As a small, woman-owned business, one thing ROCKsugar truly takes pride in is individualized service.  As the owner, decorator, and everything in between, I have the privilege of being involved in every single step of your customized edible art journey.

 

Unlike many larger companies, I truly care for every single one of my clients and want to be sure you have a positive, personalized experience, from start to finish. 

 

It is incredibly important to me that the 'custom' aspect of my business shines through and one way I like to do that, is by surprising my clients. I love to take their ideas and add something a little extra - whether it’s a moving element they weren’t expecting or adding light to a cake when appropriate, or simply incorporating their favorite number. I’m a big advocate of the “WOW” factor.

Customizations don't always need to be over-the-top, but the best thing about anything custom is that it reflects you and your personality and it adds an element of exclusivity that only you can claim. 

 

When you order from ROCKsugar, you aren’t just getting a custom cake , cookies, or cupcakes - you’re getting a custom experience.
 

 

If you've never before ordered a custom cake, it can be a very overwhelming experience. It's understandable to be a little confused as to why the "simple design" you can easily pick up at your favorite grocery store costs double, maybe even triple what you'd expect, from a custom cake artist.

Many grocery stores offer ready-to-decorate cakes that can be customized with your favorite image or some other simple design or text. These cakes are mass-produced to allow for grocers to consider their shoppers' budget needs as well as offer quick turnarounds.  Don't get me wrong; this girl can eat a good vanilla grocery store cake, no problem! They aren't bad, and I won't say that they are.

The differences between your run-of-the-mill grocery store cake and your one-of-a-kind custom cake are:

 

1. Freshness. ROCKsugar bakes everything from scratch, to order.  This is one primary reason we cannot accommodate last minute orders. The only time your cake ever enters a freezer is during the frosting process.  Because we use buttercream, freezing the cake long enough for the butter to harden allows us to ensure clean, crisp corners and straight tops and sides, on your cake (something else that sets custom cakes apart from the grocery stores').

Depending on the complexity of your cake design, cakes take no less than three days to complete. The process includes quoting, design sketches and approval, decoration preparation, baking, building (cutting/filling), frosting, final decorating, delivery, and maybe a couple of hours of sleep - for both me and the cake. It's tiring business! 

Grocery store cakes can spend months (yes, months. I used to work in a few grocery stores back in my younger days.) in the freezer and remain "fresh" due to preservatives before they even get to you.

2. Ingredients. ROCKsugar uses quality ingredients in all of our baked goods. We go through pounds of butter, flour, sugars, dozens of eggs, buckets of fondant, colors, fillings, and much more. 
Grocers, as mentioned earlier, aim for mass-production and low budgets, so quality isn't always a priority. Plus, preservatives, and I'm not talking about the strawberry kind.

3. Time. Custom cakes, even the most simple ones, take time.  Because they are custom, it's possible that the cake artist you've chosen to trust with your vision hasn't created your design before. This means it'll take time to consider how long it will take to create your edible art, quote the idea, sketch ideas, make any alternations if needed, and purchase any special tools or materials needed to make your vision come to life. Oh, and well, actually make the cake. Some cakes can take upwards of 20+ hours to complete! 

4. Experience. This one is a two-for. 

  • Cake artists who have made custom edible art their life's work have either gone to school to perfect their trade, have studied under someone more experienced, are self-taught passionate go-getters (let's face it, YouTube can teach you ANYthing these days!), or all of the above. However, even if a cake artist (or anyone, really), has gone to school or has practiced in their field for years, it doesn't mean they're good. I know. Ouch. Please hear me out, however. Like getting a tattoo, for example, you research artists, find one you like, meet up with them, find out their rates, feel out their personality, and make an informed decision. It could be that the cheapest artist you find meets your criteria. Or, the one who is a little more expensive feels like a better fit, even if they're a bit out of your budget. While a cake may be a less permanent work of art, it is still equally important to consider similar factors. After all, memories do last a lifetime, and that's what we're here to create - positive memories.

  • That's where the second part of the experience comes in.  Ordering a custom cake is so much more than just ordering a cake.  There are SO many talented artists out there, and it's up to you to feel out who will be a good fit for you and your needs.  It's important to consider everything involved in ordering a custom cake and not immediately disregarding the artist who quotes you highest. While it can be discouraging to hear your cake could cost more than you expected, there are ways to work within your budget or lessen the overall cost, most times and within reason.  If there is a cake artist whose work you really like and whom you feel good about doing business with, you will likely not regret deciding to hire them.

I always joke (but really, I'm serious) that you wouldn't go to a Mercedes dealership looking for the newest car, with all the bells and whistles, expecting to pay the price of an older model Ford sedan. The same goes for custom cakes - don't expect grocery store prices from a company specializing in custom, one-of-a-kind cakes, tailored for you individually.

Although custom cakes may seem expensive, a single cake usually does not turn enough profit for a decorator to make a living off of.  The majority of the cost goes towards quality ingredients and tools (when necessary), consulting, skills, and labor. 

Regardless, we continue to do what we are passionate about - creating custom, edible works of art for those who truly understand and appreciate what goes into making their day just a little sweeter - and I wouldn't want it any other way. :)

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