Women Crush Wednesday Sugar Edition
I’m Daniele DiChiara, of Bake Me A Cake, in East Rockaway, New York. Bake Me A Cake came to fruition when my youngest daughter was turning one in 2015. She has some food allergies; this made finding her a cake, that wouldn’t harm her, quite difficult. SO, as any mother would do, I baked her a cake. I had to accommodate a soy, egg, and dairy allergy, while still making awesome cake. Hard? Yes. Impossible? NO! I had been baking for years, I made my first daughter’s cakes and sweets for her birthday as well. I had taken a few courses.I became a certified Wilton Instructor and taught basic cake decorating too. I liked it very much as a hobby. However, very quickly after I made the allergy friendly cake, did local people start to notice, and have an interest. I really feel that everyone should be able to enjoy themselves with cake, and for so many with food allergies, intolerances, or aversions have been out casted. Some bakers and bakeries are so afraid to TRY. So I saw an opportunity to get to a market of people that were otherwise overlooked. That’s where it all began!
The most challenging thing about running Bake Me A Cake?? The balance of it all. I’m a mom of three, a wife, AND a full time middle school teacher, in addition to Bake Me A Cake. It definitely has its moments, like right now, at midnight, I’m writing this so that I haven’t interfered with the rest of the life that is happening during waking hours. But then, there are these other moments, when all the pieces fall in to place, and cakes are baked level, and the icing is whipped just right, and you put a smile to a kid’s face who hasn’t had a “good cake” EVER because of food allergies. That’s when I know it’s all worth it.
Starting a business is hard work. in today’s world, people are getting used to INSTANT gratification, INSTANT feedback, INSTANT success. That just doesn’t happen when starting a business. You have to be ready to work 5x more than you ever expected. You have to be ready to lose a little (or a lot) before you see success. You have to be ready for NO ONE to help you. You have to be ready for everyone to WANT to help you, but not know how. You have to be ready for it all. And, you have to be patient, that if you continue along your path, things will settle into place, and begin to work. You have to persevere. I have been baking cakes for the public for three years. I have done everything I could possibly do (aside from quit teaching) in order to make my business work. And I make it work for me. Success doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years upon years. And at this point, to family and friends, I appear successful. To the Cake community, or the world, I’m barely noticed. But that’s ok! I know that in time, I will be there. I know that I’m not giving up any time soon. I know that I will continue to put in the hard work and dedication I always have from the beginning. And, I know that when I am ready to bake full time, when I am ready to leave teaching, I know, that I will still love baking as much as I do right now.
I try very hard for baking to fit into my current life. I have an amazing group of family members who won’t bake with, or for me, but they will take my kids for the night so that I can. My husband has taken over bedtime routines so that I can start the week’s cakes a little earlier; I wake up before the sun so I can bake before breakfast, and I have found a baking schedule to fit into my life schedule. I truly hope that in time I can make this career a full time one, and that like so many others I don’t burn out. I see left and right entrepreneurs leaving their business’ behind; and I can’t help but wonder, are they giving up because it’s not working, or are they giving up because it’s not working fast enough. In time I see myself with a small quaint coffee shop that happens to make allergy friendly custom cakes and sweets, but I don’t see that happening tomorrow, or next month, or even next year. I’m thinking way long term from here. But in thinking long term, I am making my goals realistic. And, if the cards fall in the right places at the right times, and I can make my baking dreams happen sooner? I’ll take it!
Thanks for taking the time to read all about Bake Me A Cake!