Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Stroll Down Memory Lane - 2008, Part 1

2008 was a banner year for cakelava. It was the year our business really took off and doors opened with opportunites we never imagined waiting on the other side. Rick made over 200 cakes for clients, and between taking orders, meeting with clients, deliveries and the start of more serious media attention, our entire company (of 2) was extremely busy!

We started the year in our new studio, and in retrospect, I don't think we could have handled the amount of business we had if we were still in the incubator. Our work load had basically forced us to look for a shop in 2007. cakelava had incubated and it was time to move forward. In our new studio we had our kitchen and office and a client meeting space all together. No more driving to a local coffee shop to meet with brides and their coordinators. It was wonderful, but also an incredible amount of work!

Although we had started getting media interest in the earlier years, 2008 was a huge year for cakelava in terms of press, specifically magazine and television interest. Rick was invited by Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine, The Bride and Bloom, and Pacific Edge Magazine to design cakes for their magazines and we were regularly asked for photos for internet sites. In the latter part of 2008, Food Network contacted Rick again to compete on "Challenge". They contacted him in 2007 for an "Extreme Cakes" Challenge, but Rick felt he wasn't ready to do it in the conditions we were working in at the time. We kept in touch with them regularly until finally in 2009, Rick did the "Spongebob Challenge". Also in the latter half of 2008, we got a call to make a cake for a Mark Burnett show and would later travel to Maui to shoot it. Then there was a "pillows" cake, a cake made for our bride who is a yoga instructor. That one cake circulated across the internet and magazines, and has become one of Rick's most famous designs!

Below is a selection of cakes made in 2008. When I was selecting cakes, there were so many to share that I am splitting the post into two parts, with the next one to follow.

Rick made this cake for a couple who requested a fun, non-traditional design with a Hawaiian flair. The shape of the cake was inspired by a Colette Peters design. Rick has long admired Colette Peters and she remains one of his favorite designers. As a policy, Rick doesn't replicate other people's work, and this cake was one of the few times he drew such direct inspiration. The couple were ecstatic with the cake and making the shape was a feather in Rick's cap, as it was not an easy one.

We've done many sushi platters and rolls over the years, and a similar design was the basis for one of Rick's cake classes. The platter is cake and all sushi are handmade. I don't recall exactly what the writing on the bottom said because I can't read Japanese. Feel free to translate it if you would like to. What I do know is that this cake was for a 21st birthday and started a sushi cake trend at cakelava that continues to this day.

This beautiful cake photographed by Chrissy Lambert was designed for a couple who were the recipients of a free dream wedding, in a giveaway sponsored by Parasol Events and the Honolulu Advertiser (now Star Advertiser) newspaper. Parasol assembled a dream team of vendors and we were fortunate enough to be asked to participate. The lucky couple got a cake that Rick designed for them using their elegant cherry blossom theme. That week was a crazy one for us because we had Primrose and Alex's wedding at The Kahala resort immediately followed by 3 wedding cakes Rick designed for a Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine shoot at the Halekulani, one of which is shown below. Grace herself was in town for the shoot and she stopped by the wedding where this cherry blossom cake was at. We heard from the coordinator at the wedding "by the way, Grace is here and saw your cake". No pressure or anything!

This was one of 3 cakes designed for Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine. The shoot took place at the beautiful Halekulani resort in Waikiki, and if I recall correctly, this shot was taken in the Presidential Suite. Stefanie Riedel of Absolutely Loved took the amazing photo, which was later featured in the magazine. I think it was Grace that started calling this cake the "mermaid cake", and the name stuck. Once this cake went up on our website every bride with a beach theme was asking for it and this was even more the case when the magazine was released. We have been a fan of Wedding Style Magazine and it was such an honored to be asked to make the cakes!

The ivory bamboo with black plumeria pattern cake was featured in two different magazines, a bunch of websites and a book. This gorgeous photo was taken by Dave Miyamoto for a shoot at the Bayer Estate, a popular wedding venue here. Rick has used this plumeria pattern on other cakes and it always makes for a striking deisgn. This cake, like many others is one that he made on a number of occasions for brides wanting a similar style.

The theme for this wedding combined antique details with traditional romantic elements. Kendra and Johnathan's cake was one of the earlier "vintage" inspired designs Rick made. Rick had free reign on the design, but drew inspiration from antique frames and romantic roses to create this elegant cake for the couple. We both really love this design and the couple was so much fun to work with!

A month after we did the Grace Ormonde shoot, we did The Bride and Bloom Magaazine shoot, again with photographer Stefanie Riedel. Rick was given a color palette to work with and was asked to design a cake around the colors. I scoured the internet to find just the right ceramic cake stand to place the cake on and this one fit the bill beautifully! Rick and I went with Stefanie down to Kailua Beach for the shoot. After the Bride and Bloom shoot, Rick made the cake at least a couple other times, once in orange, and once combining the bamboo from cake above with the same floral vine pattern. Every version has been beautiful!

We've always loved this cake! It was made for a wedding that was quite extravagant at the Paul Mitchell Estate here in Kailua. The stunning photograph was taken by Cassandra Dieterle, whose company also coordianated the wedding. The color palette for this wedding was ivory and purples and very elegant, all of which was brought into Rick's design for the couple.

There there was the "Rachel" cake. We are still making some version of this cake for brides that fall in love with it. Rick has made the Rachel cake, with the taller unusually shaped tiers in a variety of colors, and modifications to the design (like adding turtles or fish). This cake has stood the test of time and has become a cakelava "signature" design. It was beautifully photographed by Frank Amodo.

Speaking of cakelava signature designs, this is the "Gwen" cake, named after the bride who Rick designed it for. The Gwen cake has all the classic cakelava tropical decorations -- Giant tiki and torches, hawaiian flowers, and the all-bamboo tier. We have a bunch of emails from people asking us how Rick made the cake and we've seen knock-offs of the design, (even from cakers in our own backyard) offering the same cake on their websites, unfortunately, and often without credit to the designer. The "Gwen" is a small cake that made a super-size impact and is a design we are very proud of!

 Cake sculpting is one of Rick's favorite things to do. This beaver groom's cake is one of many he made in 2008, but I specifically chose this one because it is so darn cute! Our bride surprised her fiance with an Oregon State University beaver. Rick enjoyed making the cake and I think it will always be one of our favorites!

When we met with the couple this wedding cake was designed for, they told Rick they wanted a cake with "underwater invertebrates". It was an odd request but we always love those. The theme lent itself well to the use of a lot of color, which Rick always enjoys! All 3 tiers were sculpted out of cake and the decorations were hand made. Rick recalls making all "those damn spines" that were placed into the sea urchin on top. This cake was definitely a labor of love and took a good amount of time to make!

It's funny what you recall when you are reminiscing about cakes. Rick remembers when he was making this cake that the power went out at our shop just as he was starting on the headphones. He was on deadline, so he had to make the headphones in the dark. I didn't actually remember that power outage because I wasn't the one making the cake. What I remembered about this cake was that it was ordered by a bride as a groom's cake for her fiance who was a DJ. We were asked to make a Technics turntable with a blue "scratch" record. She was terribly excited about surprising her fiance with the cake and we went sent this photo of the groom with his cake.

 This was Rick's first Millennium Falcon and he says it remains one of his favorites. We are big fans of Star Wars and relished any opportunity to make Sci-Fi cakes, and specifically Star Wars. Rick was thrilled to get this order and he was determined to make sure every detail was spot on. I think he also knew that both of our brothers who adore Star Wars and all the Star Wars fans who would later see it were depending on him to do it right! He made us all proud!

Ah, The "pillows" cake. It is one of our most widely circulated cakes, making its way into international magazines and all over the internet. It was featured on then on the front page of both AOL and Rick designed the cake for a wedding couple who wanted an unusual design and the bride was a yoga instructor, hence the Indian influence in the composition. All the pillows are made of cake and one of the pillows has a swirl pattern which Rick incorporated after seeing the bride's tattoo. Since the bay area couple was getting married in Hawaii, they wanted to include a Hawaiian element and Rick added the lei in front as well as made the board blue, which symbolized the ocean. Beautiful pillows floating in the ocean. Namaste!

In my next post, look for more cakes from 2008. You won't want to miss some of these!


SweetThingsTO said...

I am loving your stroll down memory lane! I so admire Rick's artistic talent that it is so diverse. He has his own "style" but he can also change it up which is very hard to do. I try to do that also - its challenging but also very rewarding when it come to creating cakes.

I also think you two are such a great team to run such a successful business, change & expand so much, be internationally known, classes and now a book. I can't imaging all the hats you both have to wear. Congratulations to you both on your successes so far - I'm so lucky to have met you both 2 years ago! Juanita

cakelava said...

Your comment means so much to us Juanita, as we know you have been following the blog and Rick's designs for many years. Thank you always for your support! We love your work as well! We feel fortunate to have met you in class a couple years ago and hope our paths will cross again in the future! All the best to you as you pursue your cake artistry and your role as a fabulous mother and wife! Take care! Sasha and Rick

Ricki said...

What a blast from the past to see our beautiful urchin cake again in your blog. It was such a memorable backdrop to our wedding and all the guests loved it.

cakelava said...

Hey Ricki ! So nice to hear from you! We hope you two are well. We were happy to feature your cake. It was one of the most memorable - and unique - cakes we did that year! Thank you for the sweet comment!

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