This week, we’re featuring the world-famous Nadia Cakes for our VOW. We chatted with the General Manager of their Woodbury location, Lauren, about how this company went from just a dream to a nationally-renowned bakery. Check it all out below!
Q: Let’s get to it, what’s your business’ specialty?
A: Cupcakes, small desserts, and beautifully handcrafted custom cakes.
Q: Where can we find you? (Location)
A: Woodbury, MN, and Maple Grove, MN – or Palmdale, CA, for the travelers!
Q: Tell us when and how your business began.
A: Nadia Cakes is America’s premier, award-winning cupcake shop, and custom cake studio. Named after her middle child, Abby Jimenez opened Nadia Cakes with a lifelong passion for baking, a love for beautiful desserts, and on a complete leap of faith.
While pregnant with her third baby, Abby decided to take cake decorating classes at a local craft store. Although her baby arrived before she could finish the classes, Abby took what she had learned and started making free cakes for family and friends. The cakes were a big hit. There was a big demand. Abby had a big idea. She took a chance and quit her full-time job to start her own cake business. So, soon after Abby had her own baby, Nadia Cakes was also born.
With a newborn, a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old, all in diapers, Abby set out on two of the most challenging years of her life. She not only survived those years but experienced success and opened a beautiful cake shop in the fall of 2009. The new shop was so well received that just two months later, Carlos, Abby’s husband quit his full-time job and joined the family business as CFO. In 2012, Abby and Carlos embarked on a new journey by moving the family to the Midwest to open two more shops in Maple Grove and Woodbury, Minnesota.
Q: What makes your company unique from others?
A: We call ourselves the “Nadia Cakes Family”. We really value our employees and clients above all else. We are a People First Company, which means we put people before profits and will always do what’s right for our people. Secondly, our flavors and options are endless. With over 200 different flavors on our menu, we use fresh ingredients and the highest quality extracts in our cakes. We will do whatever we can to provide something really special for our clients and can even do custom flavors if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for on our menu.
Q: How long have you been in the industry? What do you think has changed the most since then?
A: I’ve personally been in the industry for 10 years now. So much has changed, but the bottom line really stays the same. The trends are ever-changing from year to year – we’ve gone from 5-tier buttercream cakes with sugar flowers to the “naked cake” with fresh flowers, back to 3-tiered fondant cakes with hand-painted floral designs and now cupcake or dessert buffets. The trend rollercoaster is endless! Which truly makes for a fun career. We never have the same day twice and there’s always something new to learn!
Q: Walk us through your average day.
A: In the morning, our chefs come in bright and early to bake cupcakes. We bake fresh throughout the day in small batches to ensure we are providing the best possible product we can to our walk-in clients. The team makes frostings, cannoli, bars, and many other small desserts. We leave so much room for creative freedom when it comes to our chefs and make sure we are always coming up with fresh flavors. We will create small cakes for last-minute pick-ups that we have available in our case. Our team of cake designers will also prep any sugar work needed for that following weekend—flowers, 3D fondant figures, etc.
Q: What would you want couples searching for your business type to know?
A: At Nadia Cakes, we really deliver. If you’re looking for a reliable, friendly place to get your order from, we’re what you’re looking for. We like to keep you with one designer through the whole process – from email to consultation to the execution of the cake and delivery. We like to make sure one person, one vision is understood, and nothing is lost in the cracks. Nadia Cakes will bend over backward to make sure your planning process and big day are as stress-free as possible.
Q: How far in advance should a couple book with you?
A: The sooner the better! We book up fairly quickly during peak seasons, so we highly recommend 4-6 months if possible, for large weddings.
Q: Tell us about the geode cake trends and why it’s so popular right now:
A: The geode cake trend is something unique – it’s something people haven’t seen much of in the past and are really intrigued by. Everyone loves something fresh and new and geodes in cake form are definitely new!
Ours went a little viral for “adult” reasons —feel free to check out our Facebook page for details—and we actually trademarked the word “Vageode”. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
Q: What else is hot in wedding cakes and dessert trends?
A: We’re seeing more and more people revert back to the traditional large wedding cakes which is SO much fun for our cake designers. I really believe the cupcake towers are here to stay – they’re great for offering a variety of flavors to your guests and are so easy to serve. We love both trends and specialize in cakes AND cupcakes!
Q: What are your other hobbies and passions besides creating delicious sweets?
A: I love spending time with my husband and my pup, we love going to our cabin and exploring the outdoors!
Q: Do you have any favorite podcasts?
A: My Favorite Murder and The Office Ladies
Q: Who’s your most played artist on your streaming service?
A: Queen, Carrie Underwood or Cole Swindell
Q: Heels or flats?
A: Flats! ALWAYS!
Q: Mountains or Beach?
Q: Go-to cocktail (or mocktail)?
A: Red Wine always, but I love a lemon drop!
Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: A teacher – since I found my passion with cakes, I now offer cake decorating classes, so I get the best of both worlds!
Q: You’re at brunch. Are you going for something sweet or savory?
A: Why settle when you can have both?? 🙂
Q: Go-to comfort food?
A: Wine and chocolate – they never let you down!
Q: Duck Duck Grey Duck or Duck Duck Goose?
A: Grey Duck of course!
Thanks so much for your time, Lauren! We always love hearing success stories like Nadia Cakes. To order your own geode cake, reach out to Lauren by phone at 651-314-4444 or email at [email protected].