Andrea Anderson whips up cakes with distinctionThere are many rewards to being a stay-at-home mom. Besides spending time with her three young children, Andrea Anderson, owner of Domestic Diva, found her passion — unleashing her creativity on designer cakes. Mom to Ethan, 7, Peyton, 5, Ava, 3 and wife to Tom, Anderson left the Michigan Department of Community Health where she worked in labor relations three years ago. She hoped to start a business that would give her the flexibility to work around her family’s schedule. Coining the name Domestic Diva to describe her at-home business, Anderson got to work. She started as a personal chef in the Greater Lansing Area but eventually found a fondness for fondant. Anderson had always devoured cooking shows, but when she started watching shows about cake design, she thought, “I can do that!” “When you create a business based out of something you love, it’s easy to go to work,” Anderson said. Making cakes, however, is more than just mixing batter. Anderson describes the process as if she were creating a work of art. The cake is her canvas and the icing her palette. She chooses the highest quality ingredients she can find. But first she needs to develop the concept. Ideally, she prefers a three week lead time so she can get to know her clients, hear their ideas, and help them discover how to make the cakes their own. “I need the lead time to let the ideas ‘bake’ in my mind, too,” she added. But Anderson is willing to take the occasional last-minute order for a growing list of repeat customers. Her number of clients has increased through word of mouth. Her creations have caught the eye and captured the taste buds of many a party guest. She’s provided cakes for many occasions — birthdays, weddings, office parties — any opportunity that lets her and her clients personalize the confection. All it takes is that first bite to realize that these cakes aren’t just fun, they’re delicious, too. Anderson’s cooked up many designs in three years. Before she made her first cake, she “really didn’t know I had a talent for it,” she said. Today, there’s no doubt she does. Her first specialty cake was a slot machine and poker table. Her favorite cake was a monster truck. It was also among the most challenging. “I had to make sure it didn’t tip over,” said Anderson. Besides cake decorating Anderson likes to run. Last year, she participated in the Capital City River Run half marathon. She says that running helps counter the only casualty of baking for a living — eating cake scraps. Anderson’s business has been a great outlet for the Domestic Diva. And three years later, she still loves doing it. Good thing, because she has a growing fan base on Facebook — her only “formal” method of advertising apart from word of mouth. Potential customers can find her by searching for “Domestic Diva LLC.” “Facebook gets the word out,” Anderson said. Delicious delights distinctly designed … how divine.
Ann Cool, MPS, is a freelance writer who lives in Mason with her husband Bob.