As we have walked the rocky path from childhood into adulthood, there is one thing that has remained magical and special through all of our milestones in life...
Don't deny it! It's true! It's marked every important occasion - birthdays, graduations, baby showers, random Tuesday nights, and, of course, weddings. We all know it's the first thing we glance at when we walk into a reception and we all clamor to be first in line to grab a piece.
Which is why we are SO excited to have had the chance to chat with Shannon Barbee, the Event Coordinator at Maxie B's. We're constantly drooling over their delicious cakes, and we spend far too much time staring at their incredible designs! Today, Shannon shares a little about Maxie B's and gives us her best advice for brides on the search for the perfect cake designer.
So when did you start your business, and where are you located?
Maxie B’s Bakery & Dessert Café is on Battleground Avenue in Greensboro. Robin Davis opened up the shop in 1985 as a frozen yogurt shop and it has since transitioned into a scratch bakery, specializing in Southern layer cakes. I have been a part of the Maxie B’s team since March of 2000 when we only served frozen yogurt! I am now the Event Coordinator at the bakery. Read more about the history of Maxie B's here!
How would you describe your wedding cake design style?
We have a talented team of four decorators (Elizabeth Volinski, Lisa Daniel, Olivia Allen and Christina Brooke) who are able to tackle most any style of design a bride would be interested in. A “Maxie B’s cake” would most likely be something with a more vintage feel; natural tones, fresh blossoms and a textured finish. The more simply decorated, the more we fall in love. We work with all kinds of icings, however our preference is always a tasty homemade butter cream or cream cheese.
What inspires your cake design?
Our brides really do. We love a challenge and to have a client come in that fancies looks from several different cakes is always fun. With the help of our decorators, I am able to blend details to create a one-of-a-kind cake. Even if a bride has no idea of what she is looking for, a little conversation and a browse through our photo gallery usually leads us to the perfect cake.
What is the most unique cake you've ever made?
The most unique cake to date would have to be our mad-hatter/topsy-turvy style wedding cake that was created several years ago. It was five tiers tall and had tilted tiers all of the way up. The presentation of this cake had everyone at the reception talking as there were open spaces in between the tilted tiers which were filled with fresh flowers! The older guests were so concerned it was going to fall, while the younger portion of the crowd just “ooh’d” and “ah’d” about how fun it was. In the end, it was all a visual trick and the cake was very stable, but it was certainly one for the books and the bride & groom loved it!
What kind of information do you request from couples upon meeting them?
Our Bridal Consultations are a time for us to get to know each other, the bride and groom to become familiar with our product, and for us to understand the style that they have in mind. When I meet with our couples, a color palette and perhaps a Pinterest board can be very helpful for us to visualize the details that they desire. During this meeting not only will we design their cake, but we will also get an estimate of their anticipated guest count. This count will most likely change before the big day, but that gives us a place to start for size and budget. Last, but not least is the cake sampling. We offer a large variety of flavors and I think that this is the most enjoyable part for everyone involved in the wedding planning. Leftovers from the tasting are boxed and sent home with the bride to ponder and enjoy later in the day!!
What is your best piece of advice for brides in selecting a cake designer?
Always make sure you meet in person! A good one-on-one chat can be very productive. Being able to look at designs, get input on how colors can tastefully be incorporated, calculating what combination of things works best with your budget and actually tasting the cake in the bakery environment lets you settle into the relationship you will have with that business (possibly from wedding cake to children’s birthday cakes!) You will want and need to be on the same page with every detail of the cake to create a sense of trust, confidence, and peace in that portion of your wedding planning.