This time our spotlight is on Nancy Zhou and her business, Silver Whisk Bake Shop! We hope you enjoy learning more about her and her business, but don’t blame us if reading this leaves you hungry for some of her sweet treats! Keep posted for more spotlights…we will be featuring a different wedding professional each time.
COMPANY SNAPSHOT: Silver Whisk Bake Shop is an online cake and confection boutique based in the Boston area specializing in timeless and elegant designs with a modern twist. Silver Whisk is owned by Nancy Zhou who expresses her deep passion for craftsmanship, pastry, art, and love of connecting with people through her creations. Recently, Silver Whisk Bake Shop was awarded Best of Boston® 2020 – Best Cakes by Boston Magazine!
How have you pivoted given the current circumstances? Large weddings and events have completely changed and we are seeing a surge of smaller, intimate events- and we absolutely love them! We love large parties and events, but these smaller events are just as special. To pivot with the needs of our clients, we now offer our Designer Cake Menu which is a collection of carefully curated cake designs for intimate events (50 guests or under). Clients can choose the cake design that speaks to them and customize it to their personal taste by choosing their favorite cake flavor on our menu and change the colors so that it’s cohesive with their wedding colors. We love the wonderful feedback we’ve been getting about our menu! This pivot will definitely be here to stay.
What motivates you? I do not want to let my clients down. Being able to be a part of such an incredible moment in someone’s life is both deeply humbling and an honor. Because of that, I have to make the best cake they’ve ever seen and tasted. Period.
Share a memory you have from a past wedding that sticks out in your mind. I normally don’t get to see my couples on their wedding day because the cake gets delivered earlier and couples are busy getting married!- but one lucky wedding day, I was able to see the bride and groom as I was putting the final touches on their cake! We worked on their wedding cake design together which was inspired by the bride’s family heirloom. When the bride saw the cake, she started crying (happy tears!) and then I started crying! I’ll let her testimonial explain:
“Nancy put a lot of talent into our wedding cake. Customized with a replication of an old printing block my grandparents had hanging in their house of a silhouette of a man and woman in a heart. For as long as I can remember, the printing block represented what the love between my grandparents was. As perfect as you could possibly have. I couldn’t imagine not having it incorporated into our wedding somehow. Thanks Nancy for doing such an amazing job.”
Who has been your greatest inspiration? My family. My parents immigrated from China, coming to America with very little money and raised both my sister and me. They waited tables at night, took care of both of us, worked their butts off, learned English, started a company while they were still working nights, spent years on trying to get their company to profit, and after many years of hard work, exhaustion, and grit, they made the “American Dream.” I’m so proud of them. Owning a business is difficult. Starting a business with so little, no social media, no help, and trying to build a new life in a new country when the odds are stacked against you, is truly and deeply inspiring.
What is something you are most proud of in your business? I’m proud of how much thought and care is put into every single one of my orders as if they’re my own. I actually obsess over every single thing, like how crisp the edges of a cake are and if they’re sharp enough, how smooth the buttercream finish is, how accurate the colors are, how tender and moist the cake layers are, the right balance of sweetness and flavors, and I even share detailed instructions on how the cake can be enjoyed at its best. I want my clients to experience having a cake that is both stunning and delicious because everyone should be able to have both!
5 TIPS ABOUT FINDING THE RIGHT WEDDING CAKE:
1. Find your top options. Make a list of bakeries and cake designers you’d like to work with by going through their portfolio and/or social media to see which of their styles matches yours the most. After, do some research and read their reviews. Read about other people’s experience with them, how they enjoyed their ordering experience, did they enjoy their cake, did they deliver a cake that met their expectations? Go with bakeries and cake designers that leave you feeling confident after you read their reviews.
2. Understand pricing and determine your comfortable price range. After you narrowed down your list of bakers, send them an inquiry by including your wedding date, how many guests you have, where your wedding venue is, and if you have a specific style/design in mind. With that information, they’ll be able to provide a more accurate quote for you. Cakes are price per serving (AKA per slice), so the number of guests you have will impact the price, as well as design elements (ex: handmade sugar flowers which are more pricey compared to fresh flowers).
3. Taste the cake. Yes! Taste ALL the cake if cake tastings are being offered. At Silver Whisk Bake Shop, we are shipping cake tastings directly to couples’ doors in lieu of our standard in-person tastings due to the current circumstances. Eating cake in your PJ’s? 100%.
4. Reach out to bakeries and cake designers six to nine months prior to your wedding date. It never hurts to reach out earlier though as some couples inquire about cakes a year in advance for peak wedding seasons. This is especially true for smaller cake boutiques since they’ll book up faster than larger bakeries.
5. Talk design once other big details are solidified. Start talking about cake design after you have your major wedding design elements in place (ex: colors, theme, style, venue, etc.). The design will be determined by your comfortable price range and other things, like weather, if you’re having an indoor or outdoor wedding, if you like fondant or buttercream, and more. Don’t worry, I know that’s a lot of stuff! Your baker will be able to guide you throughout this process!
Looking for more info on other local wedding professionals? Join us for our virtual expo live online now! There are giveaways available, including mini-moons, AND every participant receives a magazine digitally and in the mail!