With her Grandmother as her biggest influence, Patty Reis loved to bake cakes from the time she was in grade school. Interesting that baking cupcakes for her own grade-schoolers bake sale lead to a new venture. The cupcakes were so well received that friends started to ask her to bake for their kids birthdays. A treasure chest cake she made for her son became a favorite. Three years ago she got a call from someone who wanted to order a cake. “But I don’t have a business,” was Patty’s response. “You make cakes right and I’ll pay you,” said the caller and Patty was in business.
Donations to local charities including the Darien Nature Center where Patty created a mommy hedgehog cake and baby hedgehog cupcakes lead to rave reviews. And not only were her cakes a wonder to look at, they were delicious. One woman came up to her and said about her devil’s food cake with dark chocolate ganache filling, “I don’t eat cake and I licked the plate, it was that good!”
Patty is a stickler for freshness. Baking at night, with cakes coming out of the oven sometimes at midnight, Patty enjoys baking in a quiet house. The icing put on at 2 am, Patty doesn’t mind cheating sleep to deliver a masterpiece that literally was baked a few hours prior. Her Grandmother’s influence keeps Patty’s style rooted in the 1950s with simple batter recipes and butter cream frostings. She is true to what she knows and loves. Her passion is to be in the kitchen covered in confectioners sugar. “It makes me so happy and baking is something I really enjoy.”
A favorite field trip would be to the city with a friend to visit the bakeries there where Patty collects the t-shirts offered at places such as The Magnolia Bakery, The Cupcake Cafe, and Billy’s Bakery. Or she’ll head to Brooklyn to see what the bakers there are offering to get ideas. Another favorite haunt is Dylan’s Candy Bar, where she imagines using the myriad of candies for her creations. Wherever she is, Patty is off to the local bakeries and candy shops for inspiration.
If she were to project 6 or 7 years into the future, when her 16 year old daughter and 14 year old son are in college, she would be in an apron in a store front and have a real cake business. She’s been asked to supply local cafes with her baked goodies but knows she needs to co-op a commercial kitchen to move to that level. She is exploring the idea but for now, she stays quite busy baking for birthdays, anniversaries, and one wedding she tried to turn down. The bride said “Your cake is so delicious, it’s all I want.” She baked that cake and even got a call from the bride on her honeymoon to thank her. Her kids love to help ice cupcakes and assemble orders, making pattycakes a true family venture.
Stay true to your style.