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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.

Meet the Elysia Root Cakes Team: Stephanie Pavlovcik

Stephanie Pavlovcik, our office assistant (and professional cake taster) joined the Elysia Root Cakes team in March of this year. She is a Chicago native who graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011, with a Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies. After graduation, Stephanie came back to Chicago to jumpstart her professional career. She found herself on the logistical side of a corporate events company, and a couple of years later, decided that she wanted to steer herself in a different direction. Cue the (eco-friendly!) wedding industry. Stephanie currently works with a few different members of the Green Wedding AllianceNaturally Yours Events, Spilled Ink Press, and of course, Elysia Root Cakes. Get to learn a little bit more about Stephanie below!

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What is your favorite part about weddings and why? I am a complete romantic. So, my favorite part about weddings has to be the fact that it’s a special day dedicated to celebrating a couple’s love for one another, and the true beginning of their life as a single unit. I think weddings are a beautiful thing, especially when it’s very clear that these two people truly belong together. I cry at almost every wedding I attend (including the ones I work) – I can’t help it! I’m a softy!

What’s your favorite cake flavor? Working at Elysia Root Cakes has completely redefined the meaning of “delicious cake” for me- every single bite has been outrageously yummy. I’ve recently decided that chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream is my absolute favorite!

 

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What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now? Working in such a wonderful and creative industry, the fact that it’s almost summer, the wonderful people in my life (family, BFFs and boyfriend), watching my houseplants grow, and PIZZA.

What is your dream job, and why? My dream job would be creating and running my own music festival. I am a live music fanatic, so I would love to book and host all of my favorite bands in one outdoor festival.

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What is your greatest pet peeve? When people hate what they’re doing with their everyday lives and do nothing to change it. There is no dress rehearsal in life- this is it! In my humble opinion, achieving everyday happiness should be at the top of everyone’s priority lists.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it? My superpower would be the ability to teleport. I love Chicago, but I also love to travel and being in nature. Any time I’d begin to feel overwhelmed by the fast-paced city life of Chicago, I would teleport to a Costa Rican rain forest or to a desolate beach in Hawaii or Fiji. I also just love Europe and I’d make sure to have a weekly lunch in Prague (where I lived for four months in 2010).

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Meet the Elysia Root Cakes Team: Joyce Marie Harris

Today we’d like to introduce Joyce Marie Harris, one of Elysia Root Cakes’ fabulous cake decorators. Born and raised in Mississippi, Joyce has definitely brought some southern flare to our kitchen. After graduating from Mississippi College in 2011, Joyce taught English in South Korea for a year and then moved to the Windy City. She graduated from The French Pastry School, and soon after began an internship with Elysia Root Cakes. Joyce quickly became an integral part of the team and was hired on full-time in October 2014. During her time with us, she has helped make everything from a seven-tier wedding cake to a Manolo Blahnik shoe and shoebox cake replica. Take a peek at some photos of Joyce and cakes she has worked on below!

Elysia Root Cakes team

What is your favorite cake you’ve ever done? That’s hard. I’ve had the chance to work on some beautiful cakes. Recently I got to work on a three tier hand piped lace cake I really like. But I don’t know if anything can replace the sugar chipmunks, Jeff and Fran.

Elysia Root Cakes

Are there any cake artists you admire? There are tons (including the one I work for). But to mention a few, I’ll say Shawna McGreevy, Alexandria Pellegrino and Maggie Austin.

 

What’s the one cake you’d like to make, that you haven’t had a chance to make yet? I hope there is a Mary Poppins cake in my future. She’s my role model.

Elysia Root CakesIf you didn’t make cakes, what would you do for a living? I would be a flight attendant. I’ve always dreamed of being a waitress in the sky.

 

What’s your favorite food? Anything Southern and deep-fried and coated in butter. The kind of food that clogs your arteries just smelling it.

Elysia Root CakesWhat’s something that most people don’t know about you? I cannot keep plants alive. I once killed a cactus.  A plant that can survive in the desert can’t survive in my home.

 

Do you have any advice for pastry students looking to become cake decorators? Just keep at it. Keep practicing, keep learning, keep searching for your opportunity. Don’t wait around and wonder why it hasn’t come to you – go to it!

Elysia Root Cakes