Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Redd-McIntosh.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up loving sweets! My family are big sweet eaters and bakers. My mom and grandma took me and my brother on weekly food tours, that included lots of bakeries, throughout California before the internet was born. So it was natural for me to go into Baking and Pastry! I received my Bachelors of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI.
I have lived and baked all over California from Carmel by the Sea to Palm Springs! I have also lived and worked in Cape Cod and Upstate New York. I settled back in the LA area about 8 years ago! And happily I’ve found my “sweet” spot creating beautiful and artistic cakes for customers all over SoCal and in other states! I always travel for my clients cake needs. My motto- “Need cake-Will travel”!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s been a pretty good ride with some struggles for sure! The field of Pastry Arts is a very competitive, overall male dominated field. I have been in this industry over 15 years and one of the hardest lessons that I HAD to learn was to stand up for myself against unprofessional male managers that thought yelling and demeaning someone was the correct way to get what they wanted at work. There were many tears and it took me a few years to learn how to successfully handle these situations and/or to decide to leave that job. It’s was very hard and necessary, but it also taught me a lot about my strengths, making choices and an appreciation of the many wonderful professional people that I have worked under over the years. These situations which happen often seem so impossible as you are going through them, But when you get to the other side you realize that although it was a nightmare, that if you handle them well that they provide a pretty good foundation for the rest of your career. No manager has yelled at me in many, many years, because I learned to quickly speak up and require professionalism in all work interactions. I am now a very confident Pastry Chef/Baker.
These difficult trials can include, as it did for me, changing the creative road that I decided to travel. I left one area of the culinary field and entered another which included expanding my cake business.
Artistic people in general can definitely be a little bit eccentric, demanding, meticulous and sensitive. Which means we can struggle with accepting any criticism of our creations that we work so hard on. Although we tend to ask others for their opinions, we really just want their positive confirmation of our beautiful creation. So it’s painful when you do not receive the adulation that you expected. Over the years, I finally learned that it’s alright when I receive criticism. It helps you to grow, sometimes pouting along the way. But I’ve learned that detaching (still not always easy) myself from my “masterpiece” and looking at it as thought I didn’t create it really helps. Only then am I able to see if that criticism is valid and something that I need to change.
It can be hard finding your style and niche in this “cake world”. I’m happy that over time I have developed a style of cakes that I really enjoy creating with pride.
Our industry is a rapidly growing and changing artistic field. It’s an exciting time. So I know that I have to continue to evolve with our art. I am always learning, which includes tweaking my designs as I work on cakes or desserts for each client to ensure that each client is beyond happy. I also love reading pastry & cake books, magazines and websites in order to stay up to date on new techniques. I attend many great workshops each year that are taught by my fellow cake artists in order to learn more or improve on the many different cake decorating techniques. It’s also important to find fellow cake friends and other friends that work in fields involved in the “Celebration Trade” to brain storm with and support. I have a strong wonderful network of great “Celebration Trade” friends. We support each other by encouraging one another to do better, commiserate together, give advice, refer clients and laugh.
And I have always had the love and support of my amazing family who are my biggest cheerleaders and critics. I love who I am. Now to find that husband………
Nicole Bakes Cakes – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Nicole Bakes Cakes specializes in Custom cakes and desserts tables! Since I am a professional pastry chef I can create all things sweet! My focus is on wedding cakes but I love creating other special cakes as well!
My cakes are known for being clean and artistic! Pops of color are my jam as well! The funkier the cake style the better!
I’m just so proud of all my cake “babies” that I have gotten to create!
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
One of my proudest moments has been one of my wedding cakes getting featured in California Wedding Day Magazine!
I’m also so proud of all my cakes that have been featured in blogs like Green Wedding Shoes and Junebug Weddings.
- Website: www.nicolebakescakes.com
- Email: Nicole@nicolebakescakes.com
- Instagram: nicolebakescakes
Michelle Dudley Photography, Jodi Lister Photography, Casey Brodley Photography, Evangeline Lane, Kathy Deninno Photography, Peterson Design and Photo, Cassi Claire, WonderTribe Photography, Elizabeth Burgi Photography, Sarah Mack Photography, Victoria Gold Photography