22 Nov 2009 One slice of success, please
Brandy Huffman is the owner of The Littlest Cake Shop in Cabot. Steadily approaching her first year anniversary, she’s thankful that her business has flourished. Before opening the cake shop, her hand- crafted masterpieces were created and baked out of her own home. Her offerings started basic but have since blossomed into something far more notable.
“If you can give me a picture, and I’ve got something to work with, there’s a good chance I can do it,” she explains. But it didn’t all start in Cabot. And her techniques didn’t all start in a classroom.
A family’s love of baking and dedication to the craft has paved the way to The Littlest Cake Shop. Both of her parents enjoyed baking and decorating cakes and passed down the baking tradition to Huffman. “I saw how much they enjoyed it,” she said. Growing up in a military family, she has never lived in one place for too long, but baking “was something our family could always do. It didn’t matter where we lived.”
Huffman first started seriously experimenting with baking and cake-making while she was pregnant with her first daughter, Cayleigh. “I found it really fun, trying to do something different – so I started making her birthday cakes. Each year, I would try to do something that I hadn’t done before. Then, when I had Madalynn, I started making them even more.”
Along with her girls’ birthday cakes, she was making special occasion cakes for her friends and family. Eventually, a friend involved Huffman in a few catering events, leading to her first wedding cake. “I was just doing it so much, I thought, ‘why not open my own shop?’ ”
The space she chose needed a complete overhaul: walls knocked down, walls put up, paint, furniture, not to mention the installation of a kitchen, complete with all the necessary equipment that goes into baking and decorating. Huffman and her family did all the work themselves, and the rest is cake history.
The experiences leading up to the opening of The Littlest Cake Shop helped Huffman in expanding her repertoire. She is self taught, having attended only a few cake- decorating classes, and all the recipes used are impressively her own. “Everything has my own tweak on it,” she says. She makes all of her own icing as well and is the only employee, with the exception of occasional help from her mother and husband.
It’s safe to say that Huffman has the potential to join the big league cake decorators, like those seen on such television shows as Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss. A cake she made for a bridal shower with a tea party theme actually looked like a table set for a tea party: a pink table cloth and four table settings, each with plates, cups and even a centerpiece!
Aside from the abundant business from cake orders, Huffman keeps a deli-case fully stocked with different sweet treats for walk- in customers needing a quick sugar fix or a preview of just what Huffman’s cakes are all about. “There’s always something new, and that’s what people really love.”
Starting small doesn’t always mean ending that way. “I had 16 cakes due last Saturday,” Huffman said. Success is proving sweet for The Littlest Cake Shop in Cabot.