Biscoff Cake, Honey Fig Goat Cheese Cake and T onight S how C ake are all flavors created by Courtney Rich of Cake by Courtney. Her cake recipes are known for being as beautiful and delicious as they are unique. This self taught baker believes in the power of baking and getting in the kitchen. She inspires others to create memories by doing something they didn’t know they could do. CEOMOM Magazine enjoyed talking to Courtney about her love for baking and how Cake by Courtney is building a community around food.
Describe your journey to becoming a self taught baker?
It’s one that probably started when I was young. We spent so much time in the kitchen as a family. As I look back, it was probably the place with my favorite memories. Baking cookies with my sister, making Sunday dinners with my mom, or even just having a bowl of cereal with my dad before bed, it was back then where my love for being in the kitchen and creating foods and memories around food all began.
The cake journey, however, didn’t start until about nine years ago. We were living in California and I was getting ready for my son’s first birthday. My in-laws, who are excellent cooks, were coming to the party. I was honestly a bit intimidated and I thought I can’t do a boxed mix. I decided to make my first cake from scratch. I grabbed a Bon Appétit from a stack of magazines and started to bake. I baked a lot as a kid but never a layered cake. It didn’t look the best, but it tasted amazing! I remember thinking, “I didn’t know food and cake could taste this good.” I was just hooked at that point. I started trying recipes every day. I spent maybe six years or so baking for fun, teaching myself through trial and error, how to make the best tasting cake. I wasn’t even worried about how it looked back then. I eventually learned how to create my own recipes. It became a passion I didn’t know I had. I was baking more and more and we had just moved to Utah.
My background is actually in broadcast journalism where I have worked on the research side. When I thought about starting my own blog and journey with people the market was already so saturated with food blogs. I thought, “Do people really need another blog?” I remember thinking about my experiences in television research. Never once did I ever hear someone say, I don’t have time for a new TV show or new website. Nope! If it was good content, people make room for it. So, I kept that in mind. If I can make good content people will make room for it. I started a blog on blogspot that first year. I taught myself how to do the social media thing. I grew 10,000 followers and the third year I hit 100,000. Now I am at 170,000. The growth has really been fun for me. I think the fact that I share everything I am learning, including my secrets, has given me a niche in the baking world. I am just a self taught home baker teaching other people how to make delicious and pretty layered cakes. This passion has turned into a social media business.
Tell us about the Cake by Courtney brand? What are your products and services?
The essence of my business is about community: sharing and being there for each other. My whole goal has been to inspire other people to get into the kitchen. While teaching others what I’ve learned, I have gone through dozens of cake tools. Some I like and most, I haven’t. What I really need hasn’t quite been out there in the market. Now, with Shop Cake by Courtney, I am blending my favorite tools to make the best of the best and narrowed them down for people to make that great looking and delicious cake. I feel like I have built a brand that people feel like they can trust. I hope they feel like I’m one of their friends! I want people to feel like they can come to me for cakes, baking and even more. I feel like I have built great relationships with my social media friends.
I have several options for my audience to stay connected with my brand. I have my cake tools line, that has started with my acrylic cake disks, used for decorating cakes. I also have my subscription cake boxes, where we’ll send you nearly all of the ingredients for one of my cakes each month. With Courtney’s Cake Club subscription boxes, we have three subscription models to choose from: Courtney’s Cake Box (basic membership), Courtney’s Pick Six (flex membership) and Courtney’s Cake Club (premium membership). Courtney’s Cake Box let’s you go month-to-month, with the option to skip or cancel at anytime. Courtney’s Pick Six let’s you prepay for the 6 cakes you want for the year, rather than having to sign up for the whole year. And then Courtney’s Cake Club is the best bang for your buck. You sign up for the year, get a 15% discount on my cake tools as they launch, early access to shop new products, and access to exclusive instructional videos and a community message board where you can ask me, and other home bakers, questions about baking.
Why is baking so important to you? How has it changed your life?
I have cut way back on the consulting side of my work that I’ve done for so long. I love what I have done this past decade in consulting. But cake is really a passion. Someone asked me my end game. I don’t see an end. I feel like there is so much potential with my brand and what we can do as far as products and TV. I am little bit of a dreamer. I feel like there is no end for me right now. My life has always been a busy one. I have 2 kids. I don’t know that much has changed except now I get stopped at the grocery store. I have always run my work/life the same way.
Your brand has evolved into include a diverse list of products and services. Which part of your work do you love most?
I feel passionate about all of it. I love teaching other people to do what I do in the kitchen, to find the confidence to not only make cakes but to bake and cook anything from scratch. It’s more than just making cakes. We are helping people to go beyond their comfort zones and try something new and prove to themselves that they can do something hard. This whole cake making thing, as easy as it sounds, is getting people in the kitchen to create lasting memories. I love the creativity of coming up with new recipes. I love to watch people eat my cakes. I love getting messages and emails from people saying I helped them bake a cake by making my tips and tricks more attainable. I love the cool experience of hearing from people.
What do you hope your kids learn from you as a mom entrepreneur?
I want to teach them the value of hard work. It is important for them to see me working hard running a business and raising a family. I think it is important for them to see their parents own their lives and that it can all be balanced together. I want them to know that if they work hard they can live their dreams.
Learn more about Courtney Rich and Cake by Courtney at https://cakebycourtney.com.