After glancing over a gallery of Anne Heap’s cake creations you would never know that her original career of choice was not cake decorating, but instead, advertising. Back in 2001 while working in advertising, Anne would satisfy her colleagues sweet tooth by bringing in freshly baked cupcakes, cookies and cakes. Little did everyone know that no more than three years later, Anne removed herself from the office world and began selling her yummy treats to a local gourmet specialty shop.
Her love for baking was so strong that she pursued it by enrolling at The French Culinary Institute, NYC, (now The International Culinary Center), and later completed an apprenticeship with Ron Ben-Israel in NYC. In 2005, Pink Cake Box was born out of a restaurant kitchen and thanks to the success of Anne and her very talented staff, it now stands on its own in Denville, NJ - and has just experienced a recent expansion.
So, if your tastebuds are craving a sweet treat, head on over to Pink Cake Box and try one of their cupcakes – (they are out of this world), and rightly so since being voted best cupcake in the nation by The Daily Meal!
Here is Anne Heap’s cake story. . .
Cake philosophy: Our cakes are a collaboration of artistry and delicious time tested recipes. I love clean lines, while maintaining a sense of whimsy. After all, it is cake!
Brief history of your business and how you got to where you are today?
After graduating from Boston College in 2001, I went into Advertising. After a few years, my passion for baking led me to leave my job and pursue my dream. After graduating from The French Culinary Institute in New York City, and completing an internship with Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, I opened Pink Cake Box in 2005. I started my business while working as a Pastry Chef at Il Capriccio, in Whippany, NJ. Soon the business grew, and we moved to our custom cake studio in Denville, NJ.
We have been featured on The Food Network, TLC, CNN, BRAVO, The Style Network, as well as numerous magazines and newspapers, including People, and The New York Times. In addition, we have launched an education site, www.pinkcakeboxu.com, where we offer tutorials, DVD's, Craftsy classes, tips and Pink Cake Box classes. This past July, we also opened a small retail boutique www.boutique.pinkcakebox.com, selling cupcakes, buttercream cakes, cookies and more!
How do you see your business growing over the next few years?
We will continue to concentrate on education, as it seems that the industry is headed that way. We will of course continue to develop flavors, techniques and designs to keep our work relevant and fresh. Over the past few years, we have added the education piece and the retail boutique.
How were you first introduced to Satin Ice:
I use Satin Ice because it is easy to work with and offers a tremendous array of colors. Plus, it has a really great flavor that compliments our cake very well! When customers come in and say, "We don't like fondant," I let them try it and they are always amazed! They soon learn they can have the beauty of fondant, without compromising on the flavor.
Is there one particular project that stands out as significant or that you are particularly proud of?
We just recently made a life sized wedding dress cake for The Food Network's "Outrageous Wedding Cakes." This was a really large cake and had a lot of details included, in a short amount of time!
How much does fondant play a part in your business and it’s growth opportunity:
95% of our cakes are covered in fondant. We cannot achieve our designs without fondant, and most of the new techniques we develop use it as well. We find most clients want fondant cakes for its clean look, and vibrant colors that cannot be achieved with buttercream.
We are known for our clean lines, whimsical topsy-turvy cakes and realistic sculpted cakes. I find inspiration from invitations, floral decor, fabric, dresses, just to name a few!
I really love the cake we made for my mother's birthday - A hand-painted parrot tulip vase!
Most challenging cake:
Our winning LegoLand cake for TLC's "Ultimate Cake Off” It spun, lit up, had a working water slide, and was well over 7 feet tall!
Most unique cake you have ever done?
We just recently made a KISS totem pole cake for Nicole (our manager's) groom's cake!
What do you find most rewarding about cake decorating?
I love being able to create cakes for special and meaningful occasions. It's so rewarding hearing that we helped make a special event really sensational! Seeing a client's face when they open the box is priceless!
What is your best tip to share with other Satin Ice users?
Make sure your cake is chilled before applying your fondant!
Is there any advice that you can offer to beginner cake decorators?
Take your time, and don't be discouraged! My employees will attest that my first cakes were pretty terrible! We are always learning and refining!
Describe your cake decorating style in just 3 words:
Clean, whimsical, vibrant.
If you weren’t decorating cakes, what would you be doing?
Sleeping. . . Ha, Ha. . . No seriously, if I could handle blood, I'd be a doctor! Ask anyone who knows me; I already think I am one! :)
Name: Anne Heap
Boston College, BA English 2001
The French Culinary Institute, Pastry Arts 2005
Business Name & Location:
Pink Cake Box
18 East Main Street Denville, NJ 07834
Number of Employees: 10
Don’t forget to check out Anne’s Artist of Excellence page for more amazing cakes!