Simi Cakes & Confections Blog

An interview with Maureen Woods

Hello everyone,

Ocala,Florida is a great place to be a sugar artist.  They are 2.5 hours from my shop and we get to visit them about once a month.  They have cake shops, supply stores, active cake club, fabulous teachers, classes, cake competitions and they just started cookie camp!  Maureen Woods is the president of the Ocala Cake Club and shares some exciting “brand new” information about upcoming events they are hosting in our back yard!

Sidney-Hi Maureen, what’s new and exciting in the Ocala Cake World?

Maureen-Wow! I’m excited!!! Southern Cookie Fest, well it’s just like Mini-Classes but for cookies!  We’ve all done the glaze on our cookies but there is so much more that can be done and you’ll learn many of those techniques right here in Ocala!  We’ve got Cookie Crazy Pam Sneed, Cookie artist “Linedancer” Carole Firstenburger and PHD Melanie Judge doing some awesome cookie demonstrations and our very own Lisa Menz will be doing a Sugarveil demonstration and a special presentation by Photofrost, our sponsor. Jane Koon will also hold a Cookie Platter Chatter because you know presentation is just that important!!  You’ll certainly miss a great deal if you miss this!  It’s the last weekend in September, but register early as we’re limited to 50 participants! Oh and there will be a cookie decorating contest too.  It will be lots of fun, after all we’re talking cookies!! And one final note, the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation.  Southern Cookie Fest will be Sept. 29-30 at the Courtyard by Marriott and you can get more information by email ocalacakeclub@gmail.com .

Sidney-Can you tell us anything about the ICED Cake Competition yet? 

Maureen-ICED! Yes, we have some exciting news and you are the first to know!  We have all been working very hard and are pleased to announce that the 2013 ICED Cake Show will be held at the beautiful Ocala Hilton on March 16-17!  We are in talks with some “BIG” names in the cake world for hands on classes and demos!  Mike Terry, Norm Davis and Zane Beg have just signed on!  We are also pleased that to announce that our charity again this year will be the Arthritis Foundation!  More information is being added to the website everyday:  http://www.icedcakeshow.com/

Now don’t forget our theme is Butterflies and Fairies, so I hope everyone is sketching and planning out their cakes because the show is only 9 months away!!!

Sidney-You have a very large and active club that are so incredibly creative and supportive.  What can you tell us about the Ocala Cake Club-meeting times, places…

Maureen-Ocala Cake Club?! Yes, Ocala has a cake club!  We meet the 3rd Tuesday of each month, our meeting runs from 6:30 – 8 and we meet at the Ocala Elks Lodge located at 702 NE 25th Avenue.  We talk about all things in the cake world and then one of our members will put on a demo, last month we did gelatin butterflies and at our meeting next Tuesday we’ll have a demo on Fauxvana.  Anyone wanting more information can email us at ocalacakeclub@gmail.com

Sidney-What can you tell us about your own personal cake business?  

Maureen-Well we all like to dream big, Evelyn’s Cookie Jar was named after my granddaughter was born.  And while I’d love to do this full time, I mostly do cakes for friends and family and for my church.  I was honored to be the inaugural winner of the Shelley Roberts Award at the 2012 ICED Show and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the mentoring classes with Marivi Bassabe.  I’ve attached a picture of a filigree cake I created under her guidance.  I think it turned out amazing and it was so much fun to do!

Sidney- Now for the Speed Round Maureen:

1. What’s your favorite tool in the kitchen – I have to say my favorite tool in the kitchen would have to be my silicone mat from Ateco.  It has so many uses and basically has a permanent place on my island.

2. Tell us your favorite tip about cake decorating – Be as creative as you want but remember to plan things out to avoid over decorating.

3. What’s your favorite life saying or motto-Live, Love, Laugh! That says it all!

Thanks Maureen for sharing with us.  We are proud to be satellite members of the Ocala Cake Club with all your talented sugar artists.   And we hope all of you get to visit beautiful Ocala, which not only has great cake opportunities, but also beautiful horses, the quaintest down-town you have ever seen and the majestic Silver Springs!

Keep Life Sweet!

Sidney and Michelle



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