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S E C T I O N 2 & New restaurants, recipe ideas, and profiles of local chefs. N October 6, 2010 A LSO INSIDE C A LE N DA R 28|CLA SSI F I E D S 29|R E AL E 33 S TAT E Angel Heart cakes come in a variety of flavors, including these popular strawberry shortcake creations. Sinfully good angel food cakes By Jane Knoerle E Almanac Lifestyle Editor spresso-chip cake topped with bittersweet chocolate ganache. Lime coconut cake with coconut frosting. Rosewater cake with rosewater glaze. These are not your mother’s angel food cakes. The luscious creations are the work of Debbie Umphreys and Chris Rivera, two Menlo Park moms, who founded Angel Heart Cakes a year and a half ago. Both women had been part of the business world, but were looking for new direction, when they were introduced by a mutual friend, Michelle Culhane. For the first half of their lives, they had devoted themselves to their work and raising children. Now it was time to do something for themselves. Debbie had been a contract negotiator Angel Heart Cakes bring new flavors to an old-fashioned favorite for technical and engineering contracts, working for SRI International. She also has an MBA in finance. She and her husband, Steve, have lived in Menlo Park for 28 years and have two boys, Colin and Taylor. Chris worked in the executive recruiting business for almost 20 years and has been deeply involved in her children’s schools. (Andrea is now in college. Brett is a junior at Menlo-Atherton.) She has chaired fashion shows and the MenloAtherton Education Foundation auction. For the past 16 years, she and her husband Ed have been Menlo Park residents. When they met to explore business opportunities, Debbie was already baking angel food cakes for friends, using a treasured family recipe handed down from her French great-grandmother. “Debbie brought samples of her chocolate chip angel food cake to our lunch,” Chris recalls. Since both women were talented cooks, baking cakes commercially seemed a likely prospect. They started working together the next week. Since the beginning, Angel Heart Cakes has been strictly a two-woman operation. Debbie and Chris do all the baking in the Photos by Michelle Le commercial kitchen of Studio Cakes in Menlo Park. “We’re doing it all, from baking to washing pans to marketing,” says Chris. They make weekly trips to Glaum Egg Ranch in Aptos to buy 120 dozen organic eggs they use in little over a week. Eggs are the most important ingredient in angel food cakes, which are made without shortening or leavening. The women work every day but Sunday. They bake Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and deliver Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Their cakes are for sale at Bianchini’s, Roberts of Woodside, and Sigona’s markets in Redwood City and Palo Alto. Prices range from $7.99 for four almond frosted cupcakes to $12.99 See CAKES, page 27 On the cover Menlo Park moms Debbie Umphreys, left, and Chris Rivera whip up Angel Heart cakes at Studio Cakes in Menlo Park. The women will soon be opening a bakery featuring their cakes at Marsh Manor in Redwood City. October 6, 2010 N The Almanac N25

The Almanac 10.06.2010 - Section 2

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