Stephanie Coleman, Taking Valley Cakes and Bakes to the Top Tier
Stephanie Coleman is a native of the Wenatchee Valley and owner of her business Valley Cakes and Bakes. She operates out of her commercial bakery attached to her home in East Wenatchee. It is a tiny area but makes it work. Here she bakes cookies, cupcakes, and cakes to sell every week at the Wenatchee Valley Farmer's Market. You can also see her work on Instagram - @valleycakesandbakes. In addition to vending at the market, Stephanie makes custom orders for people to pick up and wedding cakes for a busy summer wedding season. Her business is booming, and Valley Cakes and Bakes will soon be moving to a larger kitchen in the Rock Island area. Stephanie asked me to photograph her at work in her current location to document this stage of her business.
Stephanie has been in the cake business for twelve years, getting her start decorating cakes at her first job at Baskin and Robins. She took a break from cakes and attended the Art Institute of Seattle, studying Interior Design. Stephanie came to realize Interior Design was not as fulfilling as baking and cake design. She switched her major and received an Associate of Applied Arts Degree in Baking and Pastry from the Art Institute of Seattle and returned home to the Wenatchee Valley and cake decorating to grow it into a thriving business.
Stephanie says her favorite part of Valley Cakes & Bakes is watching it grow and evolve into what she always hoped and dreamed it would be. Her favorite part of working her business is the final stages of cake decorating, when all the ideas and elements come together to create the final look. Especially setting up wedding displays because there is enormous satisfaction in having the extra details to compliment the cake and desserts created. Stephanie says, "I love stepping back and taking in the final product." The busiest week of 2021 consisted of four weddings and filling 16 custom cake and cookie orders.
Stephanie is excited about the move to the new location. She envisions her business growing over the years, employing five or more people to assist her with daily production. She would like to be the most desired bakery to get custom cakes, special occasion cakes, wedding cakes, and desserts in the Wenatchee Valley and the greater surrounding area. Her goal is to sell at farmer's markets in the area, including Wenatchee, Cashmere, Leavenworth, Quincy, and Moses Lake. Stephanie says, "At this time, we don't have a cafe/storefront plan, and I don't see that happening in the future. Our focus will continue to be Weddings; Custom ordered Cakes/Cookies, and Farmer's Markets."
When she is not baking, Stephanie enjoys painting, growing houseplants, hiking, fishing, camping with her boyfriend and two dogs. Not only is Stephanie a popular vendor at the Wenatchee Valley Farmer's Market, but she also volunteers as a board member for the market. "While it's a lot of work, I love being a part of something that serves our community and small business owners like the market."
I always admire people who can run a thriving business and find time to return genuine support to their community and help others.
Keywords: Art Institute of Seattle, buy local, cake artisan, cake photography, Chelan County, custom cakes, Custom cookies, East Wenatchee, environmental portrait, farmers market, food photography, local, local bakery, local business, local food, rock island, wedding, wedding cake, Wenatchee, Wenatchee baker, Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market
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