Our July Vendor Spotlight features David and Bryan of Flower and Flour bakery. The two combined their mutual love of baking to create their first wedding cake in 2003. They started as a licensed home-based bakery, but quickly grew and moved to their current studio and bakery in Carolina Beach. The bakery has become known for its wildly intricate and true-to-life sugar flowers, made to adorn boutique-style cakes.
|J. David Reid
Owner & Cake Artisan
Owner & Cake Artisan
IS: Cake tasting’s gotta be the most delicious part of planning a wedding! How does it work? What is your planning process?
F&F: We want this to be the most fun part of planning. Designing a cake starts with finding a common ground with everyone involved. We never make the same cake twice; we create a unique design every time. It challenges us to do things differently. Therefore, we spend a lot of time learning our clients’ story… how they became engaged, how they interact with each other and most importantly, their personal style. We ask brides about their wedding dress, flowers, color scheme and vendors to paint a picture of “the big day.”
At a typical tasting, our clients will sample 7 different cakes. Everything comes from our original recipes, made from scratch. (We do not use any cake mixes!)
|Cake Design Concept|
IS: What else should a couple know about choosing their baker?
F&F: It’s important to know exactly which services your bakery will and will not provide. I’m pretty sure we’re the only bakery that provides turn-key service. Many others charge extra for things like delivery and setup, a proper cake stand, incorporating more than one flavor into their cake, use of fondant and even boxes for family and friends to take home any leftovers. When you start adding things on, the couple eventually feels nickeled-and-dimed – we know how uncomfortable that is.
Couples should also ask if their baker is familiar with the event venue, and especially here in the South, if their baker can properly create a cake for the climate. Most couples don’t realize that a cake that will sit outdoors must be constructed differently to prevent settling, condensation and compression. If your cake cannot be indoors in the air conditioning, at least make sure it will be in the shade!
IS: Fondant or Buttercream? What’s the difference? Why the debate?
F&F: This comes up at just about every tasting we have. Britain gets credit for the comeback of fondant, which actually started as a poured icing for things like petit-fours until the addition of gelatin (it’s really just sugar, glucose and water). Twenty-five cakes were made for Princess Diana’s wedding in 1981 — That’s when you saw the return of the “big wedding” and the beginning of today’s modern sugar art. Martha Stewart gets a lot of credit for bringing these ideas to the U.S. in later years.
Unfortunately, when U.S. companies started making cheap, bad tasting fondant, its reputation went downhill pretty fast. To this day, most bakeries and home bakers continue to use poor fondant, so people believe that all fondant is bad. The idea of having to peel it off your cake before you eat it is ridiculous! Always ask which brand your bakery uses and Google it. We use the best fondant we can find, which is a Swiss import. We even taste fondant at our consultations. Why not know what you’re paying for? Our cakes still have buttercream beneath the fondant, and we gain a porcelain smooth canvas to decorate. Ultimately, fondant helps the cake stay fresh and moist, protects the cake from the elements, and makes the cake look so much cleaner.
IS: Flower & Flour: just for wedding cakes?
F&F: We love all sweets! We’ve recently launched a new product line called “Petite Sweets.” These are mini-desserts designed for easy pick up and two to three yummy bites a piece. We really focused on creating sweets that don’t fall apart as you eat them – you can still have a conversation and hold your champagne! It took a lot of tweaking to get our recipes just right. Tartlettes, mini-cakes, cookies and our recipe-perfected Parisian Macaroons are great for parties and wedding favors.
|Hand-made Sugar Flowers|
Recent Wedding Cakes
Check out Flower & Flour at www.flowerandflour.com or call (910) 458-8557.