Tag Archives | Bakery

Upcoming Changes in 2018

Friends, colleagues and clients,

It is with a bittersweet purpose that I share this news with you today. During this holiday season of gratitude and reflection, I have been carefully examining my life, both from a business and personal perspective, and have made the difficult decision to close Elysia Root Cakes permanently January 27, 2018.

Please know it has been an absolute privilege and honor to be part of the Chicago wedding industry and to play a role in thousands of beautiful celebrations of love, life and family. I am so grateful for the wedding community, and the friendship and support that both clients and colleagues have shown me over the years.

Photo Credit: Bob & Dawn Davis Photography

In the years to come, I will look fondly back on many moments- including our move to the cake studio space at 1939 W. Fulton Street, our regular Treat Tuesday team lunches, having not one but two cakes featured on season 4 of Fox’s hit show, Empire, and being a part of the 100th wish granted by Wish Upon a Wedding. I still eagerly anticipate our upcoming episode of Cake Hunters, set to air in 2018, which was shot during PartySlate’s second anniversary celebration.

Elysia Root Cakes' Chicago custom cake studio

Photo Credit: Tuan B & Co.

This has been a deeply personal decision made at a time when the business couldn’t be stronger, but the needs of my family have grown, and I can’t let those needs cause us to sacrifice the quality of our products and services for which we are known.

For our clients, we will continue to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible. We are pleased to recommend Sugar Fixe Patisserie to Chicago couples seeking referrals. We have complete confidence in our highly reputable colleague and are grateful that they are willing to help fulfill our client’s needs during this transition.

I am grateful to Nate Root, my husband of 12 years, for his unwavering support. Without him, Elysia Root Cakes would never have existed. I am also grateful to my amazing employees, past and present, for being so dedicated and professional and believing in our core values and mission.

Photo credit: Tuan B & Co

This chapter of my life and business may be ending, but I take with me friendships and memories that can never be replaced. I am grateful to you all for following me on this great adventure.

There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction. -Winston Churchill

With much love and gratitude,

Elysia

Meet the team: Andrea Alvarez Reno, Cake Artist & Baker

Last but not least in our Meet the Team series, meet Andrea Alvarez Reno, who is a cake artist and baker on the Elysia Root Cakes team!  Andrea is an extremely talented artist and not only does she excel in the pastry arts, she taught herself calligraphy as well and in her off hours, owns and runs Andrea Reno Calligraphy.  Andrea is originally from Honduras but cake artistry and love brought her to Chicago!  Andrea received her L’Art du Gâteau certificate from The French Pastry School here in Chicago.  

Headshot by Laura Witherow Photography. Hair and Make-Up by Joanna B Artistry.

Andrea owned a custom cupcake and cake studio in her native Honduras and worked as a lead decorator for a couple of other bakeries in Chicago before joining the Elysia Root Cakes team!  She is also the best dog mom to her dog Manolo.  We are grateful to have such a talented person on our team! Read on to find out a little bit more about Andrea!

What do you like most about working at Elysia Root Cakes?  As a perfectionist myself I love the fact the all the cakes are done as perfect as possible.  The first time I learned that we could use a ruler to make the cake the perfect levelness and circumference it was like fireworks in my brain.

What has been your favorite project at Elysia Root Cakes?  Definitely the pleated architectural inspired cake. It was such a challenge and such a unique cake! The fact that it was all white made it better and all the math that involved was thrilling to me.

Delivered to Acadia restaurant this past September.  An architectural wedding cake designed by an architect groom and executed precisely by Andrea!

What is your role at Elysia Root Cakes?  Construction of cakes and elaboration of artistic elements AKA Cake Artist.

Motto or personal mantra?  You give your best. There is no other option.

Three words to best describe you?  Perfectionist, motivated and hard working.

Fondant dragon for a wedding cake, hand sculpted by Andrea

Back of the hand sculpted fondant dragon

What did you want to be when growing up?  Three things: baker, veterinary or forensic doctor!

Describe the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?  Grabbing my bags and my dog and coming to a country where I would have no family (except my husband) and no friends, leaving behind everything I ever knew.

What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?  Family and health are the most important thing.

Calligraphy and edible wedding invitation created by Andrea.

Edible gala invitation created by Andrea.

Outside of work, what kinds of hobbies and interests do you have? I’m obsessed with Crossfit and nutrition.

Where is your hometown?  I am from San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

What is your hidden talent?  I like to think I’m very strong. I can currently squat 200 lbs and I’m going for more weight!

Gorgeous sparkly art deco fondant wedding cake with a ruffled bottom tier to match the wedding dress!

 

Thanks for taking the time to read about the Elysia Root Cakes team.  Check out more from Andrea on her Instagram and make sure to also check out her calligraphy Instagram as well!

Members of the Elysia Root Cakes team: Andrea, Maddie, Monica and Sammie at the 2017 Wish Upon A Wedding Gala.

Meet the team: Danielle Leahy, Cake Artist and Baker

This week, meet Danielle Leahy, the Elysia Root Cakes team’s Cake Artist and Baker!  Danielle joined the Elysia Root Cakes team in the past year.  Danielle moved to Chicago from Washington D.C., but is originally from Pennsylvania.  She received her degree in Baking and Pastry Management from The Culinary Institute of America in New York.  

Headshot by Laura Witherow Photography. Hair and Make-up by Joanna B Artistry.

Danielle interned at Pink Cake Box in New Jersey and also has a strong pastry background, having been on the pastry team at the Rosewood hotel in Washington, D.C.  We recently sent Danielle to 3 days of  Cake Carnival in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada to learn from six amazing cake artists and to further develop her own skills.  She spent 3 days creating this beautiful wedding cake that showcased a variety of different techniques.

Wedding cake created by Danielle. Photo courtesy of Danielle Leahy.

Read on below to get to know a little more about Danielle!

Before work at Elysia Root Cakes what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?  In high school I took phone orders for a company that sold plants and seeds.

What do you like most about working at Elysia Root Cakes?  I like that we are always doing new and different techniques and learning every day.

Danielle pictured with the Elysia Root Cakes team and the cake we created for the TV show Empire for the Prince tribute episode.

What book did you last read? 32 Yolks by Eric Ripert

Where is your hometown? Hatboro, Pennsylvania

What has been your favorite project at Elysia Root Cakes?  My favorite project so far has been the monkey baby shower cake.

Hand painted baby shower cake with hand made fondant monkeys that Danielle helped to create.

What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?  A French bulldog puppy

What is one food you wish had zero calories? Pizza

Danielle and our intern Maddie, delivering a wedding cake. Photo by Jason Kaczorowski Photography.

Where is the best place you’ve travelled to and why?  Italy because of the amazing art, delicious food and wine

What is one thing you can’t resist?  Peanut butter

Thanks for taking the time to learn a little about Danielle, Elysia Root Cakes team’s Cake Artist and Baker!  

Danielle pictured with Courtney Clark, Sarah Myers, Joshua John Russell, Avalon Yarnes, James Roselle, Susan Trianos and Chrissie Boon. Photo courtesy of Danielle Leahy.

Meet the team: Monica Anderson, Senior Cake and Confectionary Artist

This week, meet Monica Anderson, the Elysia Root Cakes team’s Senior Cake and Confectionary Artist!  Monica has been an integral part of the Elysia Root Cakes team for the past four years.  We previously profiled Monica back in 2015.  Monica is from Naperville, Illinois and now lives in the River North area.  Monica has a degree in Baking and Pastry from Kendall College.  

Photo credit: Rebecca Marie Photography. Hair by Livia Caporale. Make-up by Andie Cumber.

Monica worked at various bakeries in the Chicagoland area before joining our team in 2014.  We’ve loved seeing her develop her skills and become an even more amazing cake artist during her time with us.  We are happy to have encouraged Monica in developing her skills by sending her to learn from some amazing cake artists such as Mark Seaman, Nicholas Lodge, Mike Elder, Mary Jo Dowling, and Colette Peters

Monica in class with Colette Peters during Florida ICES mini-classes.

Monica recently competed in her first cake competition and took 2nd place in the Professional Wedding Cake Division at the National Capital Area Cake Show in Virginia.  We’re super proud of her accomplishment.  Read on to learn a little more about Monica!

What has been your favorite project at Elysia Root Cakes? My favorite project thus far at Elysia Root Cakes has been the Rainbow Trout Groom’s cake that we created in 2016.

Photography: PenCarlson Planner: Sweetchic Events

What is your proudest moment at work?  My proudest moment at Elysia Root Cakes is when I came in 2nd in the Professional Wedding Cake Division at the National Capital Area Cake Show.

Monica with her cake at the National Capital Area Cake Show

Monica’s Wedding Cake design that took 2nd place Professional Wedding Cake Division at NCAS 2017. Photo credit: Laura Witherow

What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago?  My favorite thing to do in Chicago is to go to all of the amazing museums.

What phobias do you have?  I have a phobia of bugs crawling all over me! 

What did you want to be when growing up?   When I was a kid I wanted to be an architect.

Monica and Elysia on an 2016 Icing Smiles delivery for Dulce’s 1st birthday to Almost Home Kids.

What is an ability you wish you had? An ability that I wish I had is teleportation.

What is the one thing you cannot resist?  Chocolate and Peanut Butter!

What is the favorite part about working at Elysia Root Cakes?  The ability to be creative and to create beautiful cakes for people to enjoy on a special day.

Monica and Elysia on a wedding cake delivery in 2014.

Best vacation place you’ve been? The best place I have traveled to was Italy.

What celebrity do people think you look like?  When my hair is straight, people think I look like Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Thanks for taking the time to learn a little about the Elysia Root Cakes team’s Senior Cake and Confectionary Artist!  Check out more from Monica on her instagram. 

Monica and her boyfriend Zack at the 2016 Wish Upon A Wedding Gala.  Photo credit: Studio This Is

Meet the team: Kelly Dull, Elysia Root Cakes Head Baker

Meet Kelly Dull, the Elysia Root Cakes team’s head baker!  Kelly is in charge of the deliciousness that comes out of the Elysia Root Cakes’ kitchen each week.   While Kelly is originally from Elyria, Ohio right outside of Cleveland, she has lived all over the United States on both coasts, from Santa Monica, California to Brooklyn, New York!  Kelly received her Bachelor of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. 

Headshot by Rebecca Marie Photography. Make-Up by Andie Cumber. Hair by Livia Corporale.

Kelly is not only the Elysia Root Cakes team’s head baker, but she is also a successful culinary instructor and you can find her teaching classes at Give Me Some Sugar in Roscoe Village, Sur La Table in Skokie, and Read It & Eat in Lincoln Park.  We are grateful to have such a talented person on our team! Read on to find out a little bit more about Kelly!

What do you like most about working at Elysia Root Cakes?  I love that we have so many opportunities to push ourselves and to learn and grow.  We are always trying to be better than we were and that’s exciting.

The Elysia Root Cakes team at a fresh floral arranging class given by fellow Green Wedding Alliance member, Jori from Fab Flora Chicago!

Before working at Elysia Root Cakes, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?  I helped a good friend open and run a bakery in Providence, RI.  It was one of the most challenging, exhausting, exciting, and rewarding things I’ve ever done.

What is the weirdest job you’ve ever had? I was a car hop waitress at a place called Dog N Suds for four summers in high school.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us: At age 26, I spent 4 months on a solo road trip around the entire United States.

Kelly and Michelle delivering 240 (!) mini-cakes in 2016.

What book did you read last?  Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “What Happened”

What is your favorite movie and book? My favorite book (besides the Harry Potter series!) is “The Things they Carried” by Tim O’Brien and favorite movie: A League of Their Own.

What did you want to be when growing up?  A veterinarian until age 14,  then a pastry chef/baker!

What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years? Self-care and how to say no to people.

What is your hidden talent?  I can juggle!

What has been your favorite project at Elysia Root Cakes?  The Harry Potter themed cakes!

Kelly and Danielle with one of two Harry Potter themed cakes we’ve had the opportunity to make. The one above was a birthday cake!

The 2nd Harry Potter themed cake was a groom’s cake (Photo by Averyhouse)

Thanks for taking the time to learn a little about the Elysia Root Cakes team’s head baker!  Check out more from Kelly on her instagram and her website. 

Kelly and her boyfriend, Andrew at the Wish Upon A Wedding Gala. Photo by Studio This Is.

Real Wedding: Casey & Agustin

Casey and Agustin’s wedding day was such a blast to be a part of—it always brings a smile to our faces when looking back and reflecting on all the amazing details that made this day special! The elegant three-tiered Banana cake was filled with Blueberry Preserves and Passion Fruit Buttercream. The all-white square wedding cake was the perfect compliment to this stunning Chicago venue. We’re always fans of adorning cakes with sugar florals, and beautiful deep red and white flowers added a burst of color on this classic cake design. Incorporating light blue seeded twigs also added an additional element of depth, which we always love! Colorful embellishments and decorative depth really transform any cake from simple to chic, and this timeless white wedding cake is a perfect example.

Adding a more personal touch to this love-filled day, Casey and Agustin incorporated a creative groom’s cake as well to really add to the fun! Representing the two of them as individuals and their unique passions was a great way to ultimately represent their great dynamic as a couple—the two really compliment one another, even seen through this one-of-a-kind cake design! From flowerpots to mini airplanes, this groom’s cake personifies the breathtaking love these two share.

Take a look below at Casey and Agustin’s special day below!

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XO, Elysia

Venue: The Langham Chicago | Floral Design: Cornelia McNamara | Planner: LOLA Event Productions | Photographer: Studio This Is

Real Wedding: Deema & Ermin

We love looking back on Deema and Ermin’s gorgeous Chicago wedding day, and reminiscing on their creative and timeless Super Mario wedding cake. This customized triple-tiered wedding cake was straight out of a Mario-inspired dream and we love every last detail. Tailoring each and every wedding cake to fit our many couple’s unique styles is always fun, and this cake truly was one for the record books!

Taking a deeper dive in to this custom creation, the first tier of this cake houses a detailed Mario adventure backdrop, adorned with full sized Mario and Luigi characters. Incorporating a pop of color is always a great addition to any cake design—we loved incorporating the Piranha Plant for a little extra pizazz on the second tier. From the fondant Yoshi to the flaming window on the third tier castle to Bowser and Peach as decorative cake toppers, this cake is full of festive detailing and flair. It wouldn’t be a party without the whole Mario crew, which is why we also had to include the one and only Goomba.

This cake was a wedding day hit, especially with the children. We’re always fans of letting your personality as a couple shine through your wedding day; themed wedding cakes are a great way to do so, and are some of our favorites to create. Take a look below at their beautiful day and very original Super Mario cake!

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xo, Elysia

Venue: Café Brauer | Planner: Clementine Custom Events | Floral and Décor: Stems Chicago | Photographer: Steve Koo | Caterer, Rentals and Linen: Calihan Catering | Videographer: Shutter and Sound | DJ: Okyne Medialab | Hair: Holli Beauty | Make-Up: Sonia Roselli

Real Wedding: Rebecca & Adam

Looking back on Rebecca and Adam’s love-filled Chicago wedding day brings a smile to all our faces at Elysia Root Cakes HQ! Our bride Rebecca also happens to be a seasoned wedding planner with Honey Bee Weddings and we felt honored that she chose us to execute her wedding cake vision!

While we love coming up with creative designs to fit your unique vision, sometimes a simple white buttercream wedding cake is the perfect choice for a sophisticated, white-inspired reception.  The wedding took place at the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago and the contemporary yet classic square wedding cake was a perfect choice.

Each tier was a different delectable flavor: Red Velvet cake with Cream Cheese filling, Vanilla Bean cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache filling and Double Chocolate cake with White Chocolate Buttercream filling. The three-tiered cake was adorned with lush white florals from Kehoe Designs and delicate piped buttercream beading for a touch of texture.

All white wedding cakes are always timeless, and definitely some of our all-time favorites to create. We’d love to take a bite from this decadent design right about now! Wishing these two a lifetime of happiness together!

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XO, Elysia

Venue: Art Institute Chicago | Photography: Dennis Lee Phootgraphy | Floral/Decor: Kehoe Designs | Planner: Honey Bee Weddings

Lavish Art Deco Styled Shoot

Our team participated in a fantastic shoot published in Chicago Style Weddings Magazine that centered around infamous china patterns, such as this lavish art deco pattern! This simple grey and white geometric china laid the perfect foundation for a timeless cake design. We began constructing this three-tiered cake with an industrial aesthetic in mind, which perfectly personified this classic china pattern. White fondant detailing and minute silver accents ultimately brought this design to life! We could not be happier to have worked with such a talented vendor team on this one-of-a-kind styled shoot!

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XO, Elysia

Vendors //

Chicago Style Weddings | Photography & Videography: Rush Photography and Video Productions | Styling: Frank Event Design | Venue & Flowers: Anna Held Floral Studio | Invites: EIGHT21 Studios designs by Carol Woldhuis | Rental: Hall’s Rental | Linens: BBJ Linen | China: Char Crews, Inc.

Christina & Kosta Engagement Party

Planning for your wedding cake is always fun, and always full of great designs and opportunities for customization; however, your engagement party is the perfect chance to explore your creative dreams! For Christina and Kosta’s love-filled engagement party at The Estate Chicago, the lush florals from Northern Greenhouses and sequined linens created a truly intimate and romantic aesthetic. For the cake design, it was only natural to create a sophisticated design with timeless flair. A white-fondant wrapped three-tier Chocolate and Vanilla Bean cake with different fillings on each tier was the perfect choice, decorated with metallic hues and topped with delicate fresh magenta orchids. This special occasion marked the beginning of Christina and Kosta’s new journey together, and we hope it was every bit as sweet as we imagine!

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XO, Elysia

Vendors //

Venue: The Estate Chicago | Florist: Northern Greenhouses | Photographers: Marcin Cymmer PhotographyElios Photo