100 Years of Michigan Aerospace Engineering

As a part of the University of Michigan’s Aero100 celebration, we recreated this historic, record-breaking Lesher Teal aircraft in cake.  After a very long week of planning, I have to say that constructing the cake was an engineering feat in itself, though maybe not rocket science.

You’ll notice that the plane is resting atop the sine wave field.  For anyone who hasn’t experienced this outdoor sculpture on North Campus, we highly recommend a visit.  Whether you’re in the mood to sit on a lump, or frolic like a child among the waves, you’ll find that the sculpture’s allure is derived from how you interact with it.  Heather counts sculpting the field among her favorite projects ever.

Climbing from the plane is a sugar figurine of the late Edgar J. Lesher, creator of the Lesher Teal and long-time U of M aeronautical engineering faculty member.

Thanks to Abby Rose Photo for these lovely studio shots.

573C5869573C5865573C5877573C5883 573C5881 573C5875

 

Advertisements

Meet Abby

This is my last week at Sweet Heather Anne, I am moving on to new adventures at the University of Michigan. There are too many people I have enjoyed meeting and loved working with to name. I will miss you all dearly. Though I have to say, I am so excited about this new & exciting step for me, my family, and my career. More importantly, I am SO excited to be introducing you to Abby, Sweet Heather Anne‘s interim business manager.

Abby is a great woman. She (like me) graduated from New York University. And though the fighting violets pale to the Wolverines in school pride, I was very excited to meet a fellow alum in Ann Arbor. As if that isn’t reason enough to love her, she has a great eye detail and awesome sense of humor. Oh and did I mention that she speaks French fluently?

She’s going to do a great job taking cake of you. Please don’t forget to be patient as she settles in to her new position.

I decided to ask her a few questions about Abby, so you could better get to know her.

573C4134T

What was your major in college?
I was a French literature major and had a minor in food studies and business. I will say the French and food part go together surprisingly well. It feels great that I get to read Jean Brillat Savarin untranslated.
How and why did you become interested in food?
My mother has always introduced me to good food. Her love of farmers markets, local agriculture and simple straightforward fare has molded and shaped me. I like to call her my very own Alice Waters. It also helps that I am just a glutton for good food and I believe it is such a positive way to explore new cultures.
What’s your favorite SHA cake flavor?
Loving the cake truffles (because moist delicious cake covered in chocolate is addictive) but my favorite flavor would have to the citrus almond cake. YUM!
What do you love about working at SHA?
Well I am the newest addition, but I love working with such talented passionate women. Heather and Claudia are a force to be reckoned with. But I also deeply enjoy working with clients, getting to hear their stories and feeling like we get to contribute something meaningful and real to their special occasion.

If you could go anywhere tomorrow where would you go?

Morocco, Vietnam and Lyon, France. Obviously, not all at once. All because I love the food and vibrant culture and I have the added benefit of understanding what they are telling me.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday morning?
Lets pretend its Saturday. I would wake up, go to the farmers market and get way to excited about fruit and vegetables. Grab handfuls, come home and start making jam. I would then go to a lake near by with my boyfriend, drink Lambrusco and eat cheese, swim, then come home and finish the jam. Sunday morning, I would get a great piece of bread and smear a lot of delicious jam all over it with a big cup of tea and the NY Times. I try to make it a reality a couple of times a year and I love being in a place surrounded by lakes.

 

What’s it like to grow up in San Francisco?

Amazing! San Francisco is a very special place and home to my family. I believe in some Jack Kerouac way we must all go west at some point in time. I feel like it is bountiful and unique and I like to defend it with as much gusto as rooting for UM during a football game. That being said, Ann Arbor has charmed me and the people I have met are some of the most warm, generous and wonderful people I have met.

Photography by Abby Rose Photo

Michigan Graduation

Hopefully you’ve all met Claudia & Heather by now.  If you have you know that they both are University of Michigan graduates and so there is a lot of excitement around here this week for Spring Commencement.  We are going to be so busy making some pretty incredible maize and blue cakes for some of you out there.  Those of you who haven’t ordered your cake yet, don’t worry.

The Sweet Heather Anne Dessert Counter will be full of University of Michigan-themed sweets for your special grad.  We’ll be selling lots of tasty treats including: French macarons in maize and blue, block M cookies, maize and blue signature cookies, mixed cookie dozens, and mini cupcakes with maize and blue confetti.  Here’s a sneak peak at some of the sweets that will be making an appearance…Don’t forget to stop by, Friday 10-6 and Saturday 9-2!

Ann Arbor Boutique Cake StudioUniversity of Michigan, Desserts

Meet Claudia

A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to Heather, with promises to introduce you to the rest of the team.  (By the way the team consists of Heather, Claudia, and myself.)  Claudia is a cake designer extraordinaire with an eye for detail.  I asked Claudia some probing questions thinking that I would write about how awesome she is and fill in the blanks with some fun facts.  Turns out Claudia’s answers are just as awesome as she is, and I decided to do a direct cut and paste instead, and let Claudia tell you about herself in her own words…Boutique Cake Studio. Ann Arbor

I studied Cultural Anthropology in college {at the University of Michigan}.  Coming from a small town, it really opened up my understanding of how different people perceive the world.
I was raised with an appreciation for home cooked food.  A love of food is something that my mom and dad shared when they were falling in love, and it was always a part of their home. I can remember making pancakes with my dad sometime before I could read.  At some point when I was still really young, I memorized the recipe and could make them by myself.  I was very strong willed.
Claudia Kimble baking
The first recipes I made as an adult were baked goods that had sentimental value to me,  like my mom’s peppermint frosting and my grandma’s date pinwheel cookies.  Baked goods are especially wonderful this way, because we eat them on holidays and birthdays and at special times of the year.  They seem to conjure up years past and are more potent and delicious because of it.  It’s also a craft that women have carried on, for the most part, and that’s pretty badass.
My favorite S{weet}H{eather}A{nne} cake flavor is the Citrus Almond.  I think it’s one of the most creative, and it has the most meaning for Heather.  However, when chocolate with chocolate ganache and chocolate buttercream makes it on our menu, that will be my favorite.   I’m really excited for some of the more adventurous flavors we are working on for the summer.  I love floral and bitter flavors, so I’m pumped that we’ve been throwing around using ingredients like fresh garden lavender, basil, and candied fruit.  Maybe fennel will make it in one as an homage to you, Rachel.
Boutiqe Cake Studio. Ann Arbor
The first, more selfish reason I like cake decorating is that I love geeking out on an artistic task and being left alone to be as meticulous as I want about it.   When I find my flow zone, I can transcend space and time.  It’s wild.
The second reason that I love cake decorating is the WOW factor.  Cakes, the giant sculpted kind, are one of the most frivolous luxury items I can think of right now, and it’s so fun to see people’s reactions.   I love the moment I pipe the final rhinestone on the sculpted jean booty, and I’m like, “WOW, that looks like a booty in some jeans.  Suzy Q is going to freak out!”  Or when the little sugar dog I made really does look like Johnny’s favorite boyhood beagle.  I think that stuff is hilarious.
If I could go anywhere tomorrow, I might stay at home all day.  I love being home.  I love my housemates.  I have so many projects that I could never work again and be busy every day.  I would cook, sew, screenprint, work on my bike…  THEN I would get on my bike and ride all around Ypsi.  I would get Ugly Mug and Beezy’s and Bona Sera (It’s a very long day).  I would ride to my friend Jen’s house and make her come out to play with me.  At the end of my day at home, I would totally jam with my house band!  It’s comprised of anybody that happens to be in our house at the time (“If you’re in the house, you’re in the band.”)  We call ourselves Alpha Uterus.  We’re the best worst band you’ve never heard of.
Because we have Sundays and Mondays off, I consider Sunday my Saturday and Monday my Sunday.  On Monday (my Sunday), my favorite thing to do is sleep in.  I love sleeping.  There’s an lcd soundsystem song, “I’m Never as Tired as When I’m Waking Up.”  That’s how I feel every time I wake up.   Once I’ve committed myself to the new day, my favorite thing to do is make some Ugly Mug coffee, pour-over style, and do the Monday New York Times crossword.  See how I worked it so that on my Sunday I can finish the crossword?  It’s good in my world.
Many thanks to Abby Rose Photo for the beautiful images of Claudia.

HAIL: Appreciate + Reciprocate

Last week we did a cake for Appreciate + Reciprocate‘s Annual Benefit Dinner, which MVictors may or may not have called epic!  (Read their article to find out).

A+R is a group of University of Michigan students who work to raise money for the College of LSA‘s Emergency Student Aid Fund.  As scholarship recipients themselves, these students want to give back to the community that has supported them.  With the feeling that financial constraints are not a reason for dropping out of school the Appreciate + Reciprocate students are working to bring awareness and raise the funds to keep qualifying students in school.

Our cake pays homage to all the Victors, some of whom were present.  Heather had the opportunity to meet Desmond Howard, Dhani Jones, and Denard Robinson.  Check them out in this video of the event done by Video Vision 360.  Personally I am not a football person (though my husband and his family would NEVER miss a Michigan game).  I have, however, always been a fan of Dhani Jones.  I think it was the bow ties that got it started, they’re so dapper.  And then I found out about his BowTie Cause and I was sold.  Heather couldn’t stop gushing about Denard’s positivity.  Needless to say, love of football or not, I was pretty jealous when I got this text:Sweet Heather Anne Custom Cake BoutiqueWe should not, however, allow Desmond Howard, Denard Robinson, or even Dhani Jones (as fabulous as all three are) overshadow the importance of the work of  Appreciate + Reciprocate.  College students sometimes get a bad rap for their late night partying and “ping pong” games.  But hey, who hasn’t enjoyed a great “ping pong” game in their life?  These college students are doing a tremendous amount of good for their fellow students, and who can argue with that?

Sweet Heather Anne is truly honored to play a small role in supporting their work.  And if you weren’t impressed enough already?  They surpassed their goal of $10,000.00 raised from the Benefit Dinner!

Thank you Penny Stamps

It was a big weekend for the University of Michigan.  In case you haven’t heard, the basketball team played in the NCAA  Division 1 Final Four and National Championship for the first time in twenty years.   Perhaps with less national pomp and circumstance, but no less worthy, is the celebration of  the re-naming of the School of Art & Design to Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.

Penny Stamps and her husband E. Roe Stamps have been instrumental in positioning the school to become a national leader in art and design education.  Their generosity is particularly poignant to our own Heather Leavitt, Sweet Heather Anne‘s owner and head decorator. Heather not only is a graduate of the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, she also was a Stamps Scholar.  Much thanks to the leadership and generosity of Penny Stamps, Heather’s time at the University of Michigan sculpted who she is as an artist today, laying the foundation for Sweet Heather Anne‘s signature artistry.

In celebration of the re-naming  Heather created a cake (and accompanying cookies and macarons) to commemorate Penny Stamp’s enormous impact on the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.

Sweet Heather Anne. Corporate Cakes“Creating this cake was such an honor.  When I was in art school, my thesis involved creating cakes as edible monuments to local farmers and food producers.  Now that I am a local food producer, it was amazing to have the opportunity to create an edible monument to Penny Stamps and the art school.  I feel like I’ve really come full circle.  It was awesome to see all of my Professors, and celebrate Penny, and everything she has done for the school and the arts. ” -Heather

Penny W. Stamps.School of Art & Design. University of MichiganPenny W. Stamps. School of Art & Design. University of MichiganPenny W. Stamps. School of Art & Design. University of MichiganPenny W. Stamps. School of Art & DesignPenny W. Stamps. School of Art & Design

Many thank to Abby Rose Photo for the gorgeous images above.

Cake, Art, Univeristy of Michigan, Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design

Edible Monument to Tantre Farm, part of Heather’s thesis project at the Stamps School of Art and Design in 2007.

Go Blue! Sweet Treats

Michigan Football is so much a part of fall in Ann Arbor: there’s the traffic (I’m looking at the standstill on Main street right now), the long restaurant lines, but more importantly there’s Michigan pride. This being our first fall at 920 N Main Street, we are so excited to be a part of the Ann Arbor community and the Michigan spirit that consumes downtown.  We just couldn’t resist celebrating Michigan pride Sweet Heather Anne style.

Metro Detroit Cakes and Desserts, University of Michigan desserts

Every home game our dessert counter features Michigan-themed treats including: maize and blue french macarons, mini cupcakes with maize and blue confetti, Michigan football cookies, and Marzipops.

Any of these items are also available for pre-order, as are the Michigan fondant cake pictured above and the sculpted helmet cake below.  All perfect for your tailgate or other University of Michigan-themed event.  Contact us for more information.

Michigan Helmet Cake

Special thanks to Abby Rose Photo for capturing the football helmet cake in all its glory.