Towny Waco: What’s Baking at All Sugar’d Up?
(Welcome to the Act Locally Waco/Towny blog series. Towny is an app that connects consumers with local businesses for coupons and other great deals. Through this blog series, the folks at Towny will be sharing the stories behind some of our high-quality, local products and helping you get to know some of our energetic local entrepreneurs. For more posts in this blog series, click here: Towny Waco.– ALW)
By Tori Freeman
Many business owners have dreamed of owning their own store for years…not so for Kim Dailey. Though she’s never been especially artistic, she just kind of stumbled into a hidden talent of cake decorating. Turns out she stumbled into something pretty sweet. And suddenly, All Sugar’d Up was born (and we’re SO glad it was!).
What’s the scoop – or should I say slice – on All Sugar’d Up?
“Well short story version: I actually was working a full-time job in a call center and I was looking for something to do because I was bored when I got off work.
I started tinkering around with cake design and started making baby shower cakes for people at my job or their kids’ birthday cakes and then it just kind of blew up from there. I didn’t ever intend on this being what it was, but I found out that I had a knack for it. It kept growing and eventually it got to the point that I couldn’t maintain my current job and go home and bake all night long because I wasn’t sleeping.
So, I left my job at that time in 2012 and opened a store front. My husband literally found a spot that was open and he rented it. He just came in one day and said, ‘By the way, I did this. Get your stuff and go!’”
Had you always been a baker?
“Honestly, not really. My mom made my birthday cakes growing up and she was pretty crafty so she tinkered around with that kind of stuff. And I was around lots of birthday parties – my parents worked at a roller skating rink and they did birthday parties like every weekend, so I was around cake like all the time.
So I was familiar with it in general but I was never really a baker. The most I ever did was make some sugar cookies or chocolate cookies or something like that.
When I decided to start tinkering around, I took a Michael’s class, just one single class that taught us how to make buttercream and icing flowers and things like that. From there I just was like, you know this is pretty cool. I can do this.
After that, I engrossed myself in anything and everything to do with cake decorating. I was online looking at stuff, I stalked people’s Facebook pages, looking at high profile celebrity bakers and watched what they did and blew pictures up and sat down and just started teaching myself. I’d sit there and work and work and work at it until I figured out the technique. So, I’ve pretty much been self-taught.”
What’s your favorite memory involving cake?
“I told you my mom made my birthday cakes as a kid, and when I think back to the very first cake I can ever remember her making, it was a sun. She made the full round cake, and then she made another one and cut it into triangles to put around the outside and iced it up in yellow and covered it in coconut. I think she used maraschino cherries for the eyes and the nose and the mouth.
That’s the first cake that I ever remember from my childhood. And it doesn’t seem like it was anything big, but back then we were in a time where nobody had the big elaborate cakes. Everybody had a sheet cake, you know, they got a little sheet cake at a local grocery store.
But my mom always came up with something different every year, one year it was sunshine, the next year it’d be a rainbow. And so for me that was so special.”
Do you think there’s any misconceptions people have about cake decorating?
“I think the biggest misconception that people have is when they’re comparing a bakery like us to a supermarket or a grocery store. The work that we do here and the kind of cake that you get there are two completely different things.
Most people don’t understand the time that goes into making something. They think it’s just, oh I just call you and you can whip it up in an hour kind of thing.
They don’t understand the art that goes into it and the time that goes into it. It’s not a cake made in a grocery store that was frozen and shipped in and the decorator came in and slapped some icing on and wrote “Happy Birthday.”
This is something that’s custom. What you’re getting from us is a fresh, baked from-scratch cake with homemade icing and someone sitting down and custom creating what you envisioned. And that takes time. You know, just the general wedding cake, you’re talking 15, 20 hours of work between baking, decorating, stacking, all those sorts of things just for a simple wedding cake.”
That’s amazing! And you’ll have multiple orders at once – how do you get it all done?
“I struggled with that for a long time when I was doing everything on my own, and that’s why I wasn’t sleeping. Now, I’ve got two employees: one is my mother who is my primary baker. And then I have another employee that’s been here for almost two years. So we’ve developed ourselves a system now to get everything done.
Even so, when you hit wedding weeks, it is mass chaos and long hours. We’re here an hour or two before opening every single day, and there’s a lot of times we’re here hours after we close at night.
But it’s the life of a bakery, you do what you love and you build yourself a reputation based on the quality of your work. Cakes can be pretty all day long, but if they don’t taste good, nobody wants them. We pride ourselves on providing a product that not only looks spectacular, but it tastes just as good. Our customers come back time and time again.
That’s where our business has built itself so much over the past few years: word of mouth. The majority of our business has been off of referrals. People that have seen our work or have heard their friends talk about us, and they try us out once and they’re hooked. I can’t thank my customers enough for believing in us enough to give us a try, and then for telling everybody about us.”
If you’ve been, you know: All Sugar’d Up is well worth a go! But before you drop by, you’ll want to check out Towny for some special deals. Towny is a free guide that helps you explore Waco businesses and rewards you for choosing local. Find Towny online or download the free phone app!
Tori Freeman is a Colorado native turned Texan and a graduate of Baylor University. She works as a part-time paralegal and creative freelancer with expertise spanning writing, editing, and photography. Tori knows firsthand how local businesses can change lives—she met her husband, Braden, while working at the Hippodrome! They now happily live in Waco with their spoiled golden-doodle and their even more spoiled baby boy.
The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.