Face Behind Epiphany Cakes; Melissa Owen

Welcome to our new sponsors and contributers to a new year of Kootenay Wedding.   As such, we asked Melissa Owen, the face behind Epiphany Cakes, to introduce herself to Kootenay Wedding.  Her special-order bakery can be found in Nelson.  How sweet it is! 

Epiphany Cakes started with a lemon poppyseed bundt cake in my Vancouver kitchen ten years ago. I had never really baked much. I studied Fine Arts in University and worked behind a desk in public relations for some years after that. And then at 26, I met and married a sweet Canadian gentleman and moved from my home in Dubai to Vancouver.

That's where that bundt cake comes in. I wasn't able to work for my first year in Canada while my immigration paperwork was being processed (I'm originally Egyptian / American). I found myself spending lots of time in the kitchen, getting creative, cooking elaborate meals and baking. I had all the time in the world, so I spent my days leafing through cookbooks and food magazines, planning meals, food shopping and cooking up a storm. It was the first time in my life that i had really cooked and I loved it.

One gray Vancouver afternoon, as I was baking that Lemon Poppyseed Bundt Cake with pretty sugar glaze dripping off of it, I recognized a wonderfully familiar feeling. It was the feeling of getting lost in the creative process, the same feeling I'd had in the photography darkroom or drawing and painting in university. It was a feeling that I had missed dearly the past few years. My love of baking began at that moment. It was the perfect marriage of two lifelong loves: food and the creative process. I wanted to learn more. I immediately enrolled in the Baking and Pastry Arts program at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts on Granville Island and began my culinary education.

I worked as a pastry chef in Vancouver until 2005 when my son Nile was born and our family moved to Nelson.

In the spring of 2006 I opened my own little cake and pastry shop. I called it "Epiphany Cakes" because of the way that lemon bundt cake had changed the course of my life and career. For the first time in my life I had a job that I truly loved . I was over the moon.
The business started small but quickly grew to include clients such as Oso Negro, The Kootenay Coop, Ellisons and Evergreen as well as a loyal following of cake- customers. People seemed to respond to the ethos behind Epiphany Cakes: Baking from scratch, prepared with love using organic ingredients.

Epiphany Cakes has a wide menu of delicious cakes and pastries. Some favorite cakes include The After Midnight Chocolate Cake (deep dark, rich chocolate cake covered in velvety ganache) , The Lemon Buttercream Cake (always prepared with organic lemons) and the Classic Carrot Cake (made with organic carrots and heaps of cream cheese icing, of course). And naturally, the epiphany cake menu wouldn't be complete without a bundt cake.

My ingredients are organic and sourced locally whenever possible. Throughout the year I receive fresh organic eggs from a farmer in Glade, who tells me that his chickens are the happiest on earth (I've visited his picturesque farm and I am inclined to believe him!). And In the summer months I receive weekly deliveries of edible organic flowers and berries from a garden on Nelson's North Shore

Each year I look forward to spring and summer when orders for wedding cakes come rolling in. I love working with couples to create the perfect cake for their event. It's wonderfully fun and fulfilling to design a cake that not only tastes amazing but reflects the personalities of the bride and groom on their special day.
Over the years I have created everything from a five tiered fondant-covered wedding cake dotted in tiny sugar flowers in shades of blue, to simple, elegant vanilla cupcakes stacked high on a tower and dotted with tiny pansies. I adore the process of creating wedding cakes. I truly love my job.

I operate out of a sweet-smelling commercial kitchen on the ground level of my home in Nelson. Epiphany baked goods are available by special order (At least 2 days notice is appreciated for cake orders). Select items are also available at the following fine vendors: Oso Negro, Ellisons, The Kootenay Coop and Evergreen (Crescent Valley).

For more information about my cakes or to place an order or book a wedding cake consultation please contact:
Melissa Owen
Epiphany Cakes Owner & Pastry Chef

1 comment:

  1. Stunning photos, and delicious cakes!