A year and a half ago, local mom Jessica Martin began baking cakes and cupcakes for friend’s birthdays and other special events just for fun. Word of mouth quickly made Martin’s cakes in high demand, and her “hobby” snowballed into a full-time business venture. “The business grew quickly to more than 40 hours a week, so I had to quit my desk job. I’m at a point now where I’m wondering if I need to hire somebody…. I’m currently looking for a bigger space to accommodate my growing business!” Martin enthused.
Natural, organic ingredients
Most of the ingredients in Martin’s cakes and cupcakes are organic; she never uses artificial flavorings, and when she can, uses natural colors. “I love that I’m able to offer a product that is a little different from the rest of the bakeries in town… Everything except the fondant (an edible icing used to decorate or sculpt cakes) is made from scratch! I even use natural colors in my buttercream. People appreciate the ingredients I use.”
Martin took one cake decorating class, but everything else has been self-taught, which speaks to her natural talent. “I specialize in custom designs; customers often come to me with designs that other bakeries turned down because they are too difficult or time consuming. I pride myself in quality over quantity for sure…. I call my cakes the centerpiece of the party,” Martin shared.
The perks of self-employment
For Martin, who’s also a mother of two (Chase, 10 and Emily, 6), the best part of being her own boss is the flexibility of making her own schedule and being able to spend time with family. Still, juggling the demands of an expanding business with the needs of her kids is far from easy. “It’s a constant balance. But I have a very independent spirit personality- I don’t like other people’s rules, never have. I love being able to do things with my family when I want to without asking for permission.”
Another perk? “When I’m making cupcakes, I always make a little extra- I don’t mind being my own taste tester.”
An appreciation for customers
Finally, Martin shares her inspiration to keep going when life gets really crazy: “I’m so blessed because I have really great customers. I’m a believer in the law of attraction- that if you put love into what you do, you get it back; so far that’s been correct. At the end of the week, all the positive feedback I get about the look and the taste of my cakes, plus the smiles on my customer’s faces and the kids’ faces when they taste the cake, is very satisfying.”
Q&A With Jessica Martin
What’s your favorite activity to do with your family/kids?
I love to travel! I always make sure to mark off a weekend a few times a year to go somewhere fun. I was born and raised in Alaska and both kids were also born in Alaska so we go home once a year. I especially like taking the kids places none of us have ever been before, last month we spent a few days in Gatlinburg, TN, which was a blast.
Best Holiday memory you have from when you were a kid?
Since the 4th of July is still on my mind… in Alaska in July the sky never gets dark so they don’t do the fireworks show until around midnight. I always got excited as a kid to leave the house when it was normally past bedtime to find a spot to watch the fireworks.
What’s your go-to activity when you finally have a few minutes to yourself?
Sleep. Hands down no questions. I consider myself a
professional napper. I can fall asleep anywhere.