Soul News Network is pleased to shine a spotlight on Edna Moore-Washington. Edna is a local entrepreneur with a delicious take on business. Her business, Cakeology 101, which is located in Loves Park, IL, began its entry into the confection marketplace in 2014, all from a natural talent to pair great taste with beautiful presentation. She has become locally famous in Northern Illinois for her keen eye for cake design, high-end quality homemade baked goods, and dipped designed fruits worthy to turn your special occasion into an event to remember.
Soul News Network had the opportunity to sit down with Cakeology 101owner, Edna Moore-Washington to hear how it all started.
Where did you get the idea for Cakeology 101?
The idea originated from my brother. My family gets together for Thanksgiving every year. One year I decided to make some delicious cupcakes. After baking, I decided to add some special designs to the treats. The family loved the treats and my brother asked how long it took me to make the cupcakes. After hearing it took 15 minutes per cupcake he encouraged me to start my own business. He stated, “We are business owners.” The next day my brother passed away. It became hard for me to bake after that, but my daughter and husband encouraged me to continue and to start my business.
So your daughter is one of your main encouragers?
Yes she is and my #1 customer. In April of 2014, my daughter visited a local bakery with my husband. She was looking for a special cake for her birthday. Her father looked at the cake she wanted and said, “Your mom can make this cake”. My daughter came home and showed me the cake. I stayed up all night to make the cake. It was my first time using fondant. My daughter posted the picture on Facebook and I immediately started to get calls for cakes. It all happened so quickly.
Your logo is very unique, how was it developed?
I was booked for a breast cancer awareness event. The event coordinator wanted to thank me for my services by adding me to a few promotional materials and banners. I was not yet prepared with a logo, but the coordinator had a great idea. She took the outline of my daughter and created the logo. My daughter is very pro-natural, so the logo is unique. It was perfect.
How did the name originate?
While attending a baking course during downtime, I started to decorate my cake. The instructor came by and said, “You are a cakeologist aren’t you?”. I thought to myself cake design is an art and a science. I then decided to call the business Cakeology 101.
How does the science of “cakeology” work?
Outside of the ingredients and science of making a great tasting item, I also have the science of working with my customers. I have to balance the customer’s ideas with cost, price, and timeline for the cake to be made. Not to mention ensuring that if it is an order with multiple items, the cake remains the focus of the order and the beautiful strawberries and cupcakes highlight the customized cake.
What do you believe is your role as a minority business owner?
My role is to give back to the community. My passion is youth. I try to donate cakes to youth organizations. I believe in prevention and finding ways to help kids break the cycle of poverty and other struggles they may have in their families. They need to understand that they can change the cycle. They can do better.
What is your dream for the Rockford community?
People blame towns on actions. There is more positive going on than people know. I have a dream that people stop focusing on negative. This is a great place to live.
Lastly, that we are in it to give back and build up the youth in this community and not for personal fame or celebration.
What drives you to continue through the hard days as an entrepreneur?
I am encouraged by those who have said that I can’t do it. I also donate a percentage of my revenue to my late brother’s children. I want to help build their future and support my brother’s legacy. He was such a giving and respected person.
How do you balance being a mom and business owner?
You have to make time for family. Don’t get so driven that you don’t realize your children need you. Your husband needs you. Double check your schedule and understand the importance of family. My goal is to never miss my daughter’s track meets and to always be there when my son needs me.
What advice would you give to a future business owner?
Don’t forget to factor in all costs so you understand your profit. That includes what you pay yourself. Use word of mouth whenever possible. My business has thrived from word of mouth.
Remember where you come from. I have to remember the pains of when I started such as not having the tools I needed, orders without deposits, or missing an event for my daughter. Remembering the beginning helps me to appreciate where I am now.
If you are interested in trying some delicious treats or customized cakes, visit www.cakeology101.com or call Cakeology at (815) 648-8822.