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1st Anniversary of Chelsea’s Cool Cakes

Chris barely had time to come home and do laundry after our trip to Greece before he was off again to Germany for a three-week NATO exercise. Poor guy had an insanely busy autumn!

 

While he was gone, I celebrated the first birthday of my cake studio! And by celebrated, I mean I thought “Oh hey! Today is the 1-year anniversary of getting the keys!” and then moved right on back to baking. No time to be fancy!

But I thought I would celebrate here on the blog by sharing some photos of the shop, since the last time I shared photos of it it we were in the middle of fixing it up and it was a complete disaster.

It's still not much to look at, but here it is, in all its sugary glory :)

 

The front door.
It looks pretty intense with the gate closed eh? It used to be a dentist office so they had the gate to protect the gas and painkillers. Now it protects my cakes from would-be dessert thieves.
 
The other side of the front door.
 
The consultation/waiting room.

The decorating room and door to the kitchen.

Where the magic happens.

 

I forgot to take a picture of the kitchen, but it's just an oven, a fridge, and a sink. Nothing special.

 

Although it does have a killer view:

This past year has been A LOT of very hard work. Running your own business definitely isn't for the faint of heart. I've been told that I'm brave for starting my own company, but most days I really just feel outta-my-mind-crazy. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears (literally) has gone into making the business what it is today and I have learned A TON about running a company and myself as a person over the past year. While it hasn't been a piece of cake (I'm sorry… I had to!), thankfully it's finally starting to pay off.

Some really great things are in store for Chelsea's Cool Cakes in 2014!

 

 

Going Cake Crazy

It’s 11:11pm as I’m writing this. Chris is in bed asleep while I wait for the last cake of the evening to come out of the oven. I know, I know… another post about cakes.

Are you guys tired of hearing about this bakery? I am. I feel like that’s all we ever talk about these days. I haven’t blogged in a while so I wanted to write about something cool, perhaps another recipe… but unless you want a recipe for cereal that’s just not going to happen. Because you guys… life is crazy right now! Cake crazy. Cuckoo cake crazy. Chaotic cuckoo cake crazy. Critically chaotic cuckoo cake crazy.

…Oh dear…. there it goes. My sanity…out the window.

Chelsea’s Cool Cakes really has been our life lately though. Both of us!

Any free time either of us has is spent at the bakery trying to do all that needs doing in order for me to move in in the next week or so. While I’ve been struggling through a few over-booked weeks of cake orders, Chris has been going over almost every day after work and doesn’t get home until 8, which is just enough time to eat dinner before we both crash for the night, only to do it again the next day. Every day.

Our apartment is a complete and utter disaster.

We’ve been surviving on alternating nights of cereal and pasta-roni for dinner because we both lack the energy to cook. As a result, our digestive health has gone the way of our sanity.

Both of us have lovely paint streaks in our hair.

The only thing keeping poor Skittles entertained is the egg she’s sitting on.

We haven’t seen or talked to any of our friends except for the kind souls who have come to help us paint (and last Saturday when Anna and Mike invited us over for pizza and a movie…which we almost fell asleep in >.<)

I tell you all of this lest you think opening your own business is full of sunshine and rainbows and butterflies. It’s not. It’s full of hard work. Freaking hard work.

But you know what? We are making progress and there is a light at the end of the tunnel! A great big glowing light of exciting awesome! Business is growing already (I have 13 wedding cakes and counting booked so far for the summer!) and I’m finally starting to get the big, awesome cake orders I’ve been working for. The studio looks awesome with it’s fresh coat of paint and is actually coming together! Despite all the crazy… we are happy :) The paint globs in your hair and the frosting globs on your clothes seem rather satisfying at the end of the day when you know you’ve worked your butt off for them.

Exciting things are coming in the future :)

 

For now though… here is this picture:

 

Painting the bakery

Enjoy!

Cake is life…. at least it has been lately.

Hey folks!

We’ve been quite busy around here this week. Going a little crazy actually! I just wanted to give a quick update on the bakery/studio since that’s pretty much been our life lately. Yes… Chris included! He’s been going to the studio almost every evening after work this week to throw up some layers of paint while I’m busy working on cakes for clients. We also got a TON done over the weekend thanks to some seriously awesome friends. And I mean AWESOME friends! We got the entire place sanded, washed and primed thanks to them and we really can’t thank them enough!

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Saskia and Desi

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Yrjan and Daniel

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My super hot husband

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Joanna and Benjamin

Also, here are some photos from my first ever wedding fair! It was up in Haugesund (a semi-neighboring town) 2 weeks ago. While I only got 3 hours of sleep over the course of the 3 days leading up to the fair with all the preparations, it turned out to be pretty successful and definitely worth it! Bring on the wedding cake season!

 

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Chelsea’s Cool Cakes‘ booth

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Desiree Photography‘s Booth

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Samples!

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New business cards for the occasion.

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Rockin’ my brand new chef’s coat! 

So yeah…things are plugging along here with Chelsea’s Cool Cakes! Let me tell you, it’s an insane amount of work starting up a cake shop. And to be totally honest… there are days when I want to scrap the whole thing because I don’t feel like I can pull it off (today may or may not be one of them). But I just keep telling myself that it’ll be worth it and I just need to take it one step at a time.

The hard is what makes it great.

Wise, wise words.

The Home of Chelsea’s Cool Cakes

This is pretty old news for some of you, but I realized I haven’t officially announced it anywhere yet…

Chelsea’s Cool Cakes is becoming legit!

Due to icky Norwegian laws preventing a cottage food industry here in Stavanger (ie, people can’t sell food products out of their home), so far I have been running my cake business “under the radar” (read: maybe teensy weensy bit illegally). So in order to expand, actually do some advertising, and make this a truly official job I had to find a space I could get approved by the health department. After about a year of searching for the right building in the right location in the right budget… I finally stumbled across this place in October! It’s a fixer-upper for sure (it used to be a skateboard shop and before that a dentist office) and it was built at the very beginning of the 20th century, but the bones are right and with little TLC and a few coats of paint Chelsea’s Cool Cakes will have a home!

Now, just to clarify since I get asked about it a lot: It’s not a traditional bakery. I don’t intend to make cupcakes/cakes daily for people to come by and purchase on the spot. I’m treating it more as a cake studio. Since everything is 100% custom designed from scratch, the doors will be locked unless you have an appointment set up for a consultation or pick-up. I decided to go this way for a number of reasons, but the primary one is that I’m not planning on hiring employees anytime soon and there is no way I can manage a front desk, bake cakes, decorate cakes, and field customers all by me onsies. Plus, that’s how I’ve been treating it for the past 2 years of doing this as a “hobby” and it has worked great! Maybe someday I’ll expand into a cafe-style bakery, but that’s a BIG someday.

So without further ado… here are a few pictures of the place! They were taken when I first started work on it… so there’s not much to see, but once I get it all up to scratch I’ll post the after shots! For now, just imagine the possibilities :)

 

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The entrance and front hall.

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The future front room/reception room/consultation room/display room.

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The future decorating room.

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The future kitchen.

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Kitchen from the other side and the view of downtown Stavanger from the window.

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Tearing down the 60-year-old cardboard wallpaper ceiling (so dirty and gross!)

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Carnage.

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Kolie helping to patch the walls.

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Standing on the fridge to reach the ceiling with Josh in order to get rid of that nasty paper.

 

So now, even though there is still TONS of work to be done, I can officially say I HAVE A JOB!!

It’s a fantastic feeling :)

Cake Shop Update

Well… I guess you can say I officially have a job now :) Chris and I finally got around to totaling up the time I spend per week on cakes, and so far I have enough orders each week to count as a part-time job :) Some weeks it’s even full-time! Yee haw!

This little business is growing pretty fast!

I now have a logo, designed by the lovely Fonda LaShay.

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Chelsea’s Cool Cakes was also asked to partner with the Salvation Army’s thrift shop (Fretex here in Norway) to showcase some cakes at a bridal fair they were organizing to help sell a big donation of wedding dresses they received. They needed some cakes and samples to make the event seem more wedding-ish and I needed some advertising! Win win!

You can check out one of the news features we received here:

“At the launch event on 3rd May, brides will be able to have trial wedding photographs taken by Algård Fotostudio and sample the very unique wedding cakes of local baker, Chelsea’s Cool Cakes.”

That’s me! Chelsea’s Cool Cakes in print!

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The flyer for the event. See my little cake down at the bottom? It was also the maiden voyage of the logo!

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Even Julie got in on some of the action and took some “trial” wedding photos :)

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The event was a success. Although not as many people came to participate as the organizers had hoped, they were able to drum up a lot of press for Fretex and have high hopes of seeing the results in sales and donations this upcoming summer. And for me, it was great to see my cakes in action! Hopefully I’ll get a bit of extra business as well!

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