Nine years ago, Shelley Feinstein decided to follow her dream of starting her own baking business, and with that, The Fine Bake Shop was born. Today, The Fine Bake Shop is a thriving business and Feinstein is looking to expand.
"I'd always baked and loved baking different things. I was the one who was always making chocolate chip cookies after school. My sister and I were always trying different things," Feinstein said. "My mom used to do our birthday cakes and she'd make all the different themes, and we just thought everyone baked like that. We lost her in 2003, but she was my inspiration."
Feinstein took a Wilton Cake Decorating class at a local craft store and was hooked.
"I said, 'This is fun. This is what I want to do,’" she recalled.
And she did.
Starting out with family and friends, through word of mouth, Feinstein grew her business one baby shower, wedding, baptism or birthday cake at a time.
"The business just kind of built and I got better and better as time went on," she said. "People would start to challenge me to do bigger and better. I went from doing sheet cakes to bigger cakes and even cupcakes."
One of her favorite parts of the business has been watching her customers' families grow as her business has grown over the years.
"I still have the same group of core customers and I've watched their families grow as I've made their baptism cakes, first birthday cakes, and then I see their kids for birthday cakes and I say, 'How old are you now?' and I really like that part of the business," Feinstein said.
The advent of popular baking shows about cake baking and cupcake baking has changed her business slightly, with an increase in cupcake sales and the fact that customers are more informed and have a much more detailed idea of what they'd like in their cakes when they place their orders.
However, Feinstein said that often times, her customers like the tried and true best when it comes to her cakes.
"I use a butter cream frosting, and most people really like that best. I'll use fondant if people ask for it, but everyone likes my butter cream," she said.
Just as important as the frosting, Feinstein believes that the key to a good cake is how it tastes.
"I'm not a cake snob by any means, but a cake has to taste really good, as well as look really good," she said.
As Feinstein's business has grown, so have her assignments.
"Cupcakes are huge right now, and I recently did a wedding for 200 people and they wanted 200 cupcakes," Feinstein said.
One of her most exciting assignments was a birthday cake for Rhode Island born actor James Woods.
"In 2009, I got a phone call from a woman who said she was James Woods' girlfriend and she was looking for someone to make him a simple but masculine birthday cake. At first I thought it was a joke, but I Googled him and found out that the woman's name matched up and she was calling from Los Angeles and so I made James Woods' birthday cake for his party. It was an ivory and brown cake with flowers and she wanted it to say, 'Happy Birthday Jimmy' on top," she said. "And he really was as nice as they say.”
Feinstein is currently in the process of expanding her business by securing a commercial kitchen in town, and she is gearing up for the holiday season.
"I'm available to do weddings, birthdays, showers, christenings, graduations and I even do cookies, although I don't specialize in it," she said. "I offer free delivery because I think it's a nice touch, and people like not having to worry about transporting their cakes."
For more information or to place an order, visit The Fine Bake Shop's website at wwww.thefinebakeshop.com or email Shelley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Orders can also be placed by phone at 451-9815.