Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ernie Santiago, Mr. U.S.A. 1983!
One of our favorite perks of owning a business comes from building a relationship with clients that goes beyond making their cake. This is especially true of clients that return to us repeatedly. With each cake they order, we learn a little more about them, whether it is an interest we never knew existed, or getting to meet the newest addition to their family. In the case of the Santiagos', who are regular clients of ours (and some of the nicest people we know), we got quite a surprise when they ordered their latest cake - a sculpted partial body of bodybuilder Ernie Santiago, Mr. U.S.A. 1983. Mr. U.S.A. 1983? We never knew Ernie was a famous bodybuilder, much less won such a fabulous title! We were so excited to make a likeness of Ernie circa 1983 to honor of his 60th Birthday, another milestone event! The cake was as relevant today as it was 30 years ago, as Ernie is still very committed to bodybuilding and is preparing for his next competition!

This was a really fun design process! First came the photos - Ernie on bodybuilding magazine covers, in competition, and at the beach posing. I couldn't believe my eyes! "THAT'S our Ernie?!!"
My jaw dropped, practically hitting the floor when his wife sent the photos. It was one of those awesome moments where you learn something so surprising about someone you would never look at them the same way again. Seeing our client Ernie with a totally ripped body, 30 years earlier was pretty mind-blowing! We knew this was going to be some cake!

Now, I've seen Rick nervous about making a cake before, but this was different. The pressure to make a likeness out of cake for clients we think the world of, and for someone known in the bodybuilding community who won such an impressive title is intense. In preparation to make the cake, Rick studied photos of Ernie's face and body in the 80's as well as present day. He had photos of Ernie plastered all over his work area to be able to examine him from every angle. He wanted to present Ernie in his glory years but also make his likeness relevant to how he looks now, which is also impressive. His approach was to make a composite of both "Ernie's", sculpting the entire face and partial body out of Peanut Butter cake. We hoped Ernie and his wife's jaw would drop to the floor when they saw it. Rick estimates he spent between 15-18 hours on the cake, but it was all worth it because it was for the Santiagos'!

Ernie's 60th birthday celebration took place at their favorite Italian restaurant, where we have delivered many cakes. They carried out the bodybuilding theme beautifully at the party. The photos below of the happy couple with Rick and I and of Ernie posing with his cake, are courtesy of the Santiagos'. They were ecstatic with the cake when they saw it and we heard their guests loved it too! We couldn't be happier to hear it was a huge success! They sent us the sweetest Thank You note, included below. Many thanks to the Santiagos for sharing their most special days with us and always making us smile!

Aloha Sasha & Rick!!!!!

Once again, your cake was a HIT!!!!!! Everyone was sooooo amazed with the cake! They just loved
it and couldn't believe how much it looked like Ernie back then! And, it tasted amazing too! Perfection, that's all we can say!


Anonymous said...

Love it! Ernie still looks fantastic at 60!

cakelava said...

Thank you! We couldn't agree more with you. Ernie looks fabulous at 60!

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