KCRA interviewed Shari Fitzpatrick in February 2010. Sacramento magazine recognized the Berry Factory in its feature 2010 Best of Sacramento. Three Insider Pagers give the Berry Factory a four-star average, and three Judy's Book reviewers give it a perfect five stars.
As a child, Lisa Clark would conjure up chocolate cakes for her mother through an Easy Bake Oven. Though the first batch had mixed results, she was diligent about perfecting her cake recipes. This dedication came in handy later in life when she and her husband, Daniel, established Cupcake A La Mode. Since then, the pair have watched their boutique cupcakerie grow from a home-based business to three brick-and-mortar locations, all decorated with hot pink hues and contemporary black baroque chandeliers.
Believing that presentation is just as important as taste, Lisa and her team handcraft cupcakes from a vanilla- or chocolate-batter base before artfully decorating them with homemade buttercream frosting, candies, and fruit. The decorative cupcakes are best enjoyed with a blended coffee or tea amid the boutique café setting, though larger batches can also be made for weddings or as bribery gifts to sweet-toothed monsters.
When not baking up sweet treats in her shops, Lisa and her team are giving back to their community by supporting local charity events such as Dolls and Desserts for Down Syndrome.
The cake decorators at Nothing Bundt Cakes adorn their bundt cakes with a similar motif: thick stripes of white frosting that fan out like petals on a daisy. But atop the cake’s hollow center, they insert colorful flourishes such as bright polka-dotted bows, silk flowers, and tiny placards for every conceivable occasion. For an even more memorable presentation, they happily arrange balloon bouquets that complement their cakes’ color schemes. Though presentation is paramount, Nothing Bundt Cakes’ bakers don’t shirk taste: they use fresh eggs, real butter, and real cream cheese to concoct flavors such as pecan praline or white chocolate raspberry.
Additionally, inside the cheerful dark brown and pastel-hued storefront, patrons can peruse ’50s-era baking accessories such as cake tins and Mayfair cake stands that conjure nostalgic memories of poodle skirts, Cadillacs, and poodles in skirts driving Cadillacs.
Debbi Fields opened her first cookie shop in 1977, launching what would soon become a household name. Today, Mrs. Fields bakers from all over the world carry on her legacy, whipping up her signature semisweet chocolate-chip cookies with the same top-secret recipe that Mrs. Fields invented. They carefully fold real butter, whole eggs, and pure vanilla into delicate, buttery batters to create soft, chewy cookies that fill nearby nostrils with irresistibly sweet aromas. Using these same ingredients and recipes, they also bake up cookie cakes that can be decorated with colorful icing and personalized messages such as birthday wishes, inside jokes, or bank-account passwords. When they’re not handcrafting milk-chocolate-chip, cinnamon-sugar, and peanut-butter cookie batters into mini, regular, or cake-size cookies, these bakers are busy making gourmet brownies with pecans and walnuts.
Beard Papa's traces its origins to 1999 in a simple cream puff shop in Osaka, where bakers whipped up sweet cream-filled pastries from French choux dough. Today, the beloved pastry shop lays claim to storefronts in 15 different countries—all the countries in the world, if you believe George Washington's maps. These shops charm clients across the globe with all-natural cream puffs, chocolate fondants, and other baked goods free from artificial flavoring. Guests savor the otherworldly flavor of rare treats such as a pastry filled with green-tea custard, chewy-crunchy Paris Brest pastries, and fluffy, chewy mochi puffs.
Each day at dawn, piping-hot circles made from fresh ingredients appear on the horizon, enchanting eyes and noses before popping into mouths. Unlike the sun, these rounds teem with sugar, spice, and in some cases, chocolate. Bakers craft each batch from scratch, using original recipes but not a pinch of preservatives. Their cookie roster beckons sweet teeth with everyday flavors such as M&M chocolate chip and day-of-the-week varieties such as Wednesday's almond joy and Friday's mint-chocolate fantasy fudge. Customers may also opt for custom wedding treats and personalized photo cookies, which serve as memories tastier than crepes rolled from diary pages. In addition to building cookie cakes for parties, the bakers construct cookies for celebrants to embellish with frosting.