Baking Buyer attended a Jan. 21 reception in Minneapolis where DecoPac introduced the “hippest product line ever” exclusively from cake artist Duff Goldman, who owns Charm City Cakes in Baltimore. Charm City Cakes’ artists create one-of-a-kind cakes by appointment only with a minimum order of $1,000 per cake. Goldman’s new book “Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes” is now available online, and “Ace of Cakes” can be seen weekly on the Food Network.
What is the genesis of this new product line, which enables cake decorators to use licensed cake decorations and accessories as a building block for all sorts of unique creations.
I’ve been looking for a way to help professional cake decorators express their creativity and inspire them to define their own style. This partnership with DecoPac is a great opportunity to do this on a big scale by introducing new tools and a new way of thinking about cakes to thousands of bakeries.
What convinced you to put your name on this project?
I’ve been reticent to put my name on anything. When DecoPac called, I thought it was a great idea because it wasn’t going to be paint by numbers.
Your training is as a graffiti artist. What kind of an effect has your work had on the cake industry?
We push the limits of what you can do with cakes as far as we can go. We’ve made it OK for special effects. Now, people are even decorating wedding tables.
What do people ask you most often when they meet you in person?
I meet so many people who say, I can never do what you do. I say, yes, you can. Now, we’re giving professional cake decorators permission to explore their creativity. I want to see millions of different cakes. That’s why this new line is so exciting.
Q. What’s happening in the cake world today as far as pushing the creative limits with colors?
A lot of people are afraid of colors. Nowadays, though, you can go with anything. You can do a brown wedding cake. Browns, blues and silvers together are amazing.
One of the tools included in this new product liner is a Gel Colors Variety Pack, and there’s also an Artist’s Kit complete with a Duff Sketchbook. How can these tools help?
I hope the booklet that comes with the kit unlocks their inner artist. You get to learn how to mix colors. I hope it inspires people to say, what if I try this…
Bakers often point out that consumers often don’t understand the costs that go into a cake. Do you think this situation is improving?
I hope the general public is starting to understand why cakes are expensive. Decorators need to feel more comfortable to charge what their cakes and their time are worth.
New Tools for Decorators
DecoPac, the world’s largest wholesale cake decoration supplier, and Duff Goldman, creative genius behind the wildly successful Charm City Cakes, recently unveiled a collaborative product line designed to push the envelope in cake decorating and unleash professional bakers and cake decorators’ inner artists.
A Jan. 21 DecoPac reception introducing the new line included a competition among four local cake decorators who demonstrated several unique creations. Emily Rhenigans of Minneapolis Community and Technical College won a $500 first prize for her adaptation using the Duff Rockstar Cake Inspiration Kit.
The Duff product line is unlike other products offered by DecoPac in that it includes items more common to an artist’s studio than a bakery: markers, sketch pads and flip books, all intended to feed the imagination and create truly memorable cakes for bakery customers.
The line of Duff products, which will be sold wholesale to commercial bakeries nationwide beginning February 2010, includes:
Inspiration Kits: Three separate kits, each consisting of all the cake decorating accessory items needed to make very cool cakes. One kit provides the tools to make a single cake, available in the following “inspirations”: Rockstar, Bubbles and Lovely Lady. Just add one creative cake decorator.
Duff Creative Kit: A cake designing artist kit that allows cake decorators to put their cake designs on paper. Each kit includes a sketch pad with Duff-drawn cake templates, colored pencils, two metallic markers, one black marker and a logo tote bag.
Fondant Starter Kit: Includes two-pound fondant tubs in the colors red, yellow and blue, along with a Duff Fondant flip book with suggested color mixings and tips for making more with fondant. Fondant tubs are also available separately.
Color Gel Paste Tubes: Available as a variety pack featuring 5 oz. tubes of all 10 colors in a clear paint can, or purchased separately. Each vibrant color has a name to match the larger-than-life hue, such as Lobsta Red and Vinyl Black.
“When it comes to creative cakes, Duff is one of those bakers who breaks the mold,” says Mike McGlynn, CEO of DecoPac. “Having the chance to share some of his tools of inspiration with other professional bakers and decorators is a fantastic opportunity for us. With the inspiration and creative kits, there’s no limit to what any baker with a bit of imagination can do. The best thing you can do with these products is forget everything you know about cakes: start with a fresh perspective, and see where your creativity will take you.”