A Garden Party Interview: The Sweet Life Bakery of Vineland NJ

For the past month and a half, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing juicy details about celebrity weddings with A Garden Party readers. Now, I’m switching gears and starting a new series that features vendors that A Garden Party frequently works with. This week, I talked to Stephen from The Sweet Life Bakery in Vineland, New Jersey.  Here is what one of A Garden Party’s favorite bakers had to say. What makes your business stand out?

The Sweet Life Bakery is owned by a husband and wife team. We were both trained at the Culinary Institute of America, in the kitchens of San Francisco and during a backpacking tour through Europe.  We employ two artists that do our sugar and fondant work, as well as a staff of trained pastry chefs that make and bake all the cakes.  Everything at the bakery is made from scratch. We never use shortening or corn syrup, so our cakes taste AMAZING!

Why should engaged couples choose your services?

We offer delicious, beautiful, custom designed cakes along with superior service, all at a fair price.  Not only were we named by TheKnot.com as a “best of weddings” winner and got a WeddingWire.com “brides choice” award, we were also named by SJ Magazine as having the BEST wedding cakes in South Jersey.  We’re very proud of those accolades, and we strive to live up to them with every cake that goes out the door.

Why did you want to enter the wedding industry?

The cake is the edible centerpiece of the wedding celebration, and it symbolizes the sweetness of the couples’ love for each other; we LOVE playing such an important role.  We’re constantly surrounded by happiness and love, and it’s a very positive working environment.

What is your favorite part of being involved in weddings?

I really enjoy the cake tasting.  By talking with the bride and groom, looking at pictures and getting a feel of their style, I tease out the elements of their imagined cake, put it on paper and create their very own cake design.  My job is to get their idea out of their heads and onto paper… I love when I finish the sketch, show it to the bride and she says, ‘It’s exactly what I had in mind!’  Then I know that I’ve nailed it, and that’s a good feeling.  Jill, however, enjoys making the sugar pieces and flowers, piping the buttercream and turning the cake that I sketched into a reality!

What are your short- and long-term goals?

Our short-term goals are to follow our mission statement and make sure our staff is as well.  The five most basic goals of our business are to provide our guests with consistent, tasty and wholesome foods; to provide reliable, warm and professional service; to treat our employees and each other with the utmost respect and dignity; to be aware of our social and environmental impacts; and to always have fun!  Our long-term goals are to be the best bakery in the country, to win a James Beard award, to write a cookbook and to live happy and healthy lives!

What advice would you offer to engaged couples looking for a vendor who provides your services?

Check out their online presence such as TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com to see if they have good reviews (we have stellar reviews, by the way). Also, check their website.  Look at pictures, of course!  Make sure you do a cake tasting to get a feel for how they are personally and professionally and of course, to see how the cakes taste. Most importantly, make sure you ask lots of questions!

What general advice would you offer engaged couples?

Have fun!  After all it’s a party… Do what you want (remember it’s your wedding!); don’t take it too seriously, and make sure you’re working with good vendors who will take on the stress so you don’t have to!

Do you have any additional comments?

The Sweet Life Bakery was named as one of the “places in New Jersey to get the dessert of your dreams” by Edible Jersey Magazine. Also, Jill and I were named by Mother Nature Network as two of the “top green chefs under 40” for our sustainable practices!

Well, with all their awards and their commitment to tasty cakes and professional service, it is no wonder The Sweet Life Bakery is one of A Garden Party’s favorite vendors. In case Stephen’s answers weren’t enough to make you go purchase a cake right now, check out these gorgeous cakes made by A Sweet Life. (Flowers courtesy of A Garden Party Florist)

Kari and Dave's Wedding in Pilesgrove, NJ

Jessie and Scott’s Wedding at the Southern Mansion

 

How does your dream wedding cake look and taste? Who is your favorite baker? We'd love to hear your feedback.

Also, be sure to check back next week to read about one of  A Garden Party’s favorite photographers.

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