Thursday, February 12, 2004
Craig Whether it's chocolate or traditional white cake, tiered or sheet-style, the details that create the centerpiece of the big day can be fashioned in Craig and Steamboat Springs.
J'Lea Driver, owner of Serendipity Coffee Shop in Craig, has a long history of baking cakes for the area's brides and grooms. She has made every kind of wedding cake imaginable including cakes on tree stands, edible creations covered in fresh strawberries and at least one wedding cake with both chocolate filling and frosting.
"I take a lot of pride in doing what the bride wants," she said. "I try hard to make it just right."
Driver charges $1.75 per serving for white and chocolate cakes and $2 per serving for carrot cake because it requires more ingredients, she said. The national average for a piece of wedding cake per slice is $15, according to the Association for Wedding Professionals International.
Delivery and setup are free and Driver is willing to deliver a cake as far away as Denver.
She has been known to book two weddings per weekend in the late spring and summer months, so couples are encouraged to call sooner than later.
Driver is happy to serve sample cakes for interested wedding cake shoppers.
Oak Creek resident Jane Reece also specializes in baking and decorating wedding cakes. Reece is a baker at Winona's Restaurant in Steamboat Springs. She started making cakes eight years ago after learning the ropes from a fellow baker at the restaurant.
In the past couple years, couples have opted for wedding cakes with more simple designs, she said. But Reece is willing to try a variety of cake styles to please couples.
"I try to cater to what people want," she said. "They can give me a picture of what they're thinking about or look through my books to find what they want."
Reece charges $3.25 per slice of cake and extra for fillings or extravagant designs.
Setup and delivery is $40 for most areas in Steamboat Springs. Reece charges $50 for setup and delivery at some harder-to-reach locations around town, such as the top of the gondola on Mount Werner.
Local bakers are happy to provide groom's and bridesmaid cakes along with the wedding cakes.
"Groom's cakes are usually chocolate," Driver said.
She has made a few groom's cakes in the shape of a heart, decorated with a tuxedo design. Bridesmaid's cakes tend to be simpler.
Couples don't have to turn to a specialist for their cakes. Most supermarket bakeries offer a variety of sizes, flavors and decorations to suit wedding needs. Cake prices range from $100 to $400 at City Market.
Cake decorator Amanda Duran said the most popular varieties are traditional white with white frosting.
But the store also offers marble and chocolate cakes with a variety of frosting options.
And for those who can't decide?
"We can do half-and-half flavors or do each layer a different flavor," she said.
Though the traditional statue of a bride and groom atop the wedding cake has almost disappeared from contemporary wedding receptions, other, more natural cake toppers have increased in popularity.
Fresh flowers or ribbons to match the wedding colors are prized cake adornments, Duran said.
Couples can thumb through a store catalog dedicated to cake toppers. The additions can either be placed on a City Market cake or rented out to top a cake made elsewhere.
"The cake toppers are purchased separately," Duran said. "We have ones with hearts, lace and beads or the floral department can put together an arrangement."
Couples should order cakes at least two weeks ahead of time, Duran said.