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“a premier bakery creating custom cakes, sweet treats and specialty desserts for every occasion.”

Artists and designers are constantly pushing the envelope to stand out amongst the crowd and often times outdo their own previous work. This kind of dedication and drive is no different when it comes to cake design, and Barrie’s own Cakes by Design is no exception. Owners Jen and Michelle have worked hard to make their store what it is today, a cake shop committed to intricate design detail and inspirational creations. Downtown Barrie has been fortunate to have this outstanding cake store a part of its community, where their designs are so impressive you don’t want to cut into them, but the rich and scrumptious flavor is so mouthwatering you can’t resist.

There is an age-old saying that encourages you to spend your life doing what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life – this is often easier said than done. Jen is one of the fortunate ones, waking up every day and fulfilling that lifelong dream some people might spend an eternity searching for. In fact, baking and detailed cake design is something Jen never really considered for a long-term career; it was more a hobby in which she was undeniably good at. The art and detail behind every beautiful cake, the thought process and the creativity, all of it kept drawing Jen back in, and ultimately she decided to stop fighting fate and simply embrace her natural talent by sharing this incredible gift with the world.

“the rich and scrumptious flavor is so mouthwatering you can’t resist”

As part of Jen’s plan to move to Barrie to be with her husband, she then began looking for work in the area. Michelle, the creator of Cakes by Design, was looking for a partner to open up this amazing cake shop that she envisioned. It was literally love at first sight for the pair. They knew they would make sound business partners so they signed the papers instantaneously, which lead to them opening Barrie’s first cake and design store in 2004. Specializing in custom cakes, cupcakes, and cookies, their store took off and was an immediate hit, with clients ranging from as far north as Cochrane, and south to Toronto and Niagara Falls. Their kitchen, along with all of their products, is completely nut free, which is a huge relief for people with allergies, or parents whose children have allergies. They also accommodate gluten free as well as egg and milk free for those with special dietary conditions.

The team at Cakes by Design has had the honour of baking and decorating the cake for Barrie’s Canada day celebration for over 7 years now. Originally, the cake was a simple large rectangle decorated as the Canadian flag, but television shows – such as Cake Boss – have set the bar higher. Now every year, Jen, Michelle and their brilliantly talented team brainstorm ways to be bigger and better than the last. In fact, they have already begun working on ideas for 2014! Every year, this is their favourite challenge – trying to exceed the high expectations both they and the Barrie community have come to expect. Jen is proud to be a member of the Barrie community, and she takes great pride in this annual tradition. Cakes by Design are known to donate gift cards and they enjoy attending cake auctions, giving as many people as possible an opportunity to appreciate their cakes. Jen and her team truly are artists, finding inspiration everywhere they look and creating desserts that never fall short of tasting as good as they look. So the next time you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, treat yourself to a decadent cake or cookie from Cakes by Design.