Birthday, Wedding + Special Occasion Cakes
Linda Cronk has been baking cakes since she was a teenager. A descendant of the Huguenots that founded New Paltz, she started baking at 13 and began decorating cakes for family events at 15. She and her sister had always wanted to open a bakery. As a student in Arlington, she took every food class they taught and won an award for excellence in baking. She also took a Wilton class while working in the food service business.
In 1992, she began working at the Pastry Garden in Poughkeepsie. She started as a sales girl and worked her way up to head decorator. Being mostly self-taught she says she had some excellent teachers along the way. She’s also taught Wilton classes as well.
After baking for more than 30 years, she recently left The Pastry Garden to start her own home business Qwirky Kakes. Her goal is to eventually have a storefront location. She’s also working on a website, but in the meantime you can find her through facebook
She bakes cakes for all occasions from birthday to wedding and special occasions. Her favorite cake was a team effort with her husband. He created a working carousel stand and Linda went on to decorate it with horses. The cake on top was a stack of whimsical circus animals. She loved it so much that she features it on her business card.
Another favorite was a very lifelike looking trout. She has done everything from buildings to castles, cars, trucks, motorcycles and a lot of animals. Everyone says her cakes taste as good as they look and that no one ever wants to cut them. Freshness and quality are key!
Creating a custom cake starts with ideas from the customer. A lot of the times it comes from photos that someone saw online and Linda tweaks the specifics and the flavors. Whether it’s a bride looking for a wedding cake or someone looking for a birthday or shower cake a lot of her customers come to her with inspiration from photos they have seen online. After years of experience baking Linda is confident in handling special requests and making recommendations.
Being a part of people’s special events is important to Linda. “It’s great to see kids grow up and be a part of their milestones. I consider it to be a privilege.” Fundraisers are also an important aspect of her business. She recently participated as part of a cake sale raffle to raise funds for a good friend struggling with cancer. The fundraiser was very successful. Kwirky Kakes has been involved with Calvary Chapel Christian Nursery School for the last 14 years and Linda enjoys seeing the happy young faces and working with them. People love to get goodies from bake sales and are very generous. Plus getting to talk to the community and being involved is something important.
Delivery of the cakes is an important matter as well. Some people want them delivered while others like to transport them. Depending on the situation, time of year, temperature, distance and humidity, it’s all something that Qwirky Kakes is mindful of. Linda has also earned the title of Cake Doctor as sometimes people have called upon her services to fix cakes she has not even made or when others have choose to transport a cake.
Do you know someone having a birthday or special occasion coming up? It’s best to get on the Qwirky Kakes calendar early.
All Photos By Qwirky Kakes