some really cool people.

Highly recommend that you check out their website (they also have a location in Richmond) and plan to visit soon.  If you go to the one in Burnaby, you are super close to Mandeville’s Garden Centre as well – so could get your baking and gardening done all at once.

Oh yeah, I did buy vanilla powder, food grade crushed rose petals, two kinds of coconut and some parmesan/garlic potato chips.  I would have bought way more, but got chatting with Arlene and soon I had to go.  Can’t wait to go back and wander the aisles for inspiration.

Our new kitchen…

As part of our expansion in 2011, we moved into a new kitchen space.

OK, it’s really an older kitchen space, but it’s new to us.  Formerly the home of another local cake decorator, and amazing woman, we are sharing our kitchen space with a fellow cake decorator (yes, we are generally a friendly bunch despite being competitors).  While the original tenant enjoys her maternity time off, we are really enjoying the kitchen.  The first order of business was a complete cleaning and paint job.  A lighter colour on the wall and the accept walls are a light pink.  New bathroom fixtures, paint and some pictures.  It looks great, is fun to work in (thanks in no small part to the awesome sound system).  Now we only have to solve the issue of the single-paned glass.

Loving the kitchen, thanks Tanya and Nina.  Can’t wait for the kitchen-warming party!

Are You Ready for a THROWDOWN?!

On Wednesday, January 26, 2011, Picture Perfect Cakes will be joining a whole boatload of cupcake artists at Cafe Deux Soleil on Commerical Drive for their 2nd Cupcake Throwdown.

This is such an awesome event and we were super stoked to be a part of it last year.  Basically, a whole bunch of bakers (professional and amateur) get together to duke it out for a good cause.  The Throwdown raises money for H.A.V.E., which is a culinary training program for employment challenged people from the downtown eastside and Strathcona.

The H.A.V.E. website says “The purpose of H.A.V.E. Culinary Training Society is to source persons with challenges to employment through social and employment service providers in the downtown eastside and Strathcona. To teach them culinary skills in an actual work environment, where food is served to real customers, and places those who successfully complete the training into stable employment with members of the BC Restaurant and Food Association.”

Now, if this isn’t a perfect fit for charity for cupcake bakers to support, I don’t know what is…OK, there are lots of great causes that I can think of, but you have to admit that this one is pretty darn good.

The general public are the judges and there are prizes for the best taste and the best presentation.  I even hear that at least one prize (not sure what it will be a prize for) is a basket with at least one of each cupcake from that night.  Yummmm-o.

All you need to do to get involved is show up, pay $10 admission, taste the cupcakes and vote.  Now…of course we are all for the best cupcake winning, but if that happens to be our cupcake, we wouldn’t complain (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, know what I mean).