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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cake eaters - Part Two

[Continued]

It's a pretty well known fact (or at least I'm making it a little more well known) that services provided by those in the Asian community can be remarkably cheap. This is without even sacrificing the quality of the quality! It happens like this for a myriad of reasons but whatever the case - don't be afraid of taking advantage of the price breaks that you can get from them!!!

Certainly it helps that I'm Asian and so I'm familiar enough with being in the Asian community and understanding how the different businesses work (they are indeed different - I won't lie) but still - the money that can be saved for the quality of the product? It's totally worth it!

Over the weekend when my mom and I tripped it to Eden Center to get catering information, what was kind of an obstacle actually resulted in a MAJOR solution for us. We found a bakery for our wedding cake!!!

Maria's Bakery is locally owned and operated location of I think 4-5 total locations. The main store is their "factory" and it's based in Rockville. They bake, assemble, and decorate ALL of their products there and then deliver them out to their different store locations. We went to the Edent Center location because we thought that they might do regular catering but saw that they were just a bakery. Rather than leaving empty handed I thought, "Why not just grab a sample of each kind of cake they have and do a sampling at home?" This turned out to be one of the BEST ideas I've had in all of our wedding planning.

Each slice of cake was delicious and we got five slices (decorated and everything!) for less than $10. It was just like going through a sampling process at a wedding cake consulting session. :) The five flavors that we sampled were Orange, Vanilla, Coffee, Chocolate, and Strawberry. Each had a whipped cream type icing and filling and was VERY fancy in decorations. The little shop gal working when we bought it said that for a 25 lb cake (the work in lbs, not per person) - we could serve 150 people and we would NOT be charged for decorations and we could even bring in our own picture and it would all cost for $400 plus $50 for delivery. $450 TOTAL for the wedding cake!!! (this was for Vanilla only but still)

After doing the tasting (sorry I don't have pictures!) we decided on doing Vanilla and Coffee layers with the whipped topping filling. I know it sounds odd but the flavor of the coffee is so subtle that it doesn't taste overbearing and the two together are amazing!

I called the factory yesterday and found out that for our change in flavor (vs. just plain vanilla) it will be $500 plus $50 for delivery but that STILL comes out to something like $3.60 per person??? And the cake and quality is AMAZING!!!!

I'm so happy.

Now I will say this - Asian bakery items do differ from American bakery items. They are much more light in flavor and texture. The cakes resemble Angelfood cake texture than rich Death-by-chocolate type items. BUT - I've grown up with this and I'm used to it and also, we like that it won't be too rich or sweet for people to enjoy the other treats that we will be serving like gourmet coffees made-to-order or fortune cookies dipped in gourmet chocolate.

We will need to provide a picture (for decorations) and half the total cost of the cake to officially book but they can actually do the cake with only two weeks notice - though I won't do this because I'm not that much of a risk taker!

Anyway, that's our cake story! Kind of cool how it worked out.

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