An Armstrong entrepreneur has iced her way to the top.
Frosted Tier Cakes has been named Cake Designer of the Year (in the Okanagan and overall provincially) by the 2019 British Columbia Wedding Awards honoured by Creative Oceanic.
“I was nominated and honestly knew nothing about this until they contacted me with the good news,” said owner Mel Williams.
Creative Oceanic’s inaugural BC Wedding Awards took place March 6 at The Executive Vancouver Airport Hotel, which Williams was able to attend.
“I had my sister with me, I just couldn’t go alone,” said the shy Williams. “It was the first time either of us have gotten dressed up in a while.”
Vernon’s Victoria Lane Brides was also nominated for Wedding Boutique of the Year. Wedding Venue of the Year saw nods for Predator Ridge, Coldstream’s Kal View room at Okanagan College and the Prestige Hotel. Harris Flowers was nominated for Florist of the Year. Infinity Makeup Artist was nominated for hair and makeup specialist. Wedding Officiant Sue Cairnie was also nominated.
But Frostier Tier Cakes was the only regional winner.
“The winners of the British Columbia Wedding Awards 2019 represent the industry’s gold standard that work tirelessly to meet and satisfy the demands of their clients. The awards showcased some of the best wedding specialists that operate in the industry, whose excellence and commitment crowned them winners,” said a spokesperson for the awards.
Other regional winners include: Kelowna’s Fresh Finish Media (Videographer), Red Velvet Bridal Design (Wedding Boutique – Okanagan and overall), Floral Designs by Lee – All Occasions (Florist – Okanagan) and Salmon Arm’s ShyLynn Ranch (Wedding Venue – Okanagan). Kamloops’ Styled by Muah took the Okanagan and overall title for hair and makeup specialist of the year.
“The competition was really tough, but these champions are tried and tested specialists that know how to create a wedding look like a fairy tale. We would like to congratulate all finalists and winners for their good work and amazing achievements.”
Williams’ business started by being asked to make a birthday cake for a friend’s daughter. Since then, she has been making her elaborately decorated cakes out of her home for several years and in June 2017 she opened her little bake shop in the heart of Armstrong to reach a wider audience.
“It has been slow going but a lot of fun. I learn new techniques, and fun new designs every day,” said Williams. “I work hard every day to make new and fun delicious creations for all my clients new and returning. Everything is hand made from scratch and molded to suit each client’s needs.”
Taking the leap from a home-based business to a retail location was a nerve-racking proposition, but Valley First Business Banking Advisor Jared Nelson helped her with the launch.
“I first met Jared right after I got my business license and I was nervous about taking such a big step,” she says. “He was super friendly and incredibly generous with his time. Since I opened Frosted Tier Cakes, he’s always available to answer every single question I have.”
While Williams loves making custom-made cakes as well as ready to eat confections such as cake pops, cupcakes and macaroons to clients throughout the North Okanagan, she does admit that starting your own business is not without its challenges.
“Make sure you love it because you are going to have to put 150 per cent into it every single day,” she says.
To that end, she advises would-be business owners to make sure they do their research and talk as many people they can before taking the leap themselves.
“It’s essential to know what you are getting into.”
– with files from Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, business member profiles