Wednesday, July 30, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Longtime local engineers home-style bakery

By
From page A7 | February 03, 2013 |

Cake Couture founder and designer Christie Vega Apodaca of Davis holds a fondant ruffle cake. Apodaca was the first Yolo County resident to establish a home-based bakery under a new cottage foods law that took effect Jan. 1. Ligia Ann Photography/Courtesy photo

Those inclined to indulge in sugary desserts should recognize that when something tastes “homemade,” it truly may be.

Late last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the cottage foods bill, which created a new category of baked food production — one that could be operated out of a house. The new law took effect Jan. 1.

The legislation was catered to entrepreneurs, like Christie Vega Apodaca, whose Cake Couture business venture was the first one in Yolo County licensed under the new law. Her sweet creations are products of a kitchen in a Davis home.

“Now you can legitimately promote yourself without feeling the need to keep it secretive,” said Apodaca, 35. “It’s common in weddings and birthdays for someone you know to make it, as opposed to a bakery or commercial kitchen.”

Originally born in Peru, Apodaca has lived in Davis for more than 30 years. It’s here that she learned the art of cake baking and design — at the tender age of 12 — in a Davis Adult School cake decorating class.

“I convinced my mom to sign up, so I could tag along,” she said. “That’s when I really got interested in it. She started dropping me off, and she would go home. I’d be there decorating — at 12 — with 40-year-olds. It was funny.”

But it was a while before the early hobby would become a professional pursuit. Apodaca chose to study mechanical and aeronautical engineering at UC Davis, and worked in that field for six years.

“I liked making things efficient,” she said. “It’s like with making cakes, I’ve gotten a routine down. Fifteen minutes for this, half an hour for that. … I was very much a process and production engineer, so I utilize that mind-set still.

“I don’t know if I use equations quite as much, aside from calculating the recipe portions,” she added with a smile.

Apodaca, the mother of two young girls, switched to a more flexible profession to suit her full-time parenting schedule. With the passage of the cottage foods law, she was able to transform her home into her own faux bakery.

Four months ago, Cake Couture was established, and provided occasional cupcake gift boxes for clients of Dixon-based Greiner Heating & Air Conditioning. The operation sustained itself, but Apodaca wished to expand into the wedding cake business, an ambition partly based on appreciation for all that goes into a wedding.

“Cakes, design and fashion are all integrated to me — all things that I enjoy,” Apodaca said. “I’m especially into design; I guess that’s why I liked mechanical engineering, too.”

Today’s brides and grooms value creativity in decoration, contrary to the traditional designs of the past, she said. Her vision for the future is to have retail cakes that are made with visual flair, but remain affordable.

Davis artist Marie Therese-Brown partnered with Apodaca to bring her unique aesthetic to life at Cake Couture’s debut at the Cal Expo Bridal Show on Jan. 13. The result was well-received, she said.

“I got a lot of feedback, and mostly because of the design,” Apodaca said. “Even the vendor lady next to me said, ‘I’ve never seen a cake booth so busy without samples.’ It was really exciting.”

The biggest investment for Apodaca in starting her business has been time. She said much of her energy has gone toward showcasing her work locally, including a three-tiered cake donated to the UCD department of engineering for its 50th anniversary gala.

Getting more exposure in the region has been a priority, as demonstrated by the many promotional cakes Apodaca supplied at no charge last month. She’s also employed modern technology to spread the word, such as Facebook, Google and text messaging. The latter has even acted as a means of improving relations with current clientele.

“I send pictures to my customers of their cake in the decoration process, and they love it,” she added. “Through a quick phone picture message they feel reassured, and can see how their cake is coming along.”

And customers aren’t the only ones thankful when it comes time to prepare the sweet treats.

“There’s always plenty of cupcakes and icing left over for these girls, too,” Apodaca said as she held her 3-year-old daughter. “That’s probably not the best thing, but there is.”

Cake Couture can be reached at info@cakecouture.com and www.cakecouturedesigner.com.

— Reach Brett Johnson at bjohnson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Family enterprise builds a home for music

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Health premiums rose significantly in 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Mosquito districts sprays tonight

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: Poll dancing, direct from Las Vegas

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Davis native named a Schweitzer Fellow

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Biggest book sale to date opens Friday at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Share your love of nature with young wetlands visitors

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Tasting event benefits Yolo Land Trust

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

    Movies in the Park return this fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

    Center for Families hosts Summer Carnival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Vintage car show planned this fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Wine-tastings will benefit YCCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    DHS Class of ’94 set 20th reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Tips, techniques will give you a green thumb

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Grief support focuses on journaling

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    How the Bockler wasp got its name

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Kiwanis golf tournament supports local agencies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Drop off school supplies at Edward Jones offices

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    UC Davis alumnus hopes to bring amateur radio to Nepal

    By Rachel Uda | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Yolo County CASA seeks volunteer child advocates

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Recycle old paint cans for free

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Not sure which direction to go

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Gravel mining affects us all

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Violence as entertainment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Shocked at vampires story

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Paul Krugman: Corporate artful dodgers

    By Paul Krugman | From Page: A6

     
    Nicholas Kristof: The world’s coolest places

    By Nicholas Kristof | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Fiona Buck pushes the limits in para-athletics

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    A’s rally to win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Morse homers but Giants lose 6th straight

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Nightmare on Ballpark Drive for River Cats

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Schaub settles in as Raiders starting QB

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Molten art on display at Davis Arts Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Brady earns top honors at State Fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Smither releases new CD Saturday at The Palms

    By Kate Laddish | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    RootStock kicks off ‘Día de Albariño’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Folk musicians will jam in the Arboretum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    YoloArts to host a state of change exhibit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    UCD professor Andy Jones named Davis’ new poet laureate

    By Rachel Uda | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Calvin D. Rourke

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6