Creativity and talent in pastries and sweet treats is abundant at Sweet Cakes Design, 6231 West River Drive, Suite A in Belmont. Opened in 2003 by owner and pastry chef Barbara Hoek, the cake boutique has a staff of five creative individuals who enjoy their work. Hoek worked for years in the finance industry, but left that field and enrolled in the Bakery/Pastry Program at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) in 2001. She immediately fell in love with the profession. After completing the program she was asked to donate a wedding cake to a couple who could not afford one. After that she began doing business and is now known for the quality of her cakes and pies. Today Hoek is joined by pastry chefs Sara Soukup and Amanda Hoffman and assistant pastry chefs Patricia Bruin and Rachel Wahl. “I love my staff!” Hoek stated. Patricia is Hoek’s sister and brings 25 years experience working as a floral designer. “She has been my right hand from the start and is very creative,” Hoek said. She is talented in the placement of fresh flowers for a stunning look on cakes in addition to helping with production. Soukup joined the team in April 2007. Also a graduate of the Bakery/Pastry Program at GRCC. Soukup additionally has a bachelor of science degree in hospitality management. Bruin is a graduate of Calvin College with a bachelor of arts degree. Her greatest talent is in sculpting edible custom designs. “Her sculpting is amazing,” Hoek praised. Hoffman is a GRCC graduate with an associates degree in culinary arts and culinary management. She has a certificate of bakery/pastry arts and is responsible for much of the production at Sweet Cakes Design. “She brings a lot of new ideas to the table and loves decorating,” Hoek noted. The growth of the company over the years has been an enjoyable journey. The ability to offer nearly any kind of cake or pie filling to please customers is satisfying. Seeing the excitement in customer’s eyes is a wonderful reward. At Sweet Cakes, the staff helps advise event planners and offer tasting to those who aren’t sure what to order. “All our products are made from scratch using only the finest ingredients,” Hoek said of the […]
January 29 2009
by SAM HYER Pets need more than just a fur coat to keep warm and safe in winter. Cold weather has safety and health concerns for both people and pets. As a responsible owner, it is important to pay attention to your pet’s well-being during the cold Michigan winter. The American Kennel Club® and I, offer the following advice to help you and your pet survive the long, cold winter. Provide plenty of fresh water – Your dog is just as likely to get dehydrated in the winter as in the summer, and snow is not a satisfactory substitute for water. Provide plenty of food – Feed your dog additional calories if it spends a lot of time outdoors or is a working animal. It takes more energy in the winter to keep body temperatures regulated, so additional calories are necessary. Dogs that are kept indoors with the family, and get less exercise during winter months, may actually gain weight, so keep an eye on his diet. Keep your dog’s paws dry – Rinse your dog’s feet and dry them completely after a walk. This helps avoid tiny cuts and cracked pads. A little petroleum jelly may soften the pads and prevent further cracking. Groom your dog regularly – Your dog needs a well-groomed coat to keep properly insulated. Towel or blow-dry your dog if he gets wet from rain or snow. When you towel your pet be sure to blot, not rub, as that can lead to severe matting. Comb out your pet more often in the winter to keep the skin healthy. Keep your dog warm, dry, and away from drafts – Adequate shelter is a necessity. Tiles and uncarpeted areas may become extremely cold. Place blankets and pads on floors in these areas. Watch out for the following winter hazards: Cold – Don’t leave your dog outside for long periods of time. Wind/chill makes days colder than actual temperature readings, and dogs are susceptible to frostbite on their ears, tails, and feet. Ice and snow – Be extra careful when walking or playing with your dog outside. Your pup could slip or jump in a frozen lake, river, or pond and get seriously injured. Snow can muffle scents, and your dog can […]
Earlier this month, Brittany Fels had the pleasure of visiting her grandmother, Ruthe Graves of Rockford. Brittany just graduated from California State University, San Marcos with her bachelor’s degree in accounting. She decided to visit her grandmother before she started her new job back in California. Brittany used to come to Rockford every summer when she was younger, but before this trip, it had been about six years since she last visited. Brittany and her grandmother drove through downtown Rockford several times and stopped at her favorite coffee shop, Frenz, quite a few times as well. The weather here was very different than what Brittany is used to in California. Being a California girl, she doesn’t see much snow, and hardly ever gets to go sledding! ? On her last day here, she took her mom’s old plastic sled and went down the small hill in her grandmothers’s front yard a few times. She loved ?it, and her grandma got a few good pictures of her enjoying herself.
It’s not late to find the love of a lifetime. The Humane Society of Kent County encourages the community to find their perfect pet companion at Meet Your Match, a Valentine’s Day themed Adopt-A-Thon on Saturday, February 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will feature reduced fees – $50 cat and kitten adoptions (reg. $95), $75 dog and puppy adoptions (reg. $125) and pet identification microchipping for only $15. Visitors will also enjoy light refreshments and can enter a raffle for a free cat-themed basket. The Humane Society hopes potential adopters will fall in love with a pet companion in anticipation of this Valentine’s Day. The Humane Society of Kent County has dozens of pets waiting to find their way into new, loving homes. The Humane Society is located at 3077 Wilson N.W. Grand Rapids. For more information call (616) 791-8089.
Jan. 1 – Feb. 28 Lego/K*Nex Challenge – Build a design with Lego or K*Nex pieces and display in at Krause Memorial Library. All participants will receive certificates. All ages welcome. Designs accepted from January 1 through February 28 at the library, 140 E. Bridge St., Rockford. For more information, call (616) 647-3940 or visit www.kdl.org. Thursday, January 29 “Rain” at DeVos Hall – $50 per guest (includes bus fee); lunch at Applebees (on your own). For reservations and bus pick-up times/locations, call Marcia at (616) 863-6322. Tuesday, February 3 Mended Hearts Meeting – 7 p.m. at Spectrum Health Fred & Lena Meijer Heart Center, 100 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, in Room 8815 on the eighth floor. Mended Hearts, a volunteer nonprofit support group affiliated with the American Heart Association, offers hope, information and encouragement to heart patients, families and caregivers through those who have experienced heart disease. For more information, contact Jim Oldfield at (616) 891-9395. Country Music – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks. CHADD’s Adults with AD/HD Group Meeting – 7 to 9 p.m. at Calvin College, Meeter Center Lecture Hall. Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D., author and associate director of the Yale Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders, will present “The Unrecognized Role of Emotions and AD/HD.” No cost or pre-registration required. All welcome. For more information, call Linda Brauer at (616) 874-5662. Wednesday, February 4 Business Counseling – Starting a new business or have questions about your existing business? The Rockford Chamber of Commerce and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) would like to help. SCORE is a nonprofit organization sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and is dedicated to helping the small-business community through no-fee mentoring, business counseling and low-cost workshops. A SCORE counselor will be at the Chamber starting at 9 a.m. Please call the Chamber at (616) 866-2000, Mon. – Fri. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., to schedule an appointment. Bingo! – 1 to 3 p.m. at Rockford Ambulance Community Room, corner of Ten Mile Road and Shaner Ave., Rockford. Four cards for $1. Refreshments served. For […]