We talked to: Many Layers Cake Shop

Hi, Brandee! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your business? What made you choose Northampton as a location for your business?

Hi! I make delicious, beautiful custom cakes in an array of flavors and designs. I love being based in Northampton and providing artistic, creative, and yummy cakes to customers throughout the Western Mass area. It all started when I was laid off from my job during the pandemic and decided to take the opportunity to pursue my dream of baking and making cakes full-time. I had been baking up a storm for years and perfecting my craft, and the timing was finally right to start this business!

What are some challenges you endured, and what are some positive things that you’ve learned/that have come out of the past two plus years?

By and large it’s been one of the most positive and amazing things I’ve ever done. I’m getting to be creative every day and make artistic, beautiful cakes. It’s so rewarding to create something that brings joy to people’s lives and celebrations, and I am overjoyed when I hear that customers love my cakes. My greatest challenge so far was getting through this past summer in a non-air conditioned commercial kitchen. Having to contend with the heat while decorating cakes was not ideal. I really had to hustle to get the buttercream on and decorate before everything started to melt, and I wasn’t able to make as many cakes as I had hoped. It was something I hadn’t really anticipated and wasn’t really prepared for, but going forward, I hope to be in a more temperature-controlled environment.

It’s also just challenging being a one-woman operation, as everything falls upon me. That said, I recently hired an intern to assist with photography and social media, so that’s exciting and super helpful.

As business owners, what do you do to unwind/relax/rejuvenate?

Most of my time outside of the kitchen is spent with my family. I have an amazing husband and 7-year-old daughter, so when I’m not in the kitchen I’m in “Mom mode.”  I’m also a singer and a musician, and I like to record songs and play music with friends. I’m also currently obsessed with playing the video game Stardew Valley to relax and unwind.

What are some exciting things that you have coming up, both with your business and in general? Any events or new projects you'd like to share?

I am working on a lot of weddings—I have several this fall I’m making cakes for, and that’s something I love doing. I am starting to book weddings for 2023, which is amazing.  I am also looking forward to the holidays and hopefully having opportunities to make fun and unique cakes for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! I have about a million ideas in my head, and I love coming up with new flavor combinations. When I first started my business, I had a spreadsheet going with around 200 flavor ideas. Since then, it’s been fun to narrow it down and really hone in on what people want. This past month, I updated my menu and removed some flavors, but also added a bunch of new ones.

I like to encourage people to branch out from the tried-and-true flavors like vanilla and chocolate and get excited about the variety and possibilities! I like people to think about adventurous flavors of ice creams they might enjoy because those also translate well to cakes. There are so many options, and it’s fun getting to be creative and test out new things.

Fun little new Q: what’s your favorite fall food?

Roasted veggies! In the summer I don’t like putting the oven on at home, so when fall rolls around, I am all about the cozy, comforting flavors of roasted fall vegetables!

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