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Weddings, from Over the Top to Understated

We’re in the thick of wedding season here at Twiggs Bakery and we’re rolling them out.  There’s a lot to show off, so I’ll get right to it.  We don’t do a lot of wedding cakes covered in fondant, but occasionally there’s a bride who really wants a wedding cake that’s ready for it’s Martha Stewart photo shoot.  This bride had been planning her wedding for a long time — she’d booked her cake with Twiggs more than a year in advance.  When I walked into the reception room at the Hyatt downtown, that long planning was obvious — the room was stunning.  She got a very elegant cake complete with Cinderella’s coach on top.  The cake really made a statement and looked great in the room.

Rudy and Rocky live in Las Vegas but wanted a destination wedding in America’s Finest City, rather than Sin City.  These guys were REALLY into their cake, going so far as to order about twice as much cake as they needed because they wanted a real statement piece.  Although they got married in San Diego, they brought Vegas with them in their cake design which they were extremely involved in.  I did enjoy working on the cake and all the time we spent with them paid off when Rocky teared up when he first saw his cake.  It made quite the statement.

Isabelle is another bride who wanted a real statement cake — a stairstep cake complete with bling ribbon and a mini Prada bag.  The duck bride and groom atop the cake are a Korean tradition.

The Ultimate Skybox is in the penthouse of a building directly next to Petco Park.  It has a spectacular view of downtown San Diego, the bay, Coronado and out to the Pacific Ocean.  When the Padres are out of town, it’s a fantastic venue with a very urban feel that almost anyone would love.  When the Padres are in town, they’re either a very fun bonus to your wedding (the Skybox looks directly down onto the ball field) or a huge distraction, depending on your perspective.  If you have your wedding here, you’re having Creative Affairs by Amanda coordinate your wedding, as the venue requires this.  We’re extremely fortunate that Amanda and her team really like us and refer us routinely.  Courtney, one of Amanda’s assistants, told me on my last delivery there that we’d done the last 5 weddings there, which is great.  So here are the last two cakes I’ve delivered there:  the first with a skyline on the bottom tier reflecting the city surroundings.  The second is a dessert buffet with a small wedding cake in the center with a big statement flower that we made.  The picture of this buffet gives you a feel for the view from the Skybox.  Dessert buffets are all the rage now and I recently came up with a separate price list for dessert buffet options since so many couples are interested in this.

Here are three other cakes we did that were pretty cool and a little different.  The first has a cascade of gumpaste anemones and roses, the second is a combination of lace and “pearls” and the third has a very pretty blue “wave” border at the base of each tier.  I was  little skeptical about this last one, but when I piped that border when I set the cake up, I stepped back and thought “wow, that looks great!”  You can click on any of these pictures to see a larger image.

  

Before I move off wedding cakes, I’m going to show a few pictures of rather understated designs that we do every weekend, but these are particularly nice examples.  We do 2-3 Triple Swiss Dot wedding cakes every weekend.  The first is a white cake with some daisies and yellow puffballs that looked like summer.  The second is a pastel yellow cake with green ribbons, another very summer look.  We often put fresh flowers on cakes, which I really enjoy doing.  There were a wide variety of flowers for this cake.  Initially I was only going to use the white flowers since the cake had yellow and green.  I thought with more colors, the cake would start to look less and less like a wedding cake.  But then I looked around the room and saw the centerpieces which were a riot of color.  I figured that was the bride’s taste, so I used all the colors on the cake and it ended up looking great.  Then there’s a cake frosted in a very rustic “stucco” style that’s extremely popular right now.  The flowers available for this cake were just great.

   

Over the years, I’ve set up cakes with some rather odd and sometimes questionable backdrops.  But this next one may be my absolute favorite.  I’m not sure how the bride felt about it, but I just loved the Johnny Cash prison mug shot looking down on the cake in this private home (the bride’s brother’s house).

Of course, we’ve been doing more than wedding cakes in the last month.  I think they’re all pretty self explanatory, so I’ll just show the pictures.  Click on any image to see a larger one.

  

  

  

 

I devote these blog posts to our cakes, but there’s more to our business than just doing cakes.  We have a huge morning breakfast business and both of our locations are real community centers.  While our cakes draw in customers from all over San Diego, our cafés generally draw in folks from a mile radius.  Over the years, our every day customers form bonds and real friendships.  We’ve celebrated weddings, births and birthdays with our customers.  And, unfortunately, occasionally one of our friends passes on.

Hal Vermillion was — to my knowledge — the oldest customer we’ve had.  When we first opened our Adams Avenue location, Hal was an every day customer.  At that point, Hal was 92.  He still lived on his own and would walk the 4 blocks to Twiggs each morning for his cup of coffee and Danish.  Hal had no real family.  Of course, his parents had passed on and his sole sister had passed on at a very young age.  He’d never married and had no children, so Hal was on his own in many ways — except for the circle of friends he cultivated at Twiggs.  Over time, he came to Twiggs less often.  His final visit was for a celebration of his 98th birthday, for which he wrote us a wonderful thank you note.  In his final months, several of the friends Hal had developed at Twiggs visited him at his home.  Hal was the definition of a gentleman.  He was always dapper and wore a fedora along with dress slacks and a pressed shirt every day.  He was an exceedingly kind person who especially loved dogs.  I think some of Hal’s best friends were some of the neighborhood dogs who he fed biscuits to each day.  Hal wrote a short essay on his life to be read at his memorial service, which was mostly attended by folks he knew from Twiggs.  In the note, Hal reviewed his life and closed with “although my life has not been very eventful, I’ve had a very happy life.”  Who could ask for more than that.  Rest in peace, Hall.  1916-2014.  You are missed.

 

 

 

 
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