Specialty Cakes has long been the place to go to if you’re in the market for that wow factor. Eighteen21’s Ericka Hatcher contacted Tammy Hall-Mullins, the 49-year-old owner, wife, and mother of three, after attending a party and seeing one of her unique creations – in this case, a chicken – to learn more about the woman behind the batter.
Tammy openly admitted that her passion is not necessarily with baking, but rather with decorating. Since sitting on the kitchen counter of her childhood home, watching her mother decorate, up until the time she herself was creating cakes in her early 20s for friends and family, Tammy has always wanted to design edible beauty. So, when opportunity knocked in 2004 and previous Specialty Cakes owner Theresa Wade Day decided to sell, Tammy didn’t hesitate to take the plunge. More than 12 years later, business is booming and Tammy continues to do what she loves each day, while also spending time with her family - two of her daughters work at Specialty Cakes and her husband, ever supportive, handles the accounting, shopping, and delivery.
Tammy realizes she has come a long way as she reflected upon the first wedding cake she had ever made.
‘My first wedding cake order was so awful. I baked the bottom cake at least six times and kept breaking it when I took it out of the pan because I was trying to flip it over instead of putting the board on the cake and then flipping it. I finally figured it out - now it’s quite easy.’
She takes great pride in the work she produces and feels the biggest payoff is when clients come in to pick up their cakes.
‘I love making people happy and love it when they pick up a cake and are blown away either by crying, speechlessness, or jumping up and down and going crazy.’
And while she recognizes that she is in a very fortunate position, running her own business does not come without challenges. Tammy explained that “It’s hard to get a person that has the same love for the job as I do. I have and have had some great employees, but it’s pretty hard to find and keep them.’
The self-professed chocoholic’s most recent creation (at the time of interview) was a beautiful wedding dress with glittering diamond necklace, tiered skirt ruffles and dropped beaded waistband. It was her most creative piece to date.
And what would the master herself order? Chocolate of course! ‘A three-tiered chocolate cake with Bavarian chocolate filling, chocolate icing with drip ganache and chocolate covered strawberries.’
Interested in checking out what’s new or ordering your very own cake? Visit Specialty Cakes at specialtycakes.biz or check out the cookies, brownies, cupcakes, cake pops, dessert bars, peanut butter balls, Oreo balls, fruit pizzas, and cheesecakes for yourself at 1560 Wabash Ave., Springfield, IL 62704.
Photo Credit: Tammy Hall-Mullins