Niagara Gazette — Christina Groce loved her art classes in school.
But, the Grand Island High School 2004 graduate never dreamed that someday the skills she learned in painting, photography and sculpting classes, would serve her when she opened her own business.
These days, her artwork looks good enough to eat!
The inspiration for her new business, which she calls Baby Cakes, came when her husband lost his job and the family needed an income, pronto. She debated on work she could do from home where she could watch over her three children, ages 2, 6, and 7.
She decided to start baking. “I saw a couple of cool shows on TV and thought, ‘I could do that!’”
She credits her business sense to her dad Steve Mayers, whose auto parts store is on Main Street in Niagara Falls. “Seeing my dad run a small business for 30 years,” she said, “I’ve always thought that is where I need to be, running my own business.”
Her cakes are creatively decorated, with gratitude to her art classes. “If I can make a sculpture and it’s tastes good too, then yes,” she said, smiling and pumping a fist.
Her skill with detail is demonstrated in a cake she made to look like a beach shop at the ocean. There’s even little rolled up towels on the counter and a teeny tiny pop can made from sugar. She has done Batman cakes, and even a zombie cake which looked perfectly horrid — as it should have — and tasted delicious.
Groce recently won a scholarship to a entrepreneur class at the Small Business Development Center at Niagara County Community College, and has applied for “Cupcake Wars” television show. Her ambition and baked goods have already won her some fans in the area.
Her cupcakes are on sale at Y’vonne’s Bakery and Cafe on Third Street in Niagara Falls, where the owner, Lakea Strong, was delighted by the peanut butter and jelly cupcakes. “She brought me some cupcakes. They were delicious. I was sold.”
And Falls councilwoman Kristin Grandinetti, was won over by Groce’s personality and commitment, as well as the taste of the cupcake she sampled.
“I have made it a little mission for myself to do what ever I can to help her bring her product before more people,” Grandinetti said. “This is the kind of person we need to be celebrating in Niagara Falls. Her product is amazing.”
For Groce, it’s a matter of creating something from nothing, both in her business and in her cake art. “When I walk in with a cake and see the look on people’s faces, it’s so amazing,” she said.
“I love what I do,” she added. “Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”
For more information visit Baby Cakes WNY on Facebook or call 544-4885.