This week on Lazzat Photography Vendor Spotlight we sat down with Justine from Blue Jay’s Bakery in Downtown Pensacola!
Here are the highlights from our interview with Justine!
(Lazzat) Hi everyone, this is Lazzat with Lazzat Photography and for our next Vendor Spotlight video allow me to introduce you to Justine with Blue Jay’s Bakery. So Justine, tell us a little bit about your business, how long have you been in this business?
(Justine) Yeah, so the bakery store itself opened less than a year ago, our anniversary is at the end of November. The business itself has been around for about 2 years because we started out at the farmer’s market and grew until we were able to move into here. I actually went to culinary school. I love food and I love cooking but the hours really took a toll on me, I hated the late nights, so I kinda switched to the opposite schedule and got into the baking world and got early mornings and early afternoons instead.
What about weddings, what made you get into weddings?
It’s kind of an avenue of business that you can’t really turn down. But it’s a lot of fun and you get to be involved in creating something very special for your clients.
Why did you decide to become a cake artist?
I actually love the creative aspect of it, I love that you get to have more influence as to what it looks like. Baking a cake is definitely a joy and I love making everything taste good but the decorating aspect of it is where the heart really shows through.
You are in such a sweet industry. Everything that surrounds you is sweet, macaroons, wedding cakes… Do you have a favorite wedding cake flavor?
As far as cake flavors go I usually like the kind of the weird ones. Lavender is my favorite particularly paired with the honey ganache, that is absolutely delicious. Next to that I love the citrus flavors, so lemon cake with lemon curd and buttercream is my go to.
That’s amazing. Do you have a say so in advising what kind of flavors couples should choose?
I don’t necessarily have a say so but if they’re questioning what they want to do I definitely try to help them figure out what flavors they like the most, whether it’s different flavor combinations that they might not have thought of. I definitely try to let them be creative in choosing those.
What about the style of the cake, do you get to recommend different styles or you let them guide you?
It’s a mix of both, typically a bride will come into her tasting with photos of things that she’s looked at already and she likes so we’ll take things from that and use them as inspiration to create a custom design. We tend not to follow any specific photo word for word but try to use pictures that they like to create something that fits both their style and the bakery’s style.
What is involved to make a wedding cake, what does the process look like?
It usually starts with contact and once that’s situated we schedule our clients for a cake tasting. During that tasting, you get to come in and go over all the basics of your wedding just in general. Then talk about your cake size needs, what you want it to look like. Then we get into the tasting part of it so each tasting we get to try 4 different cupcakes to get a sample of different flavors you might want to have in your cake. After that, we just go over all the details and figure out whatever the client wants.
That sounds very tasty.
Yes, it is.
Why do cakes cost so much?
There’s a lot that goes into them. A lot of expertise to know how to execute a wedding cake. The tiers are typically taller than just an average birthday cake, so you’re stacking cake layers on top of each other with usually a filling that’s inside that’s much softer so you have to make sure that everything is structurally sound and then on top of that you’re stacking tiers on top of each other, so there’s actually a lot of architecture that goes into creating a wedding cake and making sure it’s stable and it’s going to make it from the bakery to your venue and still look beautiful. And onto that, we have very sharp edges on our cakes so frosting to that level of perfection takes a good education and lots of practice. So, yeah, wedding cakes tend to get pricey.
Do you guys deliver?
We do. We typically deliver all of our wedding cakes just so that nobody else has to worry about that transportation process. We’ll allow clients to pick up if they’ll a little bit smaller, but if it’s anything 3 tiers or over, we take it to you.
Is the cost included?
Delivery fees vary on where the venue is. So it just kind of depends if something is local it’s not going to be very much whereas if we’re traveling to Orange Beach or Destin it’s more expensive.
What’s the average delivery fee?
Let’s imagine, I’m a bride and I want a 3 tiered cake with some very nice decorations and designs on it. How much would that cake cost me?
It varies a lot. But one of our most common 3 tier sizes is a 6-8-10, so that just refers to each diameter of cake as you go down, 6 inches and then an 8 inch and then a 10 inch. That gives you anywhere from 56-68 servings and that has a starting price of about $450.
450, that’s not bad at all! And if you include the delivery fee, for $500 you get yourself a beautiful cake, delivered, safely and you don’t have to worry.
I think that’s amazing! What is the most unique request that you’ve received for a wedding cake?
I can’t say that we’ve gotten anything too crazy. My favorites though is when the Brides are a little more lenient on what they want their decorations to be so we get to mix different styles and textures together. One of the cakes that we did this year that was one of my favorites, we mixed some marble feature in and some silver and also added in some fresh flowers so to have those different elements of design on one cake just looked fabulous.
How long does it take to make a cake like that?
It depends, the full process takes about 4 days. We just do it in stages because we typically do multiple weddings a weekend. So stage one is going to be the baking and then stage two is the filling and then we frost and then we decorate. So to execute a wedding cake takes about 4 days minimum.
How many people are involved in creating a wedding cake?
Oh, countless. I mean we have our wedding cake coordinator, we have bakers, I usually do all the frosting and our marketing director takes care of all the pictures so lots of people involved.
Do you guys bake all your wedding cakes here or do you have a different location?
No, everything is made on site. Our bakery is definitely small but we’re efficient and yeah everything is made here.
That’s very impressive! It’s not a big place but I can see that you guys are always busy and while we’ve been here prepping with all our equipment and gear we’ve had several people come in and buy some of those tasty macaroons.
Alright, I’m assuming that you have a dream cake that you would want to create, like something unimaginable and something crazy beautiful, what would that be?
Honestly, I have thought about that a lot and there are so many different design techniques that I want to do that I couldn’t possibly put them all on one cake. I have a love for the geode-cakes that are very popular right now. You carve out a sliver of the cake and put in some rock candy so it looks like the inside of a crystal geode. I also love the marble techniques that are happening. At my heart though I love the simple ones. I really love ones with some chocolate drizzle and fresh flowers on it, it’s always my favorite. I just have fun with those ones.
That’s awesome. What about the current trends, what current Brides are drawn to? What kind of cake designs, shapes, do they prefer smaller ones? Because sometimes at the weddings we’re seeing just a small cake for cutting, like this one for example and then they’ll have cupcakes. What is the current style that the Brides are choosing?
There are a lot of trends right now. As far as dessert tables go that’s definitely becoming more popular, they’ll have a small cutting cake and then on the table, they’ll have an assortment of options where you’ll have macaroons and brownies and cupcakes and all sorts of things mixed in so that your guests have tons of options to choose from. That always looks very good because you get to play with a bunch of textures and colors and height variations. Outside of that natural flowers always look really good.
I assume you guys clean those flowers. How do you sterilize the flowers so that the natural bacteria doesn’t get into the cake?
The flowers are all clean, and all of our florals come from Fiore and she gives us the best flowers you could possibly work with. Outside of that they’re typically not put directly into the cake but situated in the little frosting layers that are in each tier. So we avoid contamination that way.
That’s very interesting. You mentioned about dessert tables, I assume you guys offer them as well?
Yeah, we do full dessert spreads, we offer cake setup, honestly at this point if it has sugar involved we make it happen.
How is the dessert table priced, do you offer wedding packages?
We don’t necessarily offer a lump sum package that includes x,y, and z because our dessert menu is so vast. We let the client pick and choose what they want to be on it and then from there we figure out what the price tag would be.
Would you ask the Bride if she has a budget and work with her budget?
Oh, absolutely. If we have a client who has a specific budget that they’re trying to work with we find everything we can to make that happen.
How do Brides find you?
Honestly, the best way to find us is on social media, we’ve got both an Instagram and a Facebook. The handle for them is @Bluejaysbakery and then outside of that our website which is just www.bluejaysbakery.com. We’ve got pages for our custom cakes and a wedding page where you can see a calendar of available tasting appointments and schedule something from there!
That’s amazing, thank you so much, Justine, for sharing your story with us and we loved having you here. Thank you so much!
Thank you again to Justine from Blue Jay’s Bakery and Rising Sun Video Productions for the video!
Address: 411 Palafox Place, Suite E Pensacola, FL 32501