BCakeNY, a custom cake shop, moved into their new bakery and office at 702 Washington Avenue earlier this year, now a long way from their humble beginnings as a one-woman home business.
Owner Miriam Milord began her baking career in 2008, while planning a friend’s baby shower. Not finding the right cake for the party, she decided to try her hand at making her own. Garnering rave reviews for the cake, Milord was soon taking orders for two to three cakes per week, based purely on word of mouth.
Three months later, Milord was renting commercial kitchens in Downtown Brooklyn and then Manhattan’s Lower East Side. But the Prospect Heights resident was looking for a shorter commute, and a place to set up a permanent space.
“I wanted to be in Prospect Heights the whole time,” said Milord.
Taking over the officially on January 1, Milord rented the previous owner’s stove and within the first week, BCakeNY had baked their first cake in their new home.
Today, with two full-time employees and four interns, Milord and her BCakeNY team churn out about 20 decorated cakes per week, for baby showers, birthdays and weddings. They’ve even made cakes for the baboons at the Prospect Heights Zoo (a special mix of banana, carrot and wheat flour), Kourtney Kardashian, Jimmy Fallon and P. Diddy (“We were a little nervous,” said Milord, of the famously picky rapper).
“With those people, we’re flattered [to work with them], but it’s nicer to see the neighborhood three-year-old freaking out about his birthday cake,” said Milord.
Other notable creations include an edible rendering of Teunis G. Bergen P.S. 9, donated for a school fundraiser, and a huge Louis Vuitton-printed chaise lounge, adorned with Christian Louboutin shoes, a Gucci purse, a bottle of Moet and an iPhone – all made out of cake.
Milord remembers the hardest part of creating that cake was placing tiny sugar crystal "diamonds" on the stiletto heel with tweezers and a steady hand.
A former designer herself, who has worked in sculpture, Milord said the jump from art to cakes was a fluid one.
“As an artist, it’s easy to translate things to sugar,” she said before laughing. “Okay, maybe not always easy.”
BCakeNY holds tastings open to the public every Tuesday and Wednesday from 1-7 p.m., where prospective clients can flip through their book of extravagant cakes. Milord said the cakes they have done range in price from $75-7,500, but for the most part, potential clients are prepared to spend about $300-500 for a sculpted cake.
The minimum time it takes for the team to create a cake is about three hours, but they average at about 12 hours. The “real crazy cakes,” like the Louis Vuitton couch cake, take about a week to create, according to Milord.
BCakeNY also does a lot of custom cupcake orders, which at $2.50 each, are a slightly more affordable option, said Milord.
And while she said business has been doing well on it’s own, Milord agreed that the craze for baking shows like “Cake Boss” has definitely sparked interest in custom cakes, and also helped potential clients to see the time and effort that goes into these creations, which is then reflected in the cost.
“We have our own style, and we do things our way,” said Milord. “It’s not a $40 sheet cake from the store.”