There comes a point in one’s life where you have to find your true calling and strike while the iron is hot. This is what happened when Ashleigh Blackman founded Bake-tique 212. Ashleigh comes from the fashion industry world which she devoted a decade of her time to. Having a lifelong passion for baking and a key eye for design & art, she was able to transition herself out of fashion and into the culinary world where she now runs her successful dessert company. Touted as a “Artisanal Dessert Company”, Ashleigh has done a phenomenal job at starting her business from scratch and becoming an in demand client for event directors and party stylists alike who dig and enjoy her unique and beautiful creations. Did I mention tasty as well? I tried her cupcakes last week and they were simply divine.
I recently sat down with the lovely Ashleigh to learn more about her fab creations and what her hopes are for the future. Take a look!
Hi Ashleigh! Thanks so much for your time. So how did the concept of Bake-tique 212 start?
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me! I wanted to be able to provide custom desserts that are beautifully decorated, taste amazing and are designed to tie back to the concept and color scheme for events.
What was the inspiration behind the name of your brand?
I wanted something simple, clear but descriptive. Using my fashion and creative background, plus the fact we are an artisanal dessert company, I decided to combine the words bakery and boutique. I also wanted to have the name express we are in New York so I used the area code for Manhattan, and came up with Bake-tique 212. As we expand, we’ll use area codes in other cities. For example, Miami would be Bake-tique 305.
What drove the 180 degree career move change from fashion to culinary?
When I left my position in the fashion industry, I was in search of something that would still allow me to be creative. I grew up watching and helping my grandma bake, and always had a passion for baking. I also have family friends in the restaurant/catering business who were looking for a dessert supplier back in 2013. They were kind enough to set up a tasting, loved everything and from there, the business took off. Bake-tique 212 allows me to be creative and it makes me so happy to see reactions when my clients see the desserts. I get even happier when I see their reactions to tasting them!
Do you see the similarities in the two fields in terms of style and design and do you incorporate that when baking?
There are definitely similarities especially when it comes to color, style and design. I am able to apply my training with style to create an even flow and placement of color both on the product, as the product itself when styling dessert displays for an event. My training in design/art enables me to use my artistic talent when creating product designs and decorations, and display table arrangements. They are all tied into each other both in fashion, and now in baking.
My mother came from the culinary world and had a ton of other chefs that drew her into developing a brand name for herself in that industry. What are and were yours?
Despite being in fashion first, I’ve always been an artist with an internal drive to create. Working as a fashion designer gave me an outlet for my love of design and color. Thanks to my grandmother, I grew up with a true love of baking and now I’m fortunate enough to be heading my own company. I have the creative freedom to invent my own recipes and aesthetic vision for Bake-tique 212’s desserts and push myself to stand out in a saturated market.
Tell my readers about all things Bake-tique 212. What kind of treats do you make and what makes them so special?
We have a variety of delicious desserts. Some of the products that make Bake-tique 212 unique are ghuvikelz, cookie pies and smidgens. Our Ghuvikelz are one of Bake-tique 212’s most sought-after treats. The unique, fourth-generation recipe features extraordinary dough that is crisp yet tender. The dough is rolled with a variety of fillings, creating layers of delicious flavors that satisfy any craving. Ghuvikelz™ come in several flavors: Original (strawberry, walnut), MCM (macadamia, coconut and marshmallow) and Banana-Nutella. Smidgens are petite one-bite wonders that combine marshmallow topped with either chocolate or caramel with a variety of bases crafted from either Graham Crackers, brownies, pretzels, Oreos®, or chocolate chip cookies. Cookie-Pies™ are flavorful, eye-appealing two-bite, open lattice miniature apple or blueberry pies that are the size and shape of a cookie. Our Fine Arts cupcakes are also special because of the artistic designs used to ice the cupcakes such as flower cupcakes.
What unique flavors do you make for the masses to devour?
For the masses, cupcakes never get old. My clients tend to enjoy a traditional vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting, and the chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting. As creative as I get with the rest of my products, sometimes a classic just never fades!
What type of events does Bake-tique 212 usually cater towards?
We do all types of events whether it’s large corporate events, charity galas, weddings, bridal/baby showers, birthdays, product launches, etc. You name it, we help cater for it!
What exciting things can you tell our readers that you have coming up in 2015 and beyond?
We’re really looking to explore additional flavors in hopes of expanding any of the product lines. When I see what restaurants and mixologists are doing with dishes and cocktails, using atypical ingredients, I know that’s something I can bring to the dessert world too. It’s just a matter of finding that new and unique element no one else has, and making the ingredient ratio work out so people are craving it; as well as staying on or ahead of the trends.
Anything else you want to add?
I want everyone to know that I truly value my customers and when I get new or repeat business, I always keep an open line of communication. It’s important to know what the client wants and doesn’t want, likes and dislikes, to help in creating a unique event.