As a pastry chef for Fresh Ideas Catering, Trish Sieckmann chopped, sliced and diced and washed a few dishes, too.
From weddings to birthdays, she put together an array of desserts tailored to each occasion.
In 2017, cake orders with the catering company spiked. Sieckmann seized the opportunity and approached Fresh Ideas about starting a specialty cake business.
“I said, ‘Hey, you know, I have the skill. I would like to offer my services to you,’” she said. “Flour Power was born.”
Sieckmann is the power behind her one-woman cake and pastry business. From three-tiered wedding cakes to chocolate-covered pretzel sticks, she is able to create specialized desserts for her customers.
A lot of pride comes from building one-of-a-kind desserts, she said. While flavors and techniques are consistent throughout her baking, not every birthday cake or box of Valentine’s Day treats looks the same.
For that reason, Sieckmann said there is no typical day at Flour Power. Sometimes she finds herself spending more than 12 hours in her kitchen making specialty cakes and experimenting with new pastries.
For a few years, when people ordered through Fresh Ideas, they had the option of getting their specialty cakes through Flour Power. Sieckmann decided to become independent last spring once she realized the business could stand on its own.
She said she was able to manage a specialty cake business because of her 25 years of experience in the food industry. From working at a fast food joint in high school to culinary school in Baltimore in her 30s, Sieckmann said she always found her passion in food.
“It was always something that was a career base,” she said. “I started out in fast food when I was a teenager and moved into fine dining by the time I was in my 20s and working commercially in grocery stores. So, it was always something that was not a hobby for me.”
She said she could not have prepared for the pandemic. Her original plan was to use a commercial kitchen in town to fulfill her online orders, but she was unable to rent space during the shutdown.
“It was kind of a panic,” Sieckmann said. “I just didn’t qualify for any of the PPP loans that were being offered. I’ve had to buy a new oven, a new refrigerator and an additional freezer. We had to turn my kitchen into a dry storage area.”
With restrictions in place for group gatherings, Sieckmann saw cancellation after cancellation for cake orders. She said she had to adapt to keep the business afloat with free delivery and bite-sized or individually wrapped goods.
One of her new adaptations is the hot chocolate bomb, a trending treat on social media.
“Over the winter is a super slow time for weddings — which is typical,” Sieckmann said. “I started making (the hot chocolate bombs), and I posted them on my Facebook and immediately started getting orders.”
Addie Janes Originals, a floral store in Hallsville, helped her sell the hot chocolate bombs. Owner Eva Hensley met Sieckmann at a wedding last summer and wanted to help her expand the business across mid-Missouri.
“We’re always looking to support other small businesses with our small business,” Hensley said. “When she did the cocoa bombs and sweetheart boxes for Valentine’s, I contacted her. We did very well with them.”