As wedding photographers, we'll be the first to tell you that a lot goes into planning and executing your dream wedding. Quality, reliable vendors can make or break the main event!
Wedding clients often ask us for recommended vendors. After all, wedding photography is just one piece of the puzzle. For the average wedding, clients are also searching for the right caterer, bakery, planner, venue, DJ, and more. And we love suggesting local businesses we know and trust! That's why we're going to start showcasing some of our favorite local vendors to meet your Central Florida (and beyond!) wedding-needs. How sweet is that?!
Located across the street from us at the Leyre Photography Studio, in quaint downtown Lake Wales, Florida, Cocoa Cake Studio is making life a little sweeter with its incredible desserts and treats. We love Cocoa Cake Studio so much, for our first vendor spotlight blog post, we asked Rachel, the owner, to share a little about her business and what couples might expect when working with her to provide delicious goodies for their wedding.
Having seen (and tasted) our fair share of their baked goods, we often refer local couples looking for the perfect wedding cake or dessert to this adorable bakery!
About Cocoa Cake Studio
Leyre Photography: Tell us a little about the bakery and when it was established?
Rachel: This has been a lifelong dream, so when this space opened in my hometown we jumped on the opportunity. It took a few years to get the building in shape, but the timing was perfect. Having been in the baking industry as a Resort Pastry Chef for about 15 years it was time to do my own thing. We opened on October 25, 2018.
Leyre Photography: Could you describe the style and overall feel of the bakery?
Rachel: The bakery has a delicate vibe, light pink with a continually growing conversation wall. I have collected baking art, trinkets, and decor for years and it fits perfectly. We have created a friendly and small-town feel where most of our customers are regulars and we know their order before they ask and remember when they have upcoming special occasions to celebrate. We welcome new customers like they are old friends.
Leyre Photography: What kind of brides/grooms do you think you appeal to?
Rachel: We cater to a variety of brides/grooms, anywhere from country rustic or shabby chic, to elegant and sparkly. we keep up with the trends as well as accommodating the very traditional weddings. We offer vegan cakes as well as other dietary needs.
Leyre Photography: What are a few things that are must-knows for Brides and Grooms looking at your bakery? What makes it unique?
Rachel: We like to meet with the bride and groom for tastings so we can get a genuine feel of their likes/dislikes to find the perfect cake for them and to present new options they might not have considered. I have a degree in Baking & Pastry Arts so I might be able to offer a flavor or item that most other bakeries aren't familiar with.
Ordering a Wedding Cake
Leyre Photography: How far in advance will a wedding cake be made?
Rachel: The cake is typically a 2-day process, a day to bake and cool and a day to crumb coat, final ice, and decorate. We don't use freezers so everything is baked fresh.
Leyre Photography: What is your delivery process?
Rachel: For deliveries outside of Lake Wales, we have a minimum $45 delivery/setup fee. Outside of Polk County, the fee may increase. We use a special insulated cake carrier to travel with the cake and then drive about 20 MPH-just kidding! We prefer to deliver instead of brides/grooms families picking up unless it is a very small and manageable cake.
Leyre Photography: Do you supply cake stands and knives?
Rachel: We do offer the use of a variety of cake stands. There is a $50 deposit which is fully refundable upon return within a week with no damage. We do not typically have cake knives unless discussed ahead of time.
Leyre Photography: Who will make the cake?
Rachel: I-Rachel (owner)- bake all the cakes, as well as decorate and deliver!
Leyre Photography: Do you custom design cakes or pick from designs?
Rachel: We do all sorts of cakes. Sometimes a bride will send/bring in a picture for us to replicate; other times we fuse a few cakes together, and then there are times where a bride will just tell me a description and I will design it on my own.
Leyre Photography: Are your cakes finished in buttercream or fondant?
Rachel: Our cakes can be done in buttercream or fondant- whichever is preferred. There are times where fondant is needed to achieve the look, but we do our best to give them what they want.
Just for Fun
Leyre Photography: What are important qualities you think a couple should look for when searching for the right baker?
Rachel: You need a baker that understands your wants/needs without forcing their own ideas/experiences on you. Suggestions should be considered, but ultimately, if you're paying for the cake you should have what you want. The baker should also get your personalities so they can add that extra spark to your cake where possible (with approval first of course!).
For my brother's wedding cake, I added a hidden Minnie & Mickey on the backside peeking out from under the fondant. They're huge Disney buffs!
Leyre Photography: Could you share one or two tips for newly-engaged couples as they start to plan for their big day?
Rachel: (1.) Do what YOU want; don't feel obligated to do what's traditional or expected. Now if someone is helping to pay, you may feel the need to appease them a bit, but it's your day. Location, color palette, food, music- do what you and your partner love so you have no regrets down the road. If you don't like cake, do cheesecake or pies, or a dessert bar of cookies/ brownies/dessert shooters. We can accommodate almost all of your sweet needs. If not, we can help you find them.
(2.) Contact your vendors EARLY. It's rarely too early to start planning especially during these crazy COVID times. The last thing you want is to be left scrambling at the last minute trying to find vendors.
Leyre Photography: What is your favorite cake to make?
Rachel: I love the raked/combed look. I am a HUGE flower person. With this type of cake, you really let the flowers/greenery/succulents shine, with the cake being the blank canvas! As far as flavor, one of our most popular flavors is cookies and cream. Whether for the wedding cake, groom's cake, or any special occasion, it's very popular.
Leyre Photography: What is a memorable moment from a previous wedding or event?
Rachel: I traveled to Naples, FL several years ago to do my friend's groom's cake and dessert table. The groom is a HUGE Red Sox Fan, so we did a Red Sox baseball hat cake. While setting up I heard someone ask "who left their hat on the table??!". It made me feel good that it looked so realistic! I truly love getting that phone call or email the following week thanking us, and even more so that call a year later after they have just eaten their Anniversary tier saying it was just as good as their wedding day.
Contact & Additional Information
Leyre Photography: Where can couples find out more information about your bakery and additional services?
Rachel: To contact us please give us a call @ 863-589-5109 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Cocoa Cake Studio is a true gem! You don't have to take our word for it. Next time you're in town, swing by Cocoa Cake Studio to see and taste for yourself!