From curing cavities to causing them, Ara Metzner put aside her career in the dental industry and instead picked up a whisk, spatula and grabbed her apron. And in June, she opened the doors of Caken Me Crazy in Vernon.
The quaint shop nestled along Okanagan Landing Road is bursting with freshly baked goods and character. And inside, four-year-old Eddie, clad in an orange apron to match his mom, stole peeks at customers and some treats, too.
Metzner, who has spent the past two decades in the United States, moved to Vernon after her mother fell ill. Upon her return, she decided it was time to open up shop after she outgrew her kitchen.
She had spent years training alongside professionals in Hawaii but left the warm weather and ocean behind to come back to British Columbia.
“I missed the season,” she admitted. “People would be surprised to hear this, but when you don’t see snow, you miss it.”
Metzner studied the culinary arts in Washington and has put her creativity to the test creating unique custom cakes for birthday parties, weddings and more.
She said brides have taken notice of her work. She went from 18 orders starting this summer and now she’s up to 24.
On top of cakes, Metzner bakes cookies, pastries, stuffed croissants and artisan breads daily, plus she utilizes local ingredients such as honey and fruit in her baking as much as she can.
“Cranberry and walnut bread sounds crazy,” one customer said.
“I make everything by hand and I roll my dough,” Metzner said. “I use local honey in my bread, I don’t use processed sugar.”
On many days, Metzner heads to work before daybreak.
“It’s been so great. I love coming to work everyday. I love waking up at four in the morning and I love being able to come in here and play,” Metzner said. “Especially when I get to make my cakes.”
The transition into owning a business hasn’t been too difficult, Metzner explained, due in large part to her support network of family and friends in Vernon.
But already she’s looking to the future. Metzner said she’s planning to host cake decorating classes in the very near future.