Peoria native and veteran Paris Smith recalls when she started her baking journey in 2012.
She was recovering from a C-section and watching Food Network on TV at home. Watching the various baking shows, Smith recalls thinking, “I can do this.”
As Smith’s skills increased, she began baking cakes and other baked goods for close friends at Peoria High School, as well as other acquaintances.
“Facebook was like word of mouth for me. It was like this advertiser,” Smith said. kids and stuff like that. So it was probably around 2017 that I decided to take things seriously.
A self-taught baker, Smith officially opened Candy with purple glitter LLC in 2017. Customers can order cakes, cupcakes and other treats from its online store.
In the future, she also plans to open her boutique, located at 1200 Northeast Adams Street, to the public. Currently, Smith uses the space to make custom cakes and fulfill orders.
Real Smooth Foods: Peoria Smoothie Shop Opens In-Person Location, Expands Hours
Smith said she mainly focused on chocolate-covered strawberries when she started baking. She said it was partly because there was a market for chocolate covered fruit at the time.
Along with that, Smith said decorating cakes was daunting at first. She watched YouTube and Instagram videos of bakers like Kake King and took online video lessons to keep improving her skills.
“My most important thing was fondant. I was so intimidated by fondant, it was unreal, and I thought, “OK, all pretty cakes have fondant on them, so you gotta learn how to make fondant girl,” Smith said.
Now, Smith said she decorates cakes mostly with buttercream, mostly using fondant as an accent. She said buttercream tasted better to her than fondant, which she described as too sweet.
Barbecue, tacos, ice cream and more :: Try These 20 Peoria Food Trucks
Customers should plan to order a cake two weeks in advance from Purple Glitter Sweets, Smith said. Customers can also order cookies, cake pops, cupcakes and chocolate-covered fruit from the company.
Smith said she took a lot of time researching and poring over the design. For her, an essential step is to determine how she will bring her personal touch to the design to make it unique.
Smith said she hated duplicating the work of other bakers. So one of her favorite types of commissions is when she can figure out elements of the design herself and try new things. Smith said she likes the challenge.
“I always ask, ‘Do you have a specific design in mind?’ Because maybe they’ve seen a cake they like and they’re like, ‘Well, let me show him this,'” Smith said. “But if they don’t, I find out on my own. I just threw something together. I’ll spend countless hours thinking, ‘OK, well, I can make it all the way to the bottom. I can put that on it. I will do it in this color.
Palarte of Yeni: Fancy a little alcohol with your Mexican ice cream? Discover a new location in Peoria Heights
As her business grew, Smith said she felt like her baking supplies were “taking over” her home. So she started looking for an in-person location for Purple Glitter Sweets.
Smith said she looked at a few buildings that weren’t suitable. Then she noticed the building on Northeast Adams Street, so she called her broker.
“He’s like, ‘Well, I have the keys to this building. We can go see it tomorrow,’ and I’m like OK. So when I came down here and looked, I was like “Oh, I’m in love.” Smith said. “I’m in love because that’s all I need.”
Smith and her family held their own personal “grand opening” for the boutique on April 9. Going forward, Smith said she is preparing to open the space to the public. She already has a sign on the window, tables in the hall and plans to install a window leading from the kitchen to the front room.
“I would like to have something where I can open up to the public and people could just stop by, you know. How to stop [like], ‘Oh, I’m just gonna go over here and get me some cake in a jar or watch the game or whatever.’ That’s my goal for now. Like, I really want it to be like a full circle.
No more “splash in every cupboard”: Peoria Bakery moves from home to Grand Prairie store
When people visit Purple Glitter Sweets, Smith hopes to offer sweet treats like slushies, cookies and “Cake in a Jar.” Smith has previously created several flavors for Cake in a Jar, including Very Berry Cheesecake and Backyard S’mores.
Smith said his goal is for Purple Glitter Sweets to become a well-known staple in the Peoria community. She added that she also hopes her children will one day take an interest in the business. But for now, Smith said she’s proud of herself for how far her business has come.
“It was really, really dope. I think most of it is that I did it myself. You know what I’m saying?” said Smith. “Like you have this sense of accomplishment. So, like, I show my kids [to] find something you like to do.
Connect with Cassidy Waigand by emailing her at CWaigand@gannett.com or following her on Twitter at @justxaxwriter.