Everything tastes better on a stick. And nobody knows this better than Laura Liscano, owner of Spanaway, WA-based Confection Concoctions, a special-order sweets company specializing in cake pops and truffles (which have, by the way, officially been declared a "faddy food"). So why not learn more about the art of making cake on a stick--and how she got from a Bakerella-inspired moment of baking to a business venture:
CakeSpy: Why is it that everything tastes better on a stick?
Laura Liscano: I think it brings us "grown ups" back to a happy place in our childhood where things like lollipops, corn dogs and popsicles would usually be associated with fun times.
CS: Tell me more. How did you get your start as an arbiter of sweet treats, mostly on sticks?
LL: I discovered Bakerella's super cute Cupcake Pop through Martha Stewart one day and decided I would make a bouquet for my neighbor/friend. They took me FOREVER but I was hooked! She asked me to make some for her to give to someone else which is when I started to get creative and put my own spin on them. I've always had a creative side and this allows me to tap into that.
CS: Currently you offer cake pops, cake truffles, and decorated cookies. Any plans for other products in the future?
LL: I made some yummy cupcakes for my daughter's classroom yesterday and am making some for a bridal shower this weekend. Other than that, I think I would rather be great at a few things than "ok" at a bunch of things. I would love to start playing around with sugar; mostly for my own personal growth though.
CS: What's your personal favorite sweet on a stick that you've made?
LL: I really love the original designs that I have come up with. Like the Cake Slice and the intricate 2-tier Square pops with the Zebra Stripes and the Cherry Blossoms. It makes me feel like I'm somewhat unique and not just copying others' ideas.
CS: You say that Cake Balls and pops are the new cupcake. Could you kindly back this up with cold hard proof?
LL: LOL. It's hard to maintain that after attending Cupcake Camp but what I mean is cupcakes are all the rage right now and Cupcake Boutiques are popping up everywhere. And while cupcakes will always be a classic, I think they will run their course and Cake Pops will be next in line to be the "in" thing.
CS: You currently work by special order only. Do you plan on ever opening a retail shop?
LL: I can picture my Cake Pop Shop in my head right now! A lot of stars would have to align for that to happen though. With the economy the way it is; I think it would be a risky move, especially when there are still so many people that dont even know what a cake pop is yet. I hope to continue to move forward and eventually get to that point.
CS: What's your most popular flavor?
LL: Red Velvet with Cream Cheese icing for sure! Its funny because I grew up in the South and have always known about Red Velvet but up here in the NW, it seems like its a new trend and folks out here are loving it!
CS: For fun: what is your favorite dessert to eat (vs. to make)?
LL: I love a good old-fashioned cobbler with vanilla ice cream. It doesnt have to be pretty and is super easy to make. For the stuff I create, I must admit I thoroughly enjoy the decorating part vs the actual baking when it comes to cakepops, cookies and cupcakes. Although I make sure that they taste great, I am a perfectionist with the appearance. I thrive off of the positive reaction of my customers when I deliver a bouquet to them. Thats what keeps me going!
CS: What's next?
LL: Right now I am taking it day by day and letting the business growth determine my path. I am starting to do wedding favors and corporate events in addition to the bouquets so that is exciting. I'm greatful to have discovered this new passion and I hope that I can continue to grow what started as a thank-you gift into something that can help support my family for many years.