Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Sweets: Hope Springs Eternal

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Many of you know Cakegirls from the show Amazing Wedding Cakes, or from Food Network cake challenges. Sisters Brenda and Mary and their staff have a reputation for fantastic, modern cake art, like this:


Many of you also know that on the morning of March 29th, the Cakegirls bakery tragically burned to the ground. Fortunately no one was hurt, but they did lose everything - and their staff is jobless until they can rebuild.

I have no doubt that Cakegirls will be back, bigger and better than ever, before too long. In the meantime, though, since their website gallery is currently down, here are a few of their lovelies I had on file:


I think this is my favorite; the yellow with the stripes is so cheerful, don't you think?

If you'd like to show your support for the girls, then buy a Cakegirls t-shirt. The proceeds will help all of the employees stay afloat until the bakery can rebuild.

But wait, I have more!

Read on a for a sweet story.

This next cake is by Jane, of Cakes Come True and Truffles, Too in Cincinnati. Jane has no idea I'm writing this today, or even that I write a blog (much less this one! [evil snicker]), but I recently had an encounter with her I'd like to share.

First, some quick background: For the past 9 months or so, I've been following the story of junior Wreckie Jacob Taylor, a courageous 9-year-old who battled brain cancer with a big smile, right up until the day he earned his wings. On the tearful day when we learned Jacob was gone, I read that the funeral reception would be serving food, and naturally thought of sending some sweets over.

Since this was in another state, I scrambled to find a local baker. I found Jane's website, and John called her. Miraculously, she agreed to make and deliver three cakes with less than 24 hours notice. Amazing, right?

Ah, but there's more...

About a week later, John and I got a card from Jane. In it, she told us she was so touched by Jacob's story that she'd decided to take all of the money we paid her and donate it- in his memory - to The Cure Starts Now, an organization working to cure pediatric brain cancer.

Now, if you're like me, then sometimes you get convinced that pretty much everyone on the planet sucks. (Or at the very least, everyone on the internet. Heh.) Some days you think everyone is just too self-absorbed to care. But sometimes, on those days, someone like Jane will come along, and give you a little hope. She didn't know us, or Jacob, and she had a regular 9-5 job in addition to her bakery business, but she still went above and beyond for us and for Jacob's family. So Jane, you rock. Thank you.

Well, that's my sweet story. Stay tuned for our regularly scheduled sarcasm.


- Similar Sweets: Cute-Tastic!
Eponita said...

Thank you for your post Jen; a few tears and a smile were just what I needed to start my Sunday, and maybe have a little more faith in humanity as well. As much as I love the wrecks, the little ray of beauty and joy offered by Sunday Sweets always boosts my spirits.

Al, Wendy, Max, and Lil said...

That is so sweet! AND I had no idea about the Cake Girls! Thanks for posting this! Think I'll pick up a t-shirt.

Anonymous said...

Someone will make sure that Jan gets a link to this, right? She should know that her act of kindness is impacting others and her gesture is appreciated.

SimplySweeter said...

Wow. That totally made my day today....thanks Jen.

http://www.simplysweeter.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing post with amazing timing! I just came home from a heartbreaking funeral, and while I'm in a semi-awake emotional state, it was so nice to read! As I sit here sobbing, it's the good kind, like an emotional catharsis.

Thanks again, Jen!

(this comment was not meant to be sarcastic...it really helped a lot!)

Anonymous said...

Its heart warming to know that there's still people like Jane out there who put others needs before theirs, especially when its helping out a stranger in a time of need.
Keep up the good work guys.

Chucknorris

Anonymous said...

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."

I had one of these moments at work this week...and this story just reminded me of the same thing! Have a sweet Sunday! ;)

Kerri Lynn said...

What a sweet story! Thanks for sharing. Also, thanks for the info on Cakegirls, I'd had no idea!

Anna Rhoswen said...

I loved this post. Is there anyway to get money to the Cakegirls directly? I have enough t-shirts and cutting out the cost of production of the t-shirt means they get more money. ;)

Anna

mose68 said...

All I can say is, wow! Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement!

Tracy said...

Lovely post. Very sorry to hear about the Cake Girls.

the Cleveland Cupcake Company said...

Great post, thanks for sharing!

Post Pals said...

How lovely :) Since starting up www.postpals.co.uk (asking people online to send happy post to seriously ill children) it restored my faith in online human kind too.

Lynnea B said...

I live in Cincinnati and Jane will be on my list when I next need a cake! I love supporting local small businesses.

The Boob Nazi said...

I didn't know that there was a specific group to cure pediatric brain tumors... I need to get on that. Thanks for the information.

Jen said...

This is a great post, Jen. I live in Cincinnati, and am in the market for two birthday cakes this summer. Perhaps I'll be giving my business to Jane, and I'll be sure to tell her I heard about her in the SUNDAY SWEETS section of Cake Wrecks. You know - as opposed to the NOT Sunday Sweets section of Cake Wrecks. *shudders*

that girl down south said...

What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.

sendingtheclowns said...

@ Anonymous 10:37:
What a beautiful quote! Thanks for sharing it.

Jen & John,
Both of these oddly-intertwined stories--the tragic fire, and the little boy--make me want to promise to NEVER whine again about some trivial, stupid thing...but I know I won't live up to it. I will, however, try to remind myself of this as often as I can (one of my favorites, from "Desiderata"): "With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

Thanks for today's meaningfulness.
=^v.v^=

Cody said...

Wow... what a touching post!
Cake Girls' work is simply amazing! And it's so nice to hear that there are still people like Jane in the world.

M. Drake said...

I've got tears in my eyes...

If I wasn't a recently unemployed chef myself both of these worthy causes would be getting money. Hopefully that'll change fast so I can make good on that.

Erika said...

I hadn't heard about the Cakegirls - I live in the City but have been traveling for work. I'm forwarding this to everyone I know...

Thank you Jen for sharing Jan's generosity. It is nice to be reminded that there are such wonderful people out there.

Naomi said...

The fire is an absolute tragedy!! I love the Cake Girls and their beautiful work! Best of luck to them and their staff in getting rebuilt ASAP! and it is wonderful to hear that there are still people in the world, thank you for sharing that story and reminding me that .05% of the human race is good and selfless enough to do not only what you did but also the baker's donation...

Amy in NC said...

I'm with Anna @ 10:41, I have tons of t-shirts and would rather donate to Cakegirls directly. Any possibility of some info for that?

I have just sent a donation to The Cure Starts Now.

Thanks for this Jen!

Kim @ Frost Me! said...

I had no idea it burned down! OMG! ...and I love your story, so fantastic on both your parts! - it does help to think there is hope somewhere

Kim @ http://frostmeblog.blogspot.com
party inspiration

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post.

Thank you for sharing these stories, and for the links so we can support the relevant causes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting about cake girls! I'm glad there's a way to help out the employees!

MrsTiara said...

I was already having a teary Sunday morning (good tears), so thank you for adding to it. Sunday Sweets are my favorite posts of the week.

sarah said...

Way to make me all sniffly... luckily i'm just headed out for a hike in the woods, so i don't mind looking a bit puffy-in-the-eyes. Can't we all just bake a cake? Give cake a chance? Peace, love, and cake? Okay, i'm done. <3

The Dual Role Grandma said...

RE: Jane- What a wonderful story! :-)

RE: Cakegirls- I had no idea about Mary & Brenda's shop. I grew up in that neighborhood, walked to Lane Tech some days right past that building (and it wasn't great then).

I will certainly pop in and buy some t-shirts!

Anonymous said...

That was a lovely thing for the baker to do. My faith in humanity just got a boost. Thanks for a lovely post, Jen.

Erica C. said...

Isn't it amazing how people like Jane tend to pop up in our lives when we really need a reminder that there are good, decent, kind-hearted people left in this world? Thanks for the warm fuzzies!

Bridgete said...

How sweet! What a perfect story to post on my birthday.

Also, I had no idea about the Cake Girls!! I'll have to get a t-shirt, they're one of my favorites on Amazing Wedding Cakes.

Anonymous said...

Jane is a beautiful person as are you and John. It is wonderful to know that such people still exist.

LifeStartRN said...

Jen & John, thank you for being the kind of people who care about paying for cakes for a little boy's funeral in another state. Jane, thank you for being awesome in doing so much in a short time and then donating your fees on top of that! You guys touch my heart and truly inspire.
The older I get, the more I realize that being kind and loving is what gives life real meaning.

OK. Order CakeGirls tee (note to self: will go great with Nick & Nora Cocktails pj pants! Mmmmm cake. Mmmmmm cocktails.) Also, strength & fortitude sent to the whole CakeGirls family!

Finally, "My name is Terrell and I had Chocolate Truffle cake for breakfast!." There, that wasn't hard. I know you all understand.

WV: musent-- The stories of kindness and giving are like musent to my ears.

Maggie K said...

Jen;

I'm so glad you featured the Cake Girls. When I heard about the fire, I immediately thought about you & hoped you would post something.

The Cake Girls do still have a website up: http://www.thecakegirls.com/

with a temporary snail-mail address to contact them in case anyone wants to donate directly. I won't post the address here - but it's on the website.

I agree they do fabulous work & although I only know Mary through her Food Network appearances - I'm always so impressed with anything I've seen her create.

Amanda said...

That last paragraph is so true. Thank God for the "Janes" who make life worth getting up in the morning sometimes. And thank you for honoring her in the way you do best. You really do have quite a way with words. <3

jac said...

Tears...Some sad ones,but mostly joyous tears for the strength of the human spirit.

ksaldria said...

I loooove the wave cake up there. So simple and elegant all at once. I had no idea about the Cakegirls bakery fire, but hopefully they'll be able to bounce back even better than before.

And as for Jan? There should be more people like Jan in the world. 'nuff said.

Whimcees said...

Hello,

I KNEW you had be wonderful people to have a blog like this one! You are among those who give us hope!

Thank you for sharing these two great stories of also wonderful people!

Bless you and wishing you a good week ahead!

Barbara Diane

halfbakedcake said...

Oh no, I didn't know about their bakery burning down. I've LOVED every single cake I've ever seen them make. Seriously, never seen a bad (or even mediocre one) in the bunch. I'll donate to the cause-I could use a new t-shirt anyway.
And I don't think it was just my raging hormones that made me tear up reading the story about Jan and the cakes. Very touching.

sarah said...

Love it. It's so refreshing to read something positive. I think that if we all try to help where ever, how ever or when ever we can the world would be much more pleasant. Thank you Jen, John and Jane.

Gilia said...

It is truly heart-warming that initiatives like that exist...

I've had a really hard week-end (my country's President, his wife, Ministers and many others died in a horrible plane crash) and your post somehow cheered me up.

knaegeli said...

See, that's why I love you guys - always keeping thing in perspective.

-K

Kendra said...

Jane sounds awesome, and her cakes look great! Thanks for sharing this story, Jen.

Dg said...

Wow, that was a really sweet story. I'm so glad you told us about it. May he rest in peace, and god bless Jane for being good like that.

I really hope the Cakegirls get back on their feet. I'm broke for the next month and a half or else I'd be buying one of those shirts. XP This is what I get for not having a job.

Gretchen said...

Wow, I was feeling pretty stressed and annoyed this morning and your post today really puts things in perspective. Thank you.

Steph said...

Thank you for those stories! It makes a lot of us believe in humanity again. :)

Anonymous said...

thank you for A) posting such gorgeous cake pics; B) helping out Cake Girls; and C) giving a shout out for Jan. somedays i too feel so cynical about people, but today i don't, and it's lovely to know there are people who do the right thing.

also, i love cakewrecks,and want to say thank you for putting in the time on it for us to enjoy. i own a bakery, and so i try never to laugh tooooo hard, because who knows, i may be only one cake away from a wreck! :)

thanks again....

Anonymous said...

On the morning Cake Girls lovely bakery burned, Courtney Clark (from Cake Nouveau) and I (mom) were on our way to Chicago. We've been so impressed with the swift action of the cake community pulling together for Mary and Brenda!
And Jane is a perfect reflection of the kind of person I would like to be!
x Linda

Elizabeth said...

Jen and John-
I agree with Anna R. I really don't need a shirt and would prefer they get ALL the money. Any chance of sending it to them directly like we did with the other family at Christmas?

Heather said...

I wanna throw my vote in for a paypal account or some other easy way to donate to the cake girls. We can't rebuild the whole bakery, but I'd love to be apart of helping them out in some small way. You know you have hundreds of generous people here... please give us a way of giving directly to the cake girls. When they are back up and running again I trust that they will pay it forward for someone else, too.

John and Sarah Sperry said...

That is just awesome!! Thank you for posting something so nice on a Sunday. I'm very sorry for Cakegirls. Their cakes are wicked awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

Jen, this isn't right.

I'm a truck driver. I'm a Namvet. I'm a cynical and sarcastic guy. I should NOT be getting dust or something in my eyes when I read about Jacob being promoted. Or Jane's kindheartedness.

It just isn't right!

Anonymous said...

Sweet post. Hooray for Jane and Cakes Come True! Hope all turns out well for the CakeGirls. Love their green cake with the little white flowers.

-Holly

Laura said...

Oh wow, so sweet! Definitely has me crying. I agree with feeling like everyone sucks. Its nice to be reassured every now and then that there is faith in humanity.

Debbi said...

T-shirt has been bought. If there is anything else we can do ... you know your "wreckies" will be first in line!

Mira8 said...

aw, you guys are so awesome. :) Hugs to Jen John and Jane!!

sendingtheclowns said...

@ Anonymous 6:50
...who said:
"I'm a truck driver. I'm a Namvet. I'm a cynical and sarcastic guy. I should NOT be getting dust or something in my eyes when I read about Jacob being promoted..."

Aw, that's okay, tough guy! All that "dust" (or something) won't hurt your *eyes* that much, and only means that your heart is functioning just fine...
[Shhhhh...you sound like a nice guy--but don't worry, we here won't let it get around.]
=^~.-^=

Bakingdom said...

Thank you so much for this post! I do find myself depressed at the negativity of people, so it's inspiring to read about such unbidden, and unexpected, kindness.

Ashley said...

The firsts one is definitely my favorite.

Kini said...

That is an increadbly sweet story. My heart goes out to little Jacobs family. I also know how it is to lose someone you love to a brain tumor.

octogurl_83 said...

Thank you for this very touching Sunday Sweets post! Although both events are sad, it is always uplifting to see strangers come together and help others in times of tragedy.

@ Naomi - I have hope that there is a greater percentage of the human race that is good and selfless than any of us thinks. ☺

@ Post Pals – we have something similar in Hawaii! It is called Keiki Cards (http://sites.google.com/site/ucipublichealth/keiki). The woman and volunteers who run it are incredible.

Arlene said...

Wow just when you think most people are just plain rude someone does something super nice and restores my faith in humanity. Great cakes and great story!

Anonymous said...

Awesome story. Jane has a great heart.

Jolette said...

Sending you some sunshine to award your entertaining blog with: The Sunshine Award :-) http://fabricofliving.blogspot.com/2010/04/sharing-sunshine_12.html

Amy said...

I heard about the cakegirls bakery via twitter with charm city cakes. its so sad to see a beautiful bakery with such talented people working in it burn to the ground! I hope they have a speedy rebuild so they can get back to wedding cake takeover! (if i lived in chicago i would go help re build!) I am ordering a shirt as soon as i am done typing this post!! And Jan is an angel! how sweet of her to do that! Jen you always know how to make people's days!

Melissa (& Billy) said...

Reading all the lovely comments here has lightened my heart somewhat from the many crass and thoughtless comments written on the Chicago news blog that reported the fire.

I love the ocean blue cake--gorgeous work. Hope they are back in business soon.

And reading about Jan and her generosity (and yours as well! awesome) to the Taylors has really restored my faith in humanity. There ARE people who care about others out there.

Michelle said...

So, you started quite an amazing chain of events, Ms. Cake Wreck.

Nicely done. I love Sunday Sweets. Whatever it is you call this new profession of yours (HappyMaker?), you were born to do it.

madfishmonger said...

This is both heartbreaking and touching. Nice to know there are still some good people in the world.
The poor Cakegirls! Not to mention the homes above the shop and the poor cat.

Nonna Beach said...

Sweet sweets and a great story of the goodness of people out there ( and you guys too )...love that !!!

Stoich91 said...

Incredible post! You all keep up the good works, plural!

cakelady24 said...

Hi this is Jane Cervantes, creator of the cakes for Jacob Taylor. Thank you to everyone for your support and all of your nice comments. I just followed my heart.

Come on, kind souls out there. Let's donate money to the Cake Girls rebuilding fund. I'm donating $100.00. We all love sweets and I know I would be devastated if my bakery burned down. Jen, please tell us where to send the money.

Thanks. God Bless you all.

Jane Cervantes
Cakes Come True and Truffles Too
cakelady24@fuse.net

Some anon student said...

/lurk

I love this blog and I love how you always give credit where it is due. I also appreciate that, though, your site focuses on the mishaps of a plethora of bakers, it is not in a demonizing manner. Both, stories tugged at me and HARD. So, I would also like to know how I can get money to the Cakegirls directly instead of via T-shirt. I may not have money--yet (student about to start a new job in a couple weeks), but I do know several that can and would help them (as well as, the Cure Starts Now) financially now.

Anyway, it's always nice to see people using the influence that they have to help others. Thanks.

lurk

Ypsi said...

Jacob's mom is on my fave message board, and it's been quite a journey with Jacob and their family. So happy (but not surprised) to see how Jacob touched so many of us, and how it brought out the best. :) Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Jane is amazing! Thank you for the inspiration (and a few tears).

JennieB said...

Thank you for posting your sweet story, and I'm so sorry to learn of Jacob's passing. Thank you for providing awareness of so many good causes. I've linked back to your story on my blog.

http://wantapeanut.blogspot.com

Amanda said...

aw! great. i hate to read these things when i have my period.
gonna have to re do my make up now before i go out.
God bless you all, thanks for the sweetness.

Tammi said...

What a tragedy. I bought a shirt, Jen. I wish Cakegirls all the best in rebuilding.

Anonymous said...

I am sitting here at my desk with tears running down my face. My daughter, Jackie, died 25 years ago from a rare brain tumor when she was 2, so this really got to me. I am really touched.

suwilliams

Sue said...

Umm...Hmmm... the chocolate looks very smooth? Rich and creamy?... At least it's not a huge pile of cake.....

Sue Miller, Portland, OR.
(Mom of three teenagers and two college grads...)

Sue said...

Umm...Hmmm... the chocolate looks very smooth? Rich and creamy?... At least it's not a huge pile of cake.....

Sue Miller, Portland, OR.
(Mom of three teenagers and two college grads...)

Molly said...

Nicely done Jane! Good for you. :)
Sadly, I was all set to buy a t-shirt to support Cakegirls, but they want $10 for shipping! Eep! I'd rather send them a $20 to help out.

Jen said...

Test

Edward said...

I've been following many of these stories because my 8-year-old son, Oliver was also diagnosed with DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) a rare aggressive form of brain cancer. Only 150 - 200 children are diagnosed each year and we are given 9 - 12 months to live. It is located in the brainstem which is responsible for all of the vital functioning of the human body. Because of it's location and the fact that the cells are all throughout the brain, it is impossible to surgically remove. It's been a heart wrenching few months and I have come to know of so many others who are in the same situation as we are or who are somewhere else on the path of this destructive monster. Thank you for posting this and getting the word out about it. Something definitely needs to be done for research so that others may not have to go through this horrific experience! Thanks for sharing!!

Stacy Palmer
(www.oliverpalmer.blogspot.com)