We had the good fortune of connecting with Olivia Hoopes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olivia, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had never really planned to start my own business. I was just following my passion. When I started making cakes for other people, requests for my cakes started to snowball. All of my business is either referral-based or repeat clients. I guess you could say my business was created based on the demand for my cakes. It has definitely evolved over the years and now I have bigger plans for where I want to take it and how I want to grow my business even more!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I view the art that I do as two-fold: the inside and the outside. Not only do I create something that is pleasing to the eye, I also create desserts that are full of flavor. I make all the curds, buttercreams, caramels, and ganaches myself so I can add and manipulate the flavors to bring my clients something truly special. I love to incorporate seasonal fruit from local farmers when it’s available. My cakes are baked from scratch and last year, I even started making my own vanillas. I use all natural flavorings with real fruits and extracts, which is definitely something you can taste in my work. I also set myself apart from others with my attention to detail and clean finishes I achieve for each cake. I limit my orders, so I can give each cake the thought and attention required to maintain a high standard. My favorite thing to hear from a client is, “Do whatever you want, I trust your expertise.” As an artist, that is a dream come true! I create custom works of art based on a theme or color story. I like to work off pictures of decor, flowers, or invitations as inspiration. Some of my favorite and most popular works are those that happen when I have creative freedom. Professionally, I got where I am today through education and hard work. I grew up on a berry farm in California, so working hard is something ingrained in me. I don’t give up easily and I am willing to put in the long hours cake decorating requires. I earned my Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics with a minor in Business. My educational background has helped me interact professionally with my clients and to understand business finances and budgeting. I had always thought about going to pastry school and it wasn’t until I was married with 2 children that I decided to go for it! I’m so glad I graduated from pastry school, because it gave me the skills and confidence to start my baking business. My husband and children have supported me through it all and now, here I am 6 years later, continuing to grow and evolve that business. Getting to this point has been a slow and steady evolution. This year, I am transitioning to focus solely on weddings, because that is where I find the most joy. The experience I have accumulated over the past 6 years has helped me get to this point. I feel confident in my skills and I know I can offer couples an experience they can’t find at other bakeries. I also have to give a shout out to some other wedding professionals that I have had the pleasure of working with over the years. Without their referrals and support, my business would not have grown to where it is today. I specifically want to give a shout out to Danielle Roth of Danielle Roth Photography and Jennie Dreiling of Sugar n’ Stems. Both of these ladies have supported my business since the beginning and continue to recommend my services to couples. Thank you! I have met so many new vendors within the last year and always look forward to the beauty we create when we all come together. I am most proud of the feedback and referrals I get from clients. I know that I am doing things right when people continue to support me year after year. I also love being a part of and fulfilling a couple’s vision for their wedding day; I appreciate each person that puts their trust in me to be a part of such a momentous occasion! My brand represents me, where I grew up, and the elite experience I want couples to have on their wedding day. I spend many hours looking at inspiration and living in the world of cakes. The design possibilities are endless! I believe each wedding cake should represent the couple and be a talking point at the wedding. I offer my clients a truly custom experience, where their story and my vision come together. That’s when the magic happens!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Denver has such a great variety of restaurants and activities! For one night, I would definitely eat at Linger and then head to Little Man for dessert-they’re ice cream sandwiches can not be beat! We would also spend a day at the Denver Zoo and then stop at Constellation Ice Cream on the way home. I also love escape rooms, so we would have to visit The Rabbit’s Hole Escape Room in Louisville and then get ice cream at Glacier in Boulder before heading home. Can you tell I like ice cream? Haha! We would also spend a day at the Nature and Science Museum-they always have new exhibits coming in and it’s easy to spend a day there. Then, we would eat dinner at ChoLon Asian Fusion. They have the best pork belly buns I’ve ever had! We would also have to go to Yard House and then to the movies at the United Artists theater on 16th street. Maybe do a little shopping at the 16th street mall, too. The Buell Theater Denver hosts Broadway shows and would be on the itinerary, as well. That would be one busy, but fun week!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my husband and 4 kids. I wouldn’t have been able to delve into the world of creating without their support and patience. They have been with me from the beginning of this venture. My husband will occupy the kids when I’m working, make grocery store runs, step up to make dinner, and wash all my cake pans! He is often a sounding board for my ideas and is understanding when I am working late into the night. While my kids aren’t old enough to be as helpful, they are supportive and understanding when it comes to mommy working from home. It makes our play time together that much more special, plus, they never turn down leftover cake scraps! I love you all and thank you so much for your support!
Danielle Roth Photography, Lindy Copeland Photography, Cait Swithers Photo + Film, Crystal Leffel Photography