What began as merely a fun decorating pastime has blossomed into a potentially viable and creative business for Kimberly Lauk, founder of Kim’s Sweet Dream Cakes. As all startup businesses should go, Kim is taking it one step at a time, making sure she first has the interest and a loyal client base before she steps into an Enumclaw storefront. One could say that Kim is basically taking it one cake…or cupcake, at a time.
Kim’s passion happened quite accidentally when she was in high school and enrolled in culinary classes. There just so happened to be a retirement party for the lunch lady and Kim volunteered to make and decorate the cake. This was not just any cake, however. The lunch lady was presented with a work of art: a cake decorated exactly like the many lunch trays she had served over the years.
The lunch tray cake was a huge success—finally, vegetables that were edible!
From there, Kim dabbled here and there with cakes and continued after high school to work in the food and restaurant industry. Her biggest exposure for baking came from her experience in 2006 and 2007 when she was part of the Brenner’s Bakery team. It was here that her passion for baking became apparent and was ultimately what she really enjoyed doing.
When Kim married and started a family, she found that she did not want to buy just any old cake from a store or have to pick a design for the cake off of a wall. This is when she decided to put her baking skills to work and her family, especially her two children, began to reap the sweet rewards of fresh, made-from-scratch cakes with delicious frostings and tasty fillings.
Her friends soon started to take notice of Kim’s creatively decorated cakes and the requests, “we’ll buy a cake from you,” became more frequent. The orders began to come in for children’s birthday cakes, Valentine’s Day cakes and of course the mother of all cakes: the wedding cake. And let’s not forget the cupcakes; the coveted mini-me’s of the cake world.
It was in the summer of 2011 when Kim decided that she just might have something with this baking and decorating passion and through the prompting of her family and friends, Kim’s Sweet Dream Cakes became real.
As mentioned earlier, Kim is still in the start-up phase where she is gauging her client base and the need for her product before she moves into an actual store front—a very smart move for this budding entrepreneur. This savvy baker realizes the importance of profits vs. expenses. Currently Kim is creating her sweet sensations in her home in a modest kitchen decorated with just a few proudly displayed and hard-earned blue ribbons.
Every Sweet Dream Cake or cupcake is made entirely from scratch with most ingredients purchased locally. The fun part for her is the ability to go to a local farmer’s market and pick out fresh strawberries and raspberries for her luscious cake fillings. “It is a good feeling to be able to keep our money flowing locally and back into our community,” she said.
Kim also provides free consultation for her clients. Everyone has a different need when it comes to how they want their cake or cupcakes decorated. Kim realizes this and therefore strives to make sure she gets a real good feel for her client’s needs. She stresses how important it is to her to be able to see the excitement in her client’s faces when they take their first look at her cakes. The other item of importance is to also see the looks on their faces when they take that first essential bite.
It is this longer lasting expression that she values above all.
Her current client favorites are her white vanilla cake with homemade chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries, her delightfully sinful carrot cake sweetened with pineapple and topped with a rich brown sugar cream cheese frosting, and her latest new creation sure to be a huge hit: cupcakes made with a heavy dark beer from the local Elkhead Brewery topped with caramel cream cheese frosting and caramel dipped pretzel bits.
I’ll drink to that!
Kim is excited as the is tonight, Saturday, March 24. At the last minute, another food vendor had to drop out of the event due to a family emergency but their loss is a huge gain for Kim who was asked to take their place. She's be quite busy in her kitchen making her soon-to-be-famous carrot cake cupcakes as well as her popular lemon zest cupcakes with raspberry filling.
This event certainly is an unexpected dream come true for Kim’s Sweet Dream Cakes and I have no doubt she will dazzle and delight the hungry masses.
Perhaps this is the moment where a Sweet Dream will become a Sweet Reality.