We had the good fortune of connecting with Candis Spivey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Candis, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
When all the COVID madness started a few months ago, like most small business owners, I panicked. E-mail after e-mail, cancellation after cancellation. Custom cakes are a luxury item. I had spent years tirelessly building a brand known as edible artistic centerpieces for large gatherings. I knew this wouldn’t work again for a while. I watched many of my baker sisters stop accepting orders, the risk was too high with so much unknown while serving food. Supplies were scarce. I decided in that moment that I had a job to do. I needed to set my art aside and try to make people smile during such an unprecedented time. Before COVID, I had a minimum serving amount of 15 and the thought of writing on a cake with frosting made me cringe. This moment, however, wasn’t about me. Birthday cakes, anniversary treats and smiles still needed to happen. I made the decision to completely self-quarantine and temporarily flipped Honeybee to only 9 serving cakes, better known as quarantine cakes. I wrote memes and funny sayings on the cakes, pulled my inflatable dino suit out of storage from a few Halloweens ago, and started making no contact deliveries. I have since wrapped up quarantine cakes, but I’ll never forget the lessons that those little cakes taught me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think what sets my cake art apart is my design style. When I first started building my cake portfolio, customers would contact me, sending a photo of the exact cake they wanted. I tried that for a while, and realized I wasn’t enjoying replicating another bakers art. It felt wrong, like I was trying to take credit for something that someone else had already created. I had to take a step back and figure out who I was as a cake artist and started narrowing my skill set. I didn’t feel I could call myself an artist by copying others. I learned that original designs using buttercream, sugar work and chocolate are my cake style. It’s important to me to stay true to my brand that took so long for me to figure out.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
First, I should say if you’re coming to visit me, be prepared to eat. I am from the south and good southern BBQ is hard to find. I know if it’s good BBQ the moment I pull up to the restaurant, the smell is so good you can taste it. Caldwell County BBQ in Gilbert would be a must visit. For a pick-me-up, I’d take them to get coffee at my favorite little spot, The Coffee Shop in Agritopia. We’d also have to stop by Toasted Mallow and have them try some of the fluffiest and delicious marshmallows they’ve ever tasted. If we’re cooking at home, I’d make sure we go by the Gilbert Farmers Market and grab some Benny Blanco tortillas. Hands down, best tortillas on the west coast. At some point we’d have to venture out of the East Valley and head to Scottsdale. Eat the grilled street corn at The Mission, have a burger and warm Kale & truffle dip at The Henry, sit at the bar and eat melt in your mouth butter cake at Mastro’s City Hall. Honestly, I could go on for days when it comes to good food in Phoenix. This doesn’t cover even half of my favorite spots and I’m sure there’s so many great places I haven’t tried. For some relaxation, my favorite place to take friends is Joya Spa at Omni Scottsdale Resort. A couple years ago, my friends and I went to a top rated spa each month in an attempt to find the best spa. This is undoubtably the best one we found. I also love the views around the Canyon Lake/Superstition mountains area. More than likely my friends would be visiting me from the south, so seeing cacti, water, and desert mountains all in the same spot isn’t a typical view.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband, Reid, deserves the biggest shoutout. Not just for supporting me from the day I formed my LLC, but more importantly being my biggest cheerleader the past few months. There are so many others that have helped and inspired me along the way, but when times got really tough, his daily encouragement kept me going.