Listen up Iqaluit. If you crave cake, help’s on the way
Iqaluit woman to open cake-making business
It’s easy to start a business in Iqaluit when you have support from your family and friends, says Sadie Vincent-Wolfe, who is opening up a specialty cake shop next month.
She loves baking and after about a year and a half of selling birthday and wedding cakes out of her home, Vincent-Wolfe is making plans to open a shop called I Like Cake, on the first floor of the Tumiit building, across from the post office.
Her cake-making has grown just by word of mouth.
“It’s been growing and getting busier and I’m running out of space so we decided, my husband kept [telling] me, get it out of the house,” Vincent-Wolfe said.
Her goal is to open in time for Valentine’s Day, where she’ll sell cake by the slice, as well as cupcakes, cookies, squares, tea, coffee and drinks.
Though there won’t be a table to sit at, Vincent-Wolfe hopes to get a lot of take out traffic from people dropping in.
“I’ll be like a one-stop dessert shop,” she said.
As the youth project officer at the Kakivak Association, Vincent-Wolfe said she’ll keep working at Kakivak full time, and plans to bake in the evenings, which is what she currently does.
“My evenings are full of cake already, so it’ll be nice to not do it at home,” she said.
Eventually, Vincent-Wolfe wants her cake business to grow to a point where it will be busy enough for her to bake cakes full time.
“I love it, and I don’t think without my husband, backing me up with it and helping me out, I don’t think I’d be in a position to be opening a shop,” she said.
With three young children aged seven, five, and 20 months, Vincent-Wolfe knows she’ll be busy.
The space used by I Like Cake is about 600 square feet, with the walls painted bright orange and an extra room for her to locate her ovens and supplies, most of which she paid for herself and the rest with a grant from Kakivak.
Finding a location for the shop was the hard part, she said.
The entrepreneur still has to obtain a fire inspection and a health inspection before she can get a business license.
“That’s what’s dragging on now,” she said.
But after attending an Inuit women in business workshop last year put on by Pauktuutit, the national Inuit women’s organization, Vincent-Wolfe said she felt confident in starting a business.
“It’s really then that I felt confident enough that I could go ahead with something and I know there’s a lot of support there,” she said.
“It’s getting so busy that I’m ready to take the next step.”
With popular cake shows on television, “everybody wants something extravagant that will impress their guests,” Vincent-Wolfe said.
So far, she’s made three wedding cakes, one of which went to Baker Lake and made it there with minimal damage.
“I’m hoping it’s something that catches on with new brides,” she said.
However, Vincent-Wolfe still enjoys making birthday cakes and does so every weekend, making up to nine over the course of two days.
“I really like making birthday cakes. I prefer to work with fondant, over buttercream, because it looks a lot cleaner and smoother and there’s so much you can do with it, you can paint onto it you can mould it into different things, it’s a lot of fun to work with,” she said.
But her family isn’t so keen on cakes anymore.
“There’s just so much cake in my house all the time, my family doesn’t eat that much cake anymore except if it’s something they want,” she said.
Her cakes are special because everything is homemade.
“My cakes are from scratch, I make my own fondant, I bought nice paint sets, to go with my food coloring.”
Vincent-Wolfe also uses an edible photo printer to transfer pictures onto cakes.
“I’m looking forward to growing in my abilities to what I can do, pushing the limits on the sizes of cakes that I’ve done,” she said.
Her favorite part is seeing the reaction of people when they get their cake, “like ‘oh my husband’s going to love this or oh my daughter’s going to be so happy,” she said.
But getting the proper ingredients to bake with can be a challenge sometimes.
“It’s never that fast,” she said.
So Vincent-Wolfe prefers older cookbooks “that have simple ingredients not a quarter teaspoon of eight different ingredients to make one taste.”
The prices will remain the same once the shop opens, at about $80 for a cake that feeds 20 to 25 people, and going up from there.
A two-tiered round cake is about $100.
Vincent-Wolfe, who lived in Yellowknife until age 14 before moving to Manitoba, Alberta and then Iqaluit, says baking reminds her of her dad.
“We were always in the kitchen, our favorite part of the meal is dessert.”