Our "Who Run The World" feature for September is sweeeeet and by that I don't JUST mean her personality... her cakes are dang amazing! I'd like to introduce Renata Papadopoulos, owner of Lovely Cakes and creator of delicious treats that are just as tasty as they are gorgeous. Her dulce de leche caramel filling with the classic vanilla cake? LITERALLY HEAVEN IN MY MOUTH.
Renata's passion and love for baking is quite obvious and her drive and determination is inspiring. It brought her from baking cakes for a friend to running her own successful business. And while her talent has never been a secret, she showed the world just how much talent she had when she took the cake...sorry I can't help myself....and took first prize on the 2016 Valentine's Day episode of the Food Network's popular show Cake Wars. Check out my interview below with Renata!
DANI :: How did you first develop your passion for baking?
RP :: My love for baking began when I was still a child in Brazil. My grandmother was my biggest culinary teacher and remains to this day my greatest inspiration. The artistic eye came from my mom, a plastic artist and muralist. Lovely Cakes was born by combining what I have learned and inherited from both of them.
DANI :: What is it that drew you to baking specifically cakes for a career?
RP :: It was totally by accident. Once I had kids I started making their birthday cakes. And a friend of a friend asked if I could make a cake for a bridal shower she was hosting; I was reluctant but I accepted. After that I was hooked and started studying all I could about cake decorating. At the time (11 years ago) there was not that much information online, so I just developed my own techniques.
photog credit :: Trisha Keeler Photography
DANI :: What was the biggest challenge in opening up your own cake shop, Lovely Cakes?
RP :: My biggest challenge was actually not business related, I had a good amount of customers from the beginning but I wanted to be home with my kids when they were little. So I waitied and only opened my commercial space when my youngest started kindergarten.
DANI :: If you could choose one cake to make for yourself, what kind of cake and frosting combination would it be?
RP :: I have so many favorites! Right now I am in love with orange cake and strawberry buttercream, but vanilla cake with salted caramel buttercream has a special place in my heart.
DANI :: What do you enjoy about creating wedding cakes?
RP :: I love how a cake can capture not only the essence of the party, but also the personality and style of the celebrant.
photog credit :: Candace Jeffery Photography
DANI :: What is one thing you wish all brides would know about wedding cakes and desserts?
RP :: Don’t be afraid to do something different and trust your cake designer. I find that the more freedom I have to adjust the cake design, the better the cake comes out.
photog credit :: Dreamscape Studio Photography
DANI :: Have you ever been a part of creating cakes for editorial work, such as a commercial photo shoot or stylized wedding photo shoot?
RP :: Yes I have done multiple stylized photo shoots. I find them to be great fun since I can really be creative and more outrageous with the cake designs.
DANI :: You were the Valentine’s Day episode winner of Cake Wars this past February, what was it like competing on the show?
RP :: It was a lot of fun! I surprised myself on how calm I was during the competition. Don’t get me wrong, I was anxious going there, but once the clock started I was totally focused on the cake and didn’t think about anything else.
DANI :: Was it hard keeping your win a secret?
RP :: Yes! It was very hard! In fact I didn’t really felt like I won until the show aired.
DANI :: If given the opportunity, would you participate in a televised competition like that again?
RP :: Absolutely!
DANI :: How has competing and winning on Cake Wars affected your business?
RP :: It did not bring me to many new customers, but I find that it gives my brand and ability more credibility. It’s like a seal of approval.
photog credit :: Kesha Lambert Photography
DANI :: Do you enjoy baking at home as well, or do you save that for when you’re at work?
RP :: I usually don’t have time to bake at home, but when I like to make brownies and chocolate chip cookies with the kids.
DANI :: What do you enjoy doing when you are not creating your delicious cakes?
RP :: I enjoy bike riding with the kids and watching movies.
Did your mouths start watering just reading this feature? I know mine was just writing it! Thanks again, Renata, for letting us get a little insight into what it takes to be an award winning cake designer!