We all associate sweet treats with celebration. Each one of us marked our birthdays over the years with a centerpiece candle-studded cake, no wedding is complete without a towering baked offering and special meals more often than not end on a sweet note. With this in mind, while targeting the destination wedding traveller, Life&Style Magazine sat down with Lestene Maduro of LSL Bake Shop in Virgin Gorda, who puts her all into ensuring these occasions become sweet memories?
My job title is currently a Pastry Chef.
Culinary was never an interest with me. I actually wanted to study Architecture, but really thought about the future of the business.
I started working at LSL doing cakes at the age of 16 right after high school graduation. We (my mom and I) saw I had a natural knack for cake decorating so decided I should study Culinary. I obtained my certification in 2009 after studying in Orlando, Florida.
The most creative thing I can think about would be a hanging chandelier cake. This was an actual cake hanging from the ceiling with no visible structure holding it in place.
Yes, I can make sugar flowers. We make flowers daily. I have no problem with using fresh flowers if my clients prefer to have fresh blooms on their cake. We work with the florist of your choice, but if you don’t have any, we are partnered with Blossom’s Florist as well.
Wedding cake preparations start a week in advanced if there are sugar flowers included in the design. The cake design itself starts 1-2 days in advance. Timing really depends on the sizing, decoration, intricacy and so forth.
Wedding cakes are priced based on your flavours, amount of tiers (cakes stacked on one another), design, flower option (Fresh or Sugar), and location of delivery.
It depends on the bride. Some pre-purchase their topper while some request that we provide a topper.
Yes, we do provide cake stands for wedding cakes on rental.
All wedding cake prices include delivery and set-up at the reception.
Sometimes I may start work as early as 4am, and end as late as 10pm. I usually start my day with the organization of the day’s orders and create invoices for each order. I then start to make buttercream for the day’s workload, ensure each order has the required cake baked, pre-fold required boxes for the day, and ensure orders that request personal images were sent and printed. Then I start to decorate. After all orders are complete, I start answering emails and WhatsApp messages. Next, I prepare anything needed for the next day, such as fondant pieces or flowers. Then I do it all over the following day.
I believe what makes us stand out from the rest is that we are a close-knit family operated business. Everyone has a common goal for the business and that’s the success of LSL. So, when need be, everyone steps up and help out in which ever department needed.
If customers don’t know what they really want, I ask for a little information about their event, how many they want to cater for (so I can quote them on the right size cake), and design wise. I sometimes sketch several designs for them to choose from. We have cake books they can go through or ask them to provide something from online similar to what they might want.
Cake decorating has become a passion of mine, so trying times really isn’t something that will really deter me. I understand business and know it’s not going to be a good day, every day, so I just stand firm and try to get through the day.
LSL also offers a variety of flavoured cakes, standard birthday cakes, specialized custom fondant cakes, cupcakes, a variety of pastries and breads, dessert cups, cheesecakes, key-lime pies, chocolate covered strawberries, French Macarons, and cake pops.
We saw the need for a second location in Road Town, as Tortola being home of our largest clientele, and also this was a good way to let the public know that we offer so much more than just the standard birthday cakes.
To me, success in the business is when you get job offers like providing cakes for events such as the Governor’s Ball, which you know is in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s birthday. I’ve done it two years in a row. 2015 and 2016. That opportunity was almost surreal to me, but I always stay humble.
Give me adequate time. Don’t request a five-tier wedding cake with two days’ notice. Cake decorating takes time and precision.
Eventually expand the business and open another location.
Every day won’t be easy, just don’t give up.
Whatever you ask for in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith – Matthew 21:22
I’d like for the readers to stop by any of our locations, and if you can’t, check us out online.