I met up with Natalie Bryn of Cake Envy to learn more about her and the fine art of cake baking.
JMB: So Natalie, how did you get started in this delicious business?
Natalie: Twenty years ago, I was a single mom with two little ones and I couldn’t afford birthday cakes for my kids that weren’t from a grocery store with a little deco pack of plastic toys on it. I bought a Wilton magazine and taught myself how to pipe. My first cake was Barney, and the next one was Star Wars.
JMB: Oh yes, I remember our own “Barney Cake Days,” although ours were from the grocery store and came with the plastic toys. What were these first cakes of yours like?
Natalie: They were NOT good, but I remember back then being sooooo proud. My kids loved them and my mom ooh’d & ahhh’d over them. And then my kids’ friends’ parents started buying from me!
JMB: Cake baking and decorating is such a creative profession to be in. Do you enjoy doing other creative things as well?
Natalie: Yes, and I love that my job allows me to have a creative outlet. I’ve always painted, created art, and sewed my own clothes (it was the 80’s and that wasn’t weird). I re-cover furniture and love crafts and decorating. Cake is just an extension of being creative and getting to do art on food!
JMB: So after all these years of baking, you’ve gotta have some funny stories. Could you share one with us?
Natalie: Well, actually, this story is funny, but also kinda tragic. I delivered a wedding cake and groom’s cake and had just gotten them setup and went to find the contact person to sign off on the cakes. On the way, I bumped into the groom, who got super excited to see his cake, which was a captain America Minion. Well, guess what? As we entered the room there was a child — with his dad standing over him mind you — who had his finger knuckle deep into my cake!
JMB: Aaaaack!! So what did you do?
Natalie: We all freaked out. I was able to patch & disguise it a little, but GRRRRRR!!!!
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JMB: So now let’s talk a little about your non-cake life. What are some things you like to do when you’re not making cakes?
Natalie: I actually love church. I love the Avengers, the Denver Broncos, and the TV show Forensic Files. I’m pretty sure I could solve murders as a side business! Ha!
JMB: Oooh … a cake baker who solves murder mysteries on the side; now that sounds like a great idea for a book series. No, wait — I think it actually is a book series! The Lexie Baker Cozy Mystery Series by Leighann Dobbs. 3 Bodies and a Biscotti; Killer Cupcakes; Dying for Danish … you should check them out!
Natalie: I’m dying to check them out! Get it? Dying? Hahahaha!
JMB: Good one! Oh, and there’s also the Hannah Swenson Mystery Series by Joanna Fluke. It’s about the owner of a cookie bakery who is a part-time sleuth. Blueberry Muffin Murder; Strawberry Shortcake Murder; Fudge Cupcake Murder … Isn’t that funny? There must be some bizarre desire out there to read stories that combine rich desserts with dead bodies. I wonder why that is?
Natalie: I’m not sure I want to think about that one.
JMB: Do you have any parting advice for couples getting married?
Natalie: Yes: Your wedding will be awesome no matter what. Plan the marriage. Anyone can have a wedding, but not many stay married. Devote yourself to planning that part!
JMB: Well, thanks so much Natalie.