Naked cakes without outside icing
Painted with the couple’s dating story
Edible photos of the couple
Baking is a piece of cake for Susan Thompson.
The owner of Sweet Events bakery in Johns Creek has been trimming cakes since the age of 16 when she first started working as a cake decorator at a Dairy Queen. A local baker taught her how to do some garnishing, and she was hooked.
Later on, she went to school to study accounting and ventured into the corporate world, eventually making her way up to a senior management position. All the while, she was continuing to make cakes on the side as a hobby mostly.
But in 2014, she decided to make her passion a full-time focus and left her job to create Sweet Events.
“It just wore on you, and there was not a lot of joy in my life,” Thompson said. “I had to sit back and think about what brings me joy and what can I support myself with. Baking really came back to the forefront. I enjoy helping people make something that is already special to them even more special.”
Getting to see the couple’s joy is a big factor for Thompson. She wanted to create more positive experiences for clients.
“It’s really about making that day special,” she said. “Seeing the bride and groom’s faces light up is so awesome.”
Part of making the experience special is creating unique orders, something she’s able to do by having her own business. She’s able to offer couple’s what they want, rather than being restricted by bakery limitations.
“At a custom bakery, we can adjust the level of sweetness and make the cake look exactly like you want it to look, not what fits into our pricing models,” Thompson said. “If the cake is a big deal to you, it is worth going with a custom bakery that is going to spend the time and make the cake exactly what you want. It’s going to be more expensive, not that much more, but you’re going to get exactly what you want.”
All cakes are not equal between a grocery store, a bakery or a custom bakery like Sweet Events.
A lot of times, couples get something that tastes great, but is pretty plain looking .Or something that looks incredible but isn’t tasty. And cheap is not always good, Thompson said.
“It’s all about the bride and groom and what’s unique about them and what they like,” she said. “I try to incorporate all of that. A franchise or a store bakery is very set in what they can offer. They can’t go outside the box because everything is set to manage costs and have certain hours spent on a cake, and that’s it. With a custom bakery that’s not the case.”
With all of this flexibility, Thompson is able to offer almost anything a couple might want. Clients choose from three packages: classic, expressions and dream cake, to determine how elaborate they want their dessert to be. She’s able to deliver the creation for free for 15 miles, but past that, she charges a fee and sometimes suggests they might want to get their cake closer to the reception.
She holds consultations with the couples leading up to the big day, but she can scrap the plan and start over up to three weeks before the wedding.
“There are trends out there, but if those don’t fit you that’s fine,” Thompson said. “There is something out there that will fit you better and will be really cool. A custom bakery can sit down and be creative with you.”
One of her most recent cakes included traditional cake as a layer, but also brownies – because that’s the bride’s favorite – and cheesecake – because the groom doesn’t eat cake. She’s currently working on a dessert bar for a wedding where the couple is only offering sweets and no sit-down dinner.
“There’s just so much you can do,” Thompson said. “The big part of it is getting past the boundary of what is typical, and going into what we can do. It’s like the perfect combination of Legos and Play-Doh, with engineering and conforming the food form to what the client wants.”
Working out of her home is another unique aspect to Sweet Events. Thompson is able to have clients come over to discuss their choices, deliver completed cakes without store hour restrictions and will soon be offering classes to teach cake decorating techniques, like icing.
“It’s about making it really special for the couple,” she said. “They might not get custom guidance from other places. We sit and discuss all the aspects of what the cake will look like. I want the best for your wedding.”
To learn more about Sweet Events, visit sweeteventsjc.com or facebook.com/pg/SweetEventsJohnsCreek. ■