The West Side Bakery is a versatile, full-service bakery — delicious cookies, occasional cakes (Jasper’s birthday cake will come from The West Side Bakery, later this very week!), even breads and lunches. But… we certainly wouldn’t be the first to note that they have an especially special talent for wedding cakes!
The West Side Bakery is a frequent flyer at many of the bridal showcase events in which Something New Entertainment takes part, too — in fact — they’ll be at the Piggery event, next week. Want to come visit us and enjoy some yummy TWSB sweets? Check out the original article for Something New Entertainment complimentary VIP ticket info.
Something New Entertainment Disc Jockey Anna-Jeannine “AJ9” Herman: What first interested you in baking and designing cakes and confections?
Barbara Talevich of The West Side Bakery: I did a lot of cooking and baking at home and then my husband and I created the gourmet dining club. It then became one of my most loved hobbies. With my background in sales I thought why not combine my hobby with my career.
DJ AJ9: How long have you been creating wedding cakes?
Barbara Talevich of The West Side Bakery: We started making wedding cakes in 2001 when we expanded the bakery and built another kitchen on-site. At this point in time we were well known for our cake designs, so wedding cakes were the next natural progression, especially now that we had the space to create them.
DJ AJ9: How would you describe your design style?
Barbara Talevich of The West Side Bakery: Our design style is more of a classic, traditional and elegant look with modern twists.
DJ AJ9: What do you enjoy most about being a cake artisan?
Barbara Talevich of The West Side Bakery: Just like I tell all my brides, “You wouldn’t want me being the one to decorate your cake! MY talent is in finding the perfect designers.”
I have a very talented team of cake decorators all with diverse backgrounds and talents. I know with certainty that no matter what design I give them to create, they have the talent to make it happen with excellence. What I do enjoy is meeting with couples from all walks of life. It makes me so happy to be able to create something special and unique for them. It is such a joy to be a part of a day that is filled with love, family and friends.
DJ AJ9: What’s your favorite kind of cake design to work with?
Barbara Talevich of The West Side Bakery: It’s always fun to work with a bride that allows us to be creative, taking into account her vision, colors and overall feel of the wedding.
DJ AJ9: What’s your favorite type of cake (to eat)?
Barbara Talevich of The West Side Bakery: Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!
DJ AJ9: Over the years, you’ve probably seen lots of trends come and go — what are some of the current trends that you find particularly fun, fabulous, beautiful, or strange?
Barbara Talevich of The West Side Bakery: For fun and fabulous I would say anything with texture. Whether it be buttercream grooves and spackling, to fondant ruffles and rosettes, texture is definitely in. Strange would be people’s obsession with zombies. We have done some particularly gruesome cakes with blood and body parts. Who would have thought someone would want that on their wedding cake?!
DJ AJ9: At what point in their planning process should a couple book their cakery? How far in advance?
Barbara Talevich of The West Side Bakery: I know the industry standard is to say 6 months before the wedding, but if a couple is certain of who they would like to make their cake I would recommend booking them as soon as possible. This certainly doesn’t mean that all of the cake details need to be selected, but at least secure the date. It breaks our hearts to have to tell someone that we are booked and cannot make their wedding cake. As a plus, when you book your date in advance, it allows you the time to explore all of your options.
DJ AJ9: What is the most important consideration couples should make when choosing the right cake artist or cakery for their wedding?
Barbara Talevich of The West Side Bakery: I think an establishment’s reputation and quality of products is key. Bottom line…the cake needs to taste good. Cake is not an afterthought. It is the ending note to a fabulous meal and a memorable event. Couples certainly want it to be a pleasurable experience for their guests.
DJ AJ9: How many events’ confections can West Side Bakery typically handle on a single Saturday during the summer?
Barbara Talevich of The West Side Bakery: Our average is 7, depending on the sizes and complexity of the cakes/desserts.
DJ AJ9: What’s the biggest misconception you think couples might have about cake artists or cakeries?
Barbara Talevich of The West Side Bakery: I think many couples come in thinking that the design they want is simple. Some designs may not seem overly involved, but a lot of work goes into creating a delicious, structurally sounds cake that also looks fabulous. Many cake designs may not seem elaborate but have components that are tedious and time consuming to create.
DJ AJ9: What’s the biggest misconception you think other vendors might have about cake artists or cakeries?
Barbara Talevich of The West Side Bakery: I’m not sure that I have ever encountered any misconceptions by a fellow wedding professional. They understand how important a beautiful and delicious wedding cake is to the couple.
About Barbara Talevich: I was born and raised in Akron and graduated from The University of Akron. The bulk of my background is in Sales, Advertising and Management. In the mid 80’s I formed a gourmet dinner club that my husband and I enjoyed for 10 years. Through this club I really found my love and appreciation for cooking and baking. My maternal grandfather also had a bakery when my mother was a little girl. Never did I dream that I would follow in his footsteps later years later. I love to golf and escape to the golf course or the beach.
About The West Side Bakery: The West Side Bakery opened in January of 1995. We actually just celebrated our 20th anniversary this year. Some of our most recent notable awards include being named one of the top 50 Wedding Cake Bakeries in the Nation and One of the top 75 Bakeries in the Nation, both by the Daily Meal. As far as local accolades, for the past several years we have been named Best Local Bakery by Akron Life Magazine and Best of Weddings by the Knot. Our company motto is “Making Memories Sweeter”.