Calli Marie Bakes is the fabulous brainchild of BREW Five Points’ head baker Calli Marie. In the past year, Calli has become a bonafide Jacksonville social media star, due to her quirky sensibilities as well as her unique cakes that combine beauty and flavor in a delightfully playful manner. Trained in the kitchens at the Art Institute in Jacksonville, Calli Marie honed her craft in a number of local Jacksonville bakeries before she fatefully landed at BREW Five Points.
When she began baking as a pro shortly after finishing culinary school in 2013, Calli found herself making traditionally beautiful cakes that were chock full of artificial and lower quality ingredients. This conflicted with her own personal baking ethos, which values using organic, fair trade, and non-GMO ingredients that are sourced as locally as possible. As a result, she found herself making cakes for other people that she would not eat herself. In her spare time, she would bake for herself and her friends, making cakes that met her own personal high standards for quality. From her personal baking ventures, she began to build a reputation for making cakes that tasted great and looked fabulous. As her freelance baking brand continued to take shape, she began to openly reject some of the expectations that had been thrust upon her. She began to saying no to using artificial colorings and ingredients, and began to shy away from making traditional-looking cakes. According to her, she now tells people “I’m not going to do any of the things that you expect in a cake,” and, “If you trust me, I will make you something you like, I promise.” The rest, as they say, is history.
“If you trust me, I will make you something you like, I promise.”
Calli Marie Bakes as it currently exists is a small, commission-based cake bakery that specializes in one-of-a-kind flavors and decoration that are equal parts art and food. Calli prides herself in using the absolute best ingredients available in her cakes, making liberal use of seasonal, organic, fair trade, and non-GMO ingredients that are sourced as locally as possible. She uses no artificial food colorings in any element of her cakes. She is known for using natural decorations, such as fruit and flowers, on her lightly frosted cakes. She is also known for incorporating other decadent and unexpected elements, such as handmade candy and savory flavors, to her cakes as the mood strikes her. The result is a growing collection of truly personal, unique cakes that are just as enjoyable to eat as they are to look at. Simply put, these cakes are works of art. In fact, Calli sees each cake as its own work of art, saying, “It’s like a painting really, for me.”
“It’s like a painting really, for me.”
The reception to Calli Marie Bakes in the community has been extremely positive. According to her, “Luckily, I live in a community where people are so supportive of everything.” As her business has grown, she has partnered more heavily with BREW Five Points Owner, Jack Twachtman, in order to meet increasing demand. Calli personally credits a great deal of the success of her cake business to the support that she has gotten from Jack, saying that she “would be not be anywhere without him.” An example of this increased collaboration is that as of 2016, Calli Marie Bakes cakes will be available to order directly from BREW, instead of only through her personal channels.
“Luckily, I live in a community where people are so supportive of everything.”
According to Calli, the easiest way to commission a cake from her is to go to BREW Five Points and talk to her. New order forms are currently in the works that should make the process easier for customers to order from her at BREW Five Points. She can also be contacted directly through her website and social media by hungry fans who would like to commission her work. Required lead time for cakes is 2 weeks minimum, and she requires a face-to-face meeting with all clients. She is very flexible about the sizes of cakes she will make, with available options ranging from small 2-person cakes all the way to massive 200+ person cakes.
As support for local food made with higher quality ingredients has become a higher priority for families in Northeast Florida, demand for better sweet treats has risen. In the age of social media, demand for photoready beautiful and interesting food has also risen. By skillfully combining these trends in her products and marketing, Calli has successfully transitioned herself into a force to be reckoned with in the local culinary scene. There’s no doubt about it: the people of Jacksonville certainly have a sweet tooth for Calli Marie Bakes. Find her at BREW Five Points or online at callimariebakes.com.