Miranda Kenney-Pellett credits her mom and Betty Crocker for at least some of her success as a budding celebrity Eastern Ontario cake designer and decorator.
That’s not to say that Kenney-Pellett, the owner of Cardinal’s hugely popular Country Girl Cakes, uses premixed ingredients.
Rather, she decided to start her own business a couple of years ago after her mom gave her the 2008 Betty Crocker Calendar for Christmas.
“I started to become more interested in cake decorating after a few of the cakes from the calendar turned out better than expected,” Kenney-Pellett says.
Three years later, business at Country Girl Cakes (www.countrygirlcakes.org) is booming and Kenney-Pellett is considering hiring an extra set of hands to help with demand for her custom-made cakes and cupcakes.
Part of Kenney-Pellett’s popularity comes from word of mouth, but some of it comes from her new celebrity status as a result of winning some high-profile awards and for appearing on a recent nationally televised wedding cake-making competition.
She was one of three contestants on The Slice Network’s Cakewalk: the Wedding Cake Edition, hosted by actress-comedienne Caroline Rhea, and she has won some big decorating awards.
Kenney-Pellett earned her first national award last year at the Canadian Society of Sugar Artistry sugar art competition in Toronto. The same year, she won the People’s Choice Award at a baking competition in Brockville.
To continually improve her skills, she has taken cake-decorating classes from a number of professional celebrity cake artists who represent the Food Network and The Learning Channel.
In April 2010, Kenney-Pellett attended Ottawa’s 2010 bridal show and received so many wedding cakes orders that she decided she could no longer run her business from her three-bedroom house and bought a 1,400sq.ft. commercial building.
“We are now booking eight to 10 months in advance for wedding cakes and three to four weeks for celebration cakes,” she says.
Deanna Clark, Economic Development Officer for the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, says continued growth of Country Girl Cakes is expected as awareness of Kenney-Pellett’s special talents grows.
“Miranda has accomplished a lot in short period of time since opening her business,” Clark says. “She has created a unique operation and word is spreading quickly of her cake-making talents.”