Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Q&A with Michelle Poole of CakeKraft

As promised, here is my little interview with the oh-so-talented culinary wizard, Michelle Poole of CakeKraft.

1 ~ How would you describe CakeKraft?

CakeKraft is an all natural traditional and alternative baking company, specializing in special diets recipes.

2 ~ What inspired you to start CakeKraft?

I wanted a job that I looked forward to doing every day.....Some of my interests are baking/cooking, eating (!), and creating arts and CakeKraft is really a culmination of my favorite activities, which makes me love my work! I'm a bit of a "foodie" and am always in search of delicious food and desserts....and wanted to create desserts that measured up to the best. I also feel that sometimes it's hard for people with special diets to share in the dessert fun, and wanted to give them a product that was indistinguishable from the "real thing."

3 ~ When you aren't making your delicious desserts, what do you love to do for fun?

I love to be outdoors, walking and biking... just enjoying nature. Plus the exercise helps after all of the taste testing I need to do! : ) Going out to try new restaurants and food is also a constant favorite activity of mine...I love trying new things, especially foods and desserts from different parts of the world.

4 ~ How is CakeKraft different than other bakeries?

There are quite a few things that set CakeKraft apart from the competition. At CakeKraft I cater to many different diet needs (gluten free, dairy free, eggless, low fat), and put as much time and attention into these alternative recipes as my traditional recipes. The alternative baked goods that I sell are really quite tasty! Even people who aren't on a special diet can opt for a healthier treat and still be completely satisfied with their choice. You'll find that CakeKraft cakes and European-style buttercreams are less sweet than the competition; perfectly suited for "grown-up" tastes. I only use all natural ingredients....never any artificial color or flavors, both of which are pretty hard to get away from these days. I support the local and organic farms in the area and buy from them as often as possible, which makes for a fresher product....and helps the environment! Any ingredient originating overseas (coffee, cocoa, sugar) are fair trade certified, which ensures good working conditions for any involved laborers. And the icing on the cake..I strive to provide the best customer service available, so that you get exactly the right dessert, exactly when you want it.

5~ Where does your love of food and cooking come from?

I've always loved food.....and my travels to different parts of the world definitely impacted my love of food and desire to try new things. My mom and dad both cook, and for as long as I can remember, I was allowed to "help" with the household cooking and baking. The act of creating a delicious dish was always so much fun, and once I grew older, learning the real craft of cooking and baking became a new pleasure in my life.

6 ~ What inspires you in general?

Creative people who are passionate about their craft.

7 ~ What, if anything, would you like to see in the cake & dessert world for 2009?

I love simple, elegant and classic desserts that feature fresh flavors and are not too more of these would be welcome! In addition, I'd love to see bakers becoming more environmentally friendly....buying local and organic whenever possible, and making conscientious choices about their packaging.

8 ~Do you have any advice to brides or potential customers when searching for the perfect cake or dessert for their wedding or party?

Save pictures of cakes that you like and bring them (or email them) to your will be much easier/quicker to arrive at your perfect cake if you have a jumping off point. Likewise, have ideas in mind about flavors, fillings, and buttercreams which will help your baker cater to your tastes and arrive at a perfect final product.

9 ~ What is one piece of advice to other creative types who are looking to start their own business?

Networking is essential to establishing your business...join up with an entrepreneur's group in your area to help you on your way. You never know who you may meet that can help you!

10 ~ What's your favorite thing to do on a Saturday afternoon?

I love going to Whole Foods and just wandering around, checking out the new products, brainstorming how I can use new ingredients in my desserts....I could spend hours in there!

Thank you Michelle! Your words of wisdom and inspiration will un-doubtedly help many a Bride, and I look forward to many wonderful reviews and tastings with CakeKraft in the future!

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