Indies Only: Oswego Resident Having His Cake
Mark Lie moves passing interest in cake decorating into growing business.
Mark Lie is an artist and his medium is cake.
The Oswego resident dreams of opening his own bakery, but for now his custom-designed cakes have people talking, and word is spreading.
“I do not make your regular sheet cake. My cakes are one-off custom designs,” said Lie (pronounced Lee) who showcases his product, Piece of Cake: Custom cakes by Mark, mostly through his Facebook page. “The greatest reward is watching my clients’ amazement when they first see the cake. I strive to exceed their expectations."
Lie has a background in graphic design, which helps him move his concepts from the drawing board to the final product.
“I like a challenge and enjoy pushing this medium to discover what else we can do with it. I love taking a concept from paper to 3D,” he said.
Last week, Lie made a Bubble Guppies cake for Amy Coffman Phillips’s 2-year-old son.
“It was absolutely adorable,” said Coffman Phillips. “I learned about Mark through word of mouth and saw how gorgeous his cakes were on his Facebook page. It was nice that he's from Oswego and we could support local business too.”
Right now Lie said opening up a storefront may be a ways off.
“I’d love to open my own shop, but the start-up costs are just too much. Oswego would be a great location, since there are no custom baker’s shops,” Lie said.
Candi Jaggers recently ordered a cake from Mark for her son’s army-themed birthday party
“He came up with this incredible green Army tank with edible dirt and edible rocks and a cannon sticking out the top with the No. 8 shooting out of it," she said. "When he brought it to our house, we were just amazed. It was truly special and the cake was absolutely delicious. It was worth every penny."
In 2006, Lie’s wife gave him cake-decorating classes for a birthday present after Lie showed an interest in watching cake-decorating contests.
“I loved it and it fit well with my background in graphic design. Decorating cake has allowed me to showcase my creativity in new and innovative ways,” said Lie.
Lie has taken a few additional cake-decorating classes and has used Internet resources to explore and dabble on his own. Lie said he has formed great connections through the International Cake Exploration Society (ICES). Lie also competed in the Food Network’s Challenge, which aired in June.
“It was a great experience as a hobbyist to compete and work with people who have their own bakery shops,” Lie said.
His cakes also have been featured in CakeCentral Magazine and other online sites.
“I have no background in baking, but I have always had a sweet tooth,” said Lie.
Lie requests two weeks notice because he allocates one week to planning and designing. He estimates he devotes an average of 10-20 hours working on each cake.
“The only time I’ve had to turn down an order was when I wasn’t given enough time,” said Lie. “I really try to accommodate my customers.”
Contact Mark Lie at 1-773-218-8370 or by email at PieceOfCake01@comcast.net.
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