Tuesdays: Fondant work and shopping trip
Fondant is used to create flowers, shapes or any other cake design. Bryn said she likes to let those sit and freeze before adding them to the cake. She also shops for any supplies she may need.
Wednesdays: Baking day
Bryn uses the industrial ovens, pans and other baking items at the Donut Depot in Cumming. She rents out a small space used just for baking her cakes, storing ingredients and chilling the cakes.
Thursday: Transportation and decorating day
When the cakes are baked and chilled, she transports them to her house. She has a special cake-only room in her home, which serves as her design studio and “where all the magic really happens,” she said.
Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays: Wedding day or tastings
Most of the weddings she books are on the weekends. If Bryn has a Saturday or Sunday free, she schedules tastings.
After all is said and done, Bryn typically works 60 hours a week, using Mondays as her day off.
When you want the best of the best, Diane Toth said to call cakemaster Natalie Bryn.
Toth said Bryn is not only the best, but her No. 1 preferred vendor for any kind of dessert for any kind of event she hosts in the state.
Bryn goes to several events a year to get her name out there. Last month, she attended the first-ever Northeast Georgia Cupcake War, hosted by the Southern Soiree Event Planning Group at Walters Barn. Cake Envy won first place.
“She’s always done such a good job,” said Toth, who met Bryn nine years ago. “She’s passionate about what she does, and she’s a good-hearted person.”
Toth’s company, DTE Enterprises, has featured Bryn’s cakes for years. Not once has she received a complaint about Bryn.
“Anyone can decorate a cake, but you have to be talented to make it taste good, too,” Toth said.
That proved true when Toth, who admitted to not being a lover of sweets, first tried the baked good.
When Toth was first given one of Bryn’s cupcakes to try, she said she would take it home to her husband. While driving home, she stuck her finger in the icing for a little lick. She ate all the icing from the top of the cake on the way home, and then ate the cake.
Bryn attributes her tasty baked goods to the fact that she’s been perfecting her recipes for cupcakes and cakes for the past 20 years.
Her recipes first started as store-bought box mixes.
“I embellished those, added ingredients in, tweaked them,” Bryn said.
Next she traced templates out of cooking magazines since she had no formal training. But she did work in a bakery for a few years in the mid-1990s.
“They would sometimes let me frost a cake,” she said.
Bryn has come a long way since then. She now owns and operates Cake Envy in Cumming and makes a living selling her creations.
The company itself got its name in 2008, but she had been making cakes long before then for coworkers and friends. Two years later, she was laid off from her job as a travel coordinator for corporate office employees.
“It was really a blessing in disguise,” she said.
Bryn grew her baking business, networked and then become an official LLC.
Cake Envy mostly caters to weddings, but finds time in its schedule to handle corporate events and birthday parties. Cake Envy books about 85 weddings a year on average, Bryn said.
When she accepts a new client, contact is made usually through her website or social media. Then the bride- and groom-to-be have a phone conversation with Bryn, giving her basic information such as time, date and place of the wedding. Other elements are the theme, colors and other pertinent information.
Finally, the couple schedules a tasting. Bryn said she usually whips up eight types of cake, some with and without filling, and a few types of icing.
Cake Envy’s signature flavors are vanilla almond, pink champagne and cheesecake mousse.
For groom’s cakes, the flavors are usually peanut butter chocolate or maple bacon.
“About 60 percent of couples want a groom’s cake, too,” she said.
Bryn said it is usually her favorite part of the process, since she gets to be more creative. Her favorites to make are her signature wedding cakes and 3D types, such as the groom’s cakes.
“I encourage them to get it,” she said, referring to a groom’s cake.
Her most popular groom’s cake is one with a Georgia Bulldogs football theme.
Tastings are free, but they don’t always end in a booking. However, if the couple chooses her cakes, she puts it in her calendar.
“I don’t think much of it (if I don’t get the booking),” she said. “I figure the Lord will provide all I need and knows better than me.”