Our next local business spotlight features one of Gilmer’s sweetest businesses: Ladyfingers Cakes and Catering.
Ladyfingers Cakes and Catering
The small building is bare but inviting, due to the owner’s warm personality. Lisa Sneed invites me in and begins icing a cake as we visit.
“What made you open up a catering office?”
“I like food made the way I enjoy it. I’ve worked on cakes for 30 years, but I only opened Ladyfingers in Gilmer last year. I was born and raised in Gilmer, so I want to see Gilmer thrive. Since there’s nothing like this in our area, I started it.”
“What do you enjoy about this business?”
Lisa smiles as she swirls icing from a pouch onto the cake. “Making people happy. It’s nice to always add to people’s celebrations. It’s like cooking for my friends.”
“What do you want potential customers to know about your business?”
“Here, you can have a good cake, one unlike anything else you’ll find in East Texas, at an affordable price. That, and cake doesn’t have to be what you’ve always had. All my ingredients are fresh and organic. I often raise them myself! I cook from scratch unless it can’t be avoided. This, my special cake, is 100% from scratch. I believe in good food, not just food that tastes good.”
“What does a typical day look like?”
Lisa grabs a cardboard box and folds it into shape before sliding the cake inside. “When I ran a shop in Dallas, I was making a hundred cakes a week. But that was with employees. Last week I made 30 cakes, which is a lot. A typical week includes one wedding cake, 8-10 normal cakes, and 2-3 special occasion desserts. Of course, it all depends on the volume of requests.”
“Do you have any stories to share?”
“While in Rockwall, I got to make a cake for Anita Perry, the former governor’s wife. It was a replica of Rockwall’s downtown square, and people loved it. Anita actually went from being a pastry chef to a nurse, where I’ve gone from being a nurse to a pastry chef, so we have a lot in common. Anyway, whenever Rick was in town, he’d stop by and pick up some of my cupcakes for his wife.”
“What are some of your future goals?”
Lisa paused for a moment. “I would like to do this for a few years and then find someone to hand the business down to. Gilmer needs and enjoys this service – it’s unique. For a mom wanting a career or someone who enjoys baking, it’d be a great opportunity.”
“Where do you get your ideas for foods and designs?”
“The food mostly comes from what I like. Though sometimes I wake in the middle of the night, or in the morning, and remember a flavor I was dreaming about. Then I try to make that. As far as designs go, I find certain cloths and ribbons inspirational for textures and decoration on cakes.”
“What does it take to be a pastry chef?”
“After I retired from nursing in 2007, I went back and got my degree as a pastry chef. I’ve since been to France and got to talk to merchants and chefs there. The culture is so different there – they want food to look good, not just taste good. They want to eat art.”
A little French skill in a small East Texas town – Gilmer never ceases to amaze!
Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
Be sure to check out Ladyfinger’s Facebook Page for photos of her amazing work, or her website. A basic three layer cake starts at $25 and will serve 25-30 people. Don’t miss out on such a delicious deal!