Edible Artisan: Tough Cookies

Photography By Kathryn Brass-Piper | April 01, 2014
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women coffee house
Location at Circus City Architectural Salvage Hair and make-up provided by Cutting Loose Salon: Kasey Gaskill and Vicky Collins

We’ve come a long way since Julia Child was the only female in her culinary school classes. These edible entrepreneurs are proving that a women’s real place in the kitchen is to be in charge. These edible entrepreneurs are rolling up their sleeves, rolling out the dough, and serving up the sweet smell of success.

Canopy Road Market

Cami Gable has lived in Sarasota for 30 years and operates her gourmet cheesecake company out of the Sarasota Culinary Kitchen. When Cami tried cheesecake for the first time as an adult, her desire to replicate that ecstatic gustatory pleasure caused her to seek out a simple cheesecake recipe and begin experimenting.

Edible: What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Cami: “Do what you love, have fun, and put your family first!”

Canopy Road Market: 

The Lollicake Queen

Sisters are doing it for themselves at The Lollicake Queen: Sarasota’s (and the world’s) premier cake pop shop. Erin’s background as an investment advisor and Amy’s career as landscape architect in no way hinted at the success that these two women would find when they combined their formidable forces in order to follow their dreams.

Edible: What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Erin: “Follow your passion, choose an authentic direction, invest yourself entirely, find a way to incorporate your family.”

Amy: “Don’t be afraid to make it up as you go along, trust your mistakes, people will always tell you no—try to be the first, best, and only whenever possible.”

The Lollicake Queen: 
1821 Hillview St, Sarasota; 

DeeZiner Cakes and Pastries

Dee Baker’s 30-year career in pathology led her to a job in Sarasota but she longed to indulge her passion for baking and decorating cakes. For the past 4½ years Dee has been following her dreams and, when she is in her shop alone, baking pies from scratch, she remembers doing the same thing with her grandmother so many years ago on a farm in Southern Illinois.

Edible: What is your advice to aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Dee: “Make sure that you love it before you go into it because the money won’t always be there to keep you going.”

DeeZiner Cakes and Pastries: 
773 US 41 Bypass S, Venice;

The Cake Zone

Alla Levin was already a pastry chef and sugar artist at the age of 18 when she decided to translate her flair for decorating into a career in fashion, designing hats and accessories. After moving to Florida in 2000 she began making cakes for friends as a hobby but her over-thetop, outrageous, celebrity-style cakes soon set her on a lucrative new career path.

Edible: What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Alla: “Follow your dreams no matter how old you are, listen to your gods and let it flow.”

The Cake Zone: 
5015 Fort Hamer Rd, Parrish; 

whisk egg yolk
rolling pin flour

Heavenly Cupcakes

Becky Shultes comes from a family of entrepreneurs and she approaches her life and business with the same enthusiasm that her customers approach her cupcakes. Becky caters to every kind of sweet tooth from the decadent to the health-conscious—Paleo cupcakes, anyone? Bet you can’t eat just one.

Edible: What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Becky: “Go for what you’re passionate about no matter what, believe in what you’re doing, and you will be successful.”

Heavenly Cupcakes: 
6538 Gateway Ave, Sarasota;

Pastries by Design

Sandi Byers managed a pastry shop in Buffalo, NY, whilst completing her accounting degree, then spent 13 years as a corporate accountant. Last year she bought Pastries by Design and she hasn’t looked back. Sandi draws inspiration from customer suggestions and exotic flavors such as Thai Tea Cake and Passion Fruit Mango can always be found alongside the chocolate and vanilla.

Edible: What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Sandi: “Be ready to work hard and stick with it and it will all be worth it in the end.”

Pastries by Design: 
10667 Boardwalk Lp, Lakewood Ranch;

Sift Bakehouse

Christine Nordstrom has a culinary pedigree that rivals that of a chef on a TV cooking show, with celebrity mentors and an impressive culinary education from Johnson & Wales, but she fell into making pastries almost by accident and now finds herself making hundreds of perfectly addictive scones and other confections every day for farmers’ markets and high-end events.

Edible: What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Christine: “Think about yourself, create your own life, respect your kids, build your business around the life that you want to have.”

Sift Bakehouse: 

The Short Giraffe Mini Confections and Catering

Bradenton native Leigh Growney considers Sarasota to be the “big city” that she moved to after high school. Even though Leigh is not a formally trained baker, the cakes she made for friends were so well received and in such high demand that the people around Leigh began to take notice and recognize that perhaps her passion and talent would be better spent concentrating on her “hobby” rather than her chosen career of high school social studies teacher.

Edible: What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Leigh: “Don’t be afraid to fail, don’t be afraid to make the jump, lean on your support system, and go for it!”

The Short Giraffe Mini Confections and Catering: 
1412 State St, Sarasota; 

Cupcakes a Go-Go

Lorrie Amodio was a kindergarten teacher from Connecticut with a degree in fine art and a secret passion for decorating cakes when a high school friend, Sheree Origi, suggested that she move to Florida so that they could start a business together. Six years and multiple awards later the friends are still going strong.

Edible: What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Lorrie: “Go to business school and get as much hands-on experience as you can.”

Cupcakes a Go-Go: 
2079 Siesta Dr, Sarasota; 

Article from Edible Sarasota at http://ediblesarasota.ediblecommunities.com/food-thought/edible-artisan-tough-cookies
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