In The Land Of The Sweets – Au Pays Des Douceurs

From an API France Resident Director, Melissa L.

Sugar and icing and all that’s enticing…

…Kinda makes you want to dive right into one of these incredible edible creations! Or pop out of one, like one Crazy Horse dancer who was part and parcel of an over-the-top birthday bash complete with human sized cake from which said dancer pops out; created by the three sugarplum fairies who have taken up residence on the corner of rue Cardinal Lemoine and rue Thouin. Marie Antoinette has nothing on these lovely north American natives, who have made their pastry dream come true, right smack in the heart of the 5th arrondissement of Paris.

They met in a cake shop in the banlieu… Laurel Sanderson, Krista Juracek and Taylor McLoughlin all came to Paris in different ways, and ended up working at the same cake bakery in Aulnay-sous-Bois. After realizing what great confections they made together, they decided to set out on an adventure and open their own cake shop. And thus was born the Sugarplum Cake Shop.

(photo by Krista Juracek)

Their idea is simple and wholesome, with outstanding results : cake can be beautiful and oh-so delicious with home-made recipes and a lot of love. The creativity in this place can be cut with a knife, literally. But the cake shop is so much more than a cake shop. It is a place full of tasty treats to nibble while sitting at a table with a book or a laptop and a cup of coffee; it’s a place to find conversation; it’s a happy place. I mean who wouldn’t be happy in a place full of pastries and cakes and laughter!

When I walked in, Laurel, was on the phone with a client who was brainstorming ideas for his order : a boat cake for his son’s birthday. Laurel’s conversation swung back and forth from French expressions to American ones, bubbly and cheerful and totally inspired.

Across the courtyard Krista and Taylor were busy in the kitchen. Krista putting the final touches on a superman wedding cake. Attention to detail was so intent that even the button holes had edge work done on them. And Taylor’s steady, well skilled hand working on a cake mold that would become a boat, a delicious edible boat.

There is something that oozes out of this place, something more than butter cream and ganache… it’s a sensation of comfort, or home, it’s a warm happy feeling, like a friendly smile, like a good hug, or better yet, like chocolate cake. Maybe, just maybe Marie Antoinette did have a point… Imagine, if only the French had had cake, they might have let the whole revolution pass them by!

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