Martha Stewart opened the door to unconventional cake design and soon brides all across America were marching into local bakeries demanding unique wedding cake designs.
Just as a square or round tiered wedding cake is thought of as an old tradition, we must now say that unique cake design is fast becoming a new tradition.
It’s a given that Ron Zammit of ‘Cakes by Ron’ creates beautiful and unique wedding cakes but; we wanted to find out a little more about the man behind the cake.
So we thought we’d go out, talk to Ron and see if we could get to the bottom of his delicious story.
So let’s shake off the cake flour and get right to the questions:
How He Learned To Bake Cakes: “believe it or not I started in the shoe repair business, that’s what my parents did for a living, and we went from there. I started taking lessons from a local bakery- cake shop – and I was really good at it, I was really good with my hands.
So I started taking cake classes and then I went on to teaching the classes. I was making cakes for friends and family out of my home and then it started growing into this business.
In the beginning my wife and kids would leave for the weekends because there were so many cakes in the house.
After being in the shoe business for so many years – finally I came home and told my wife – ‘were selling the shop and going into the cake business.’
And that’s how it happened.
Two weeks later it was sold and all of a sudden we were out on the street looking for a place to put a cake shop. So, basically that’s how we started.
As far as background goes, I’ve never been to culinary school…I don’t have any kind of a professional background.”
On Making Challenging Wedding Cakes: “I totally go for that kind of stuff; after a while you know, you can do just so many three tiered stacked cakes. You know when you get a challenge like that, I think it’s thrilling, I love doing challenges.”
What’s The Most Challenging Cake That You’ve Done: “I created a grand piano, it was a life size grand piano. A bride came in and said ‘can you do this’ and I said sure. I had no idea what I was gonna do.
But I figured it out.
It was a success when it was done. It was really cool.”
What’s Hot Right Now: “Brides like different flavors in each one of the (tiers) cakes. most people aren’t overly extravagant, they like simple, a lot of people are concerned with nut allergies and they don’t want to go to over-the-top.
And some people are like ‘this is my wedding cake and I’m gonna do whatever I want.’
Typically pretty simple though, because when their serving 100 to 150 people they want people to eat the cake.”
On Cupcakes Used In Place of Traditional Wedding Cakes: “That been going on for a couple of years now. Their used for a lot more casual weddings, like beach weddings and things. It’s a lot easier, nobody has to cut the cake – basically they just go up and pick out what they want and um – it works.”
Tips For Brides: “I would say, probably like bringing in color swatches – brides tend to walk in and say you know ‘my color is seabrease’ – they change the names on the colors like every year, and you know, to me, I could see seabrease as really green while it could really be more like a cool blue you know.
Brides don’t need to bring a piece of the dress, just bring in something that shows the color, bring in something with them. It makes things a lot simpler – and then we don’t have to hunt down a piece of the color.
And we custom design our cakes, so the sky’s the limit. Bring in magazine photos, we can reproduce magazine photos.”
On The Kind of Cakes Ron Likes to Make: “I like the really big stuff, I think its fun to do. It’s a challenge to me. Just the whole engineering of it and building it and figuring out how it’s gonna stand – It’s just really cool to build a big giant cake.”
On Cake Styles: “Lately more of the cakes have been on the simplistic side, things are still stacked on top of each other and a tendency to like more vintage things. Um, so as far as the shapes of the cakes go still the squares and the rounds.”
How do You Control Yourself From Eating Too Much Cake: “Well it’s like anything when you work in a place – like a hamburger place after a while you’re like ‘I don’t want any more of that.’
Every once in awhile if I’m at a party I’ll have a piece of it. Just checking for quality control – just seeing if everything is good(Laughing).”
What Ron Wants People To Know: “We’re artists in here, I take a lot of pride in what I do, there’s a passion behind what I do. It’s not just cake decorating. I see cake stuff everywhere I go you know – I go into a store and see a vase and think that that would be really cool.
You know we’re still the mom and pop type shop and um, we put a lot of passion in what we do, this is hard work.
All the television shows that are out now; they show that – ‘well that’s a lot of work – that’s not as easy as I thought it would be.’
Everything that your see in here – we make by hand.
Not one thing in here comes out of a box. And um, it’s all put together by hand, and it’s very time consuming. But, it’s ok, because that’s what we love to do you know, and I don’t mind taking what a bride wants whether she saw it in a magazine or she saw it on television or whatever.
It’s like that’s what I want, like ‘I can do that for you’ but it’s gonna cost – because it’s my time involved in this.
We spend an abundance of time in the shop working just to get all that stuff prepared and created. I think people are more understanding now because of all the new t.v. shows that are out.”
Ron Last Question; Tell Me Something Most People Don’t Know About You: “I sing. I’m a tenor, a vocalist. I sing at my church, I’ve got all my kids involved in that. My youngest one plays keyboard, I have my oldest daughter who just moved to North Carolina and she’s a vocalist too.
We’re very involved in the church. And that’s another passion of ours, we love doing that.
Um, and I’m a cook, I love to cook. When we get home at night and it’s late – so I’ll cook instead of going out somewhere.”
End of Interview.
Sarasota Wedding Ideas wants to thank Ron Zammit of Cakes by Ron for sitting down for this interview with us.
Sarasota has a few quality wedding cake artists and Ron is surely one of them.
Ron’s one of the really nice guys out there too, thoughtful and soft spoken. It was a pleasure getting to know more about him and his business.
Brides can catch up with Ron at the Fruitville Avenue shop, Ron can be reached during regular store hours, he’ll probably answer the phone – he did when I called.