Pastry Steph specializes in cake mold creativity

Author: Anthony Richards

There was never a cake design Stephanie Marciani didn’t take the challenge to make with open arms.

This never-ending challenge is one of the reasons she has such a passion for cake design and why she decided to start her business, Pastry Steph, after moving to Ponte Vedra Beach in 2015.

“I had a career in public relations before that, and I just came to a point where I asked myself if I really wanted to continue doing that,” Marciani said. “I always loved baking growing up and I remember making Christmas cookies with my aunts.”

She fully immersed herself in the career shift by enrolling in a nine-month program at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City in 2006, where she attended evening classes and worked at Whole Foods during the day in their baking department, perfecting what it takes to produce.

She also met her future husband during that time, and the two eventually married and moved to Charlotte, where she worked for a custom cake shop called Edible Arts, where her passion for cakes really developed.

“I got used to everything being custom, and there were rarely two cakes that looked the same,” Marciani said. “I really enjoyed it and the creativity you can have in the world of custom cakes.

The family’s next stop was Nocatee, and Pastry Steph was born because she could continue designing cakes while being home and spending time with her two sons.

“It’s been great, and I probably have over 300 clients who reach out on a regular basis,” Marciani said.

Owning your own cake business is still a job that she pinches herself at times as she realizes how unique and fun a career she can pursue.

“When I was a kid growing up in Connecticut, I would pretend to cook and people would line up at our basement door and I would serve them, so interacting with people is one of the things I enjoy the most,” Marciani said.

According to Marciani, no occasion is off limits as she has made cakes for both happy and sad occasions for people such as birthdays and memorial anniversaries.

However, she takes pride in every cake she makes because she strives to make the design truly fit the occasion and something that the family or person receiving it can appreciate.

“It’s great how much cake can bring joy to a moment, and that’s something I always think about when I’m working on a design,” Marciani said.

A big part of making sure the cake design fits the occasion involves working closely with the person ordering it to make sure she and Marciani are on the same page about what they hope the cake will look like.

For Marciani, because so many of her customers are regulars and also live in the Nocatee community, there’s a certain relationship she develops with them the more orders they place, and that’s something she doesn’t take for granted.

“There really aren’t many places where you can get your own cake that isn’t made from some kind of mix,” Marciani said. “Everything I do is from scratch, and I think people appreciate that and want something special that’s special for their event.”

One thing she has come to realize in the world of cake decorating is that trends and what people want are constantly adapting.

As a result, she is always trying to experiment and add new methods, the latest of which are glow-in-the-dark themed cakes, where there are certain powders that can be purchased to help make it glow.

“It’s just part of constantly challenging yourself and testing your creativity,” Marciani said.

For more details on hiring Pastry Steph for a future opportunity, visit the business’s Facebook and Instagram page.

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