(Published on Baristanet May 12, 2011)
Never underestimate the power of social media, even if you’re tweeting about cake.
Or the power of cake in general.
It was the savvy Twitter feed and Facebook posts of a young lady from Bloomfield that first alerted the tweet-sensitive antennas of Debbie Galant and me to the alluringly named Cake Seduction.
Takisha Miller, 28, was laid off from her interior design job at the peak of the U.S. recession, in March 2009. In November that year, as she struggled to get a foot back into the industry she had trained for, her mom called upon her to bake a pound cake for a function, and to put a glaze on it. The confection was an instant hit, and Miller immediately had requests from an uncle and brother.
Said Miller, “I told them, look, I haven’t got a job. You want cake, you can pay me to bake it for you.”
And that’s how Cake Seduction was born.
“By Christmas that year, I had 4 or 5 flavors and requests for things like cookies and pies and layered cakes. I decided to stay focused on pound cake, and by the end of 2010, I had 34 flavors.”
What has been particularly impressive about Cake Seduction and its affair with social media is that Miller has her posts down pat – she does everything one is supposed to do to speak to, and seize the attention of, one’s readers. And she does it with charm, humor and brevity. Like this recent update:
Wow, I can’t believe how busy I’ve been! I LOVE IT!!! (but a little sleep wouldn’t hurt)
Tuesday at 20:31 · Like ·
Said Miller, who is keeping her eyes peeled for a kitchen and bakery location in Montclair or Bloomfield, “I started a Facebook page and linked it to Twitter because, at the start, I couldn’t afford to set up a proper website. My husband, who is in IT, gave me my first piece of advice, which was to engage the audience.”
She achieves this in a non-pushy way, with regular updates about new flavors and experiments, giveaways and events that Cake Seduction will be attending. Everything, says Miller, is a learning experience.
“I pay attention to the details, maybe because of my design background. I watch Cupcake Wars to get ideas and I do whatever makes sense. And I listen to my family and friends,” she said. “Bananas Foster is a flavor that someone suggested on Facebook – a banana cake with caramel glaze and crushed pecans, spiked with rum.”
Cake Seduction’s wares are made with organic ingredients and no artificial flavors or coloring. Red Velvet cakes get their hue not from a nasty bottle with a number and no name, but from the juice of beets (which, as one may know, a little will go a long way, especially on a white shirt).
Friend Miller on Facebook, or Twitter, and read her blog here.
Or (what’s the world coming to?) do things the old-fashioned way and meet Bloomfield’s affable young entrepreneur in person. Miller will be at a tasting event on June 26th at InsaniTea on Bloomfield Ave, where there will be tea, lashings of cake and a raffle, at a charge of $10 per adult, $8 per child.
Oh, and her cakes are outstanding. Pictured are Miller’s super-mini bundts, or bundles, sold at $24 for two dozen per flavor.