Next up for the Rose City Style Guide First Anniversary featured series, Shelby Pellow, the lovely Founder & Owner of Shelby’s Sweet Shoppe and RCSG contributor. I first met Shelby and her beautiful creations, when I hired her for my wedding almost 2 years ago and she has been my go-to for perfectly sweet treats ever since!
Where did you acquire your love of baking? Has it always been a passion of yours?
I’ve loved baking from the time I was a toddler – my mom has a home video of me mixing up batter with a soother in my mouth! Since that time, my curiosity and inspiration has only grown. I’m always striving to better myself in the culinary field! I continue to gain inspiration from successful bakers like Maggie Austin, and Jenna Rae Cakes. I’m actually travelling to Washington this month to take a sugar flower course taught by Maggie Austin herself!
At what point did you decide to take baking from a hobby to a business?
I began making birthday cakes for friends as a hobby while I was in high school, and that’s when I began experimenting with different styles and techniques. From there, I started to get more and more requests for cakes from family and friends. After graduating, I continued honing my skills as a baker, and eventually I enrolled in St. Clair’s culinary arts program. It was at this time that I decided to start my own bake shoppe and really dedicate myself to my passion. I’ve never looked back!
What would you say sets you apart that has made your business so successful?
One thing I offer that I feel is exclusive to my business is dessert tables that really end up being a showpiece at events. I work with clients individually to determine the style of their event and a coordinating menu. From there, I create a table of desserts that matches their colours and theme. On the day of the event, I set up the desserts and decor of the table, so that all they need to do is show up and enjoy! In addition, I think the thought and passion I put into each client’s event is pretty special. I truly get excited every time to create something special and personal for each order.
Walk us through the process of turning a customer’s idea into a dessert that is so unique and personalized.
– My clients will often approach me with a colour scheme or specific theme. With this information I discuss with them my vision for their dessert, whether its a sweet table, a wedding cake, or birthday cake. I then get to work employing a variety of techniques and specialty ingredients to create a one of a kind creation.
What advice would you give an aspiring baker who wants to start their own business?
Make sure you’re willing to put all of your time and effort in. Building your business and clientele takes time; don’t be discouraged. Stay inspired by finding role models in your field, and remind yourself often of how far you’ve come!
What is a typical day like for you?
I start my day with a coffee (extra large, if it’s a busy week!) and a healthy homemade breakfast. I then respond to clients e-mails and go over the week’s schedule. From there it’s into my sweet shoppe to get started on that days baking. Depending on the season, this may last well into the evening. In my slower months I take advantage of the extra time to experiment with new techniques and continue honing my skills.
What is your favourite Saturday afternoon activity in Windsor-Essex?
I don’t typically have a Saturday afternoon that doesn’t involve setting up a dessert table, or finishing off a wedding cake for a client. When I do, I take full advantage and either spend the afternoon relaxing or squeezing in an extra yoga class!