Monday, October 10, 2011

Coffee Break Cupcakes

New from Just Like Gram's starting Oct 11, 2011

Craving something sweet to go with your coffee, but can't get out of the office? Let Just Like Gram's "come to you" providing your office with delicious homemade gourmet cupcakes.

Your Coffee Break Selection Box ($48) includes:

4 Cappuccino Express Cupcakes

4 Chocolate Fantasy Cupcakes

4 Just Like Gram's "Cupcake of the Week"

Deliveries will be made Mondays between 9:00AM -10:00AM. To order your cupcakes, orders must be received by Friday 5:00PM for the following Monday. Call 250-827-3023 or email to order

Christmas Holiday Treats

Have you started your Christmas baking yet? Are you too busy to bake? Let Santa's elves do the work for you!!! Just Like Gram's is once again offering their cookie packages!

1 doz Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
2 doz Whipped Shortbread
2 doz Thumbprints
2 doz Spritz
2 doz Buttons
1 doz Jewelled Cookies

ALL 120 COOKIES FOR $75.00. Cookies are baked fresh, so pre-order is required. Pick up dates: Dec 2nd, Dec 9th ,Dec 16th and Dec 19th.

Holiday Treats (Limited time only)

Custom Decorated Cookies $1.00/inch
Gingerbread Men $3.00/ea
Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes $3.25/ea
Christmas Candy Cane Cupcakes $3.25/ea
Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream $3.25/ea
(Please Note: Min of 1 dozen)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back to School Cookies

If you are like me, you absolutely DREAD the thought of making lunches. What a hassle?? right?? So every fall just before school starts, I bake up a ton of cookies and muffins for those quick breakfasts and lunch snacks.

Just Like Gram's is offering Back-to-School cookie specials. We are offering a package of 4 doz nut-free, wholesome homemade cookies to get your kid's lunches off to a great start.

Each package is $50 and includes:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin
Chewy Brownie

Cookie are baked fresh, so pre-order is required. Cookie packages are available for pickup: Sept 6, Sept 12, Sept 19 and Sept 26. Just give us a call or email us to order your package today.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Just Like Gram's is celebrating it's 5Th year anniversary this May! WOW! I can hardly believe it's been that long. The time has flown by so quickly.

I still remember the day when I started to envision my business and what I was going to name it. I was driving through the Pine Pass with my sister on my way back from Vancouver. We were discussing all sorts of name possibilities. We got off topic talking about doing some baking and hoping to have it "just like our Gram's". I then said. "HEY, THAT'S IT! What about Just Like Gram's?" My sister wholeheartedly supported the idea, knowing how much we loved our Gram's baking and the importance it has held in our lives.

We have grown from just baking the occasional muffins, cookies and pies for school teachers to a custom cake design business providing top quality cakes and cupcakes. We have been featured on on-line blogs, wedding websites and even on local televsion. I am pleased with the growth we have seen and am excited at what the future holds for us.


We will be giving away (i.e.FREE) ONE (1) dozen of our Gourmet-flavoured cupcakes each week in May.

We will be announcing the flavour of the week on both Facebook and Twitter each Monday morning (if you don't TWEET, then check Energetic City since our Tweets are listed there).

All you have to do is email us to enter to win. The FIRST person to email us wins the cupcakes.

Contest runs: May 2, 9, 16 and 23.

* Delivery is not included. Cupcakes must be picked up by Friday of each week. Additional decoration is not included. Cannot be combined with any other offer. We do not ship our cupcakes.

Friday, April 22, 2011


About a month ago, we were approached by Fort St John local photographer Lana Hamilton, of Lana Hamilton Photography. She explained that she offers her clients "smash cake" photo shoots. She said she was looking for an exclusive cake designer to make all her smash cakes and was wondering if we would be interested in working with her. Excited over the prospect, we eagerly embraced the idea, PLUS, Lana graciously offered to give us a professional photo of our cakes (which we don't get very often!!!). Lana is great to work with, making you feel comfortable and at ease, yet being professional at all times. If you get a chance, make sure you check out her website for all her latest work.

Here are a couple of SMASH cakes we have created for her so far.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Naughty Cakes" - Yay or Nay?

I get asked quite frequently if I do cakes that would be considered "adult-only" or "naughty". The answer "IT DEPENDS". You see, I will only do certain types of naughty cakes. I WILL NOT do cakes that feature outright nudity or what I deem "disgusting and lewd". You see, I have kids who see my cakes ALL the time and I don't want them exposed to that type of material. Also, it's a matter of my reputation. I have over the years built up a reputation of offering a classy, high-quality product and I don't want to mar that image.

NOW, what I do offer is "suggestively, tasteful" naughty cakes. For example, I will do a bra, corset, bums, etc. you get the idea. But the bottom line, is I decide on the overall design of each and every cake. So, if I get a phone call for a cake showing certain graphic body parts, the answer is "SORRY".

Now that I got that out of the way... I did receive a call last week from a former groom asking me to make a naughty "boob" cake. I suggested a corset cake. I heard later that everyone LOVED the cake and all the "GUYS" were busy taking snapshots and emailing them to their buddies.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's Trade Show Time Again!

Well it's that time of year again....the largest trade show in the Peace was held in Fort St. John this past weekend. We attended the show once more displaying our newest cake designs and handing out cupcake and cookie samples. Over 14,000 people attended the show this past weekend, so needless to say it was a LITTLE crazy. We prepared just over 1000 samples and ran out every day. A good thing, right? Our booth was kept hopping answering questions and handing out samples. In fact, it was so busy that I sometimes had to stand in the aisle to allow room for people to come inside my booth. WOW!!! In the past, I have largely run my booth by myself and had my sweet husband come and help me set up and take down, BUT this year, he unfortunately dislocated his knee snowmobiling a few day prior to the show, so I was out of help. So, I turned to my good friend Eleanor and she came to my rescue. She not only helped me load my vehicle and set up my booth, but she also came during the show to give me a break. Trust me, it's REALLY exhausting standing in your booth for 3 days with no breaks to go get something to eat and also having to rush to the bathroom after 8 hours. She also came to help me take down my booth and transport my stuff back home. I couldn't have done it without her. I would really like to thank everyone who attended the show and who came to visit our booth. I really loved meeting everyone and listening to their stories. All your thoughtful and kind comments were well-received. For those who were unable to attend the show, check out the pictures of our booth and a few of the cakes we designed. Here are a few of the latest cake designs we took to the trade show. Orange & Purple with Orange Gumpaste Peonies

5 tier white cake covered in lace applique and silver dragee balls. Silk roses divided each tier with tiny gumpaste butterflies inserted between the blossoms.

I saw an adorable knee-length wedding dress on-line and loved the design. I replicated the design in this cake. Cake was peach in color with lace applique complete with a "paper" flower I found in our local scrap-booking store.

A whimsical tilted Brown and Ivory Square Cake complete with vintage buttons, ruffles, quilting and gumpaste flowers.

This is another example of a wedding dress design I found recently. This 4 tier round cake is covered in lace applique complete with a blue ribbon and "bling-like" star-shaped brooch I created from gumpaste.

Monday, February 21, 2011

We've Been Nominated!

That's right! Just Like Gram's has been nominated for Best Home Based Business award in Fort St John. We are soooo excited and honored to be nominated. To vote, all you have to do is click HERE and "LIKE" us.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


We are excited to announce that we will be offering FREE DELIVERY every MONDAY. That's right! What a better way to start the week? Save money on delivery fees and save time by having your order delivered right to you. We will be delivering to Fort St John every Monday between 9AM-3PM.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here at Just Like Gram's we were busy creating all sorts of creations. This past weekend we received orders for 2 birthday cakes for 2 special people who happened to have their birthdays on Valentine's Day. The first cake was a created for a client who loved sail boating. So we created this nautical theme cake complete with anchor, sand and seashells.

Last week we received a phone call from a sweet gentleman who wanted to order a special birthday cake for his wife. He wanted to include her favorite color "purple" but coincide with Valentine's Day! He chose tuxedo cake filled with raspberry cheesecake filling iced in Italian Meringue buttercream and then covered in purple fondant.

Valentine Cupcake flavour this week: Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Buttercream topped with a heart shaped chocolate brownies drizzled in chocolate.

This peach pie was a special request of my husband. He LOVES peach struesel pie and when I asked him if he wanted anything special for Valentine's Day, this is what he ordered. The only difference was that he ordered 2 pies, not 1. You see at Christmas he wanted peach pie for his birthday, but our 9 year old son got into it and by the time he was through eating it, my poor husband ended up only getting 1 piece of his birthday pie. SO, this time, he wanted to be prepared and asked for 2 pies.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Let's Go to the Hospital and Eat Cake

This was DEFINITELY my biggest cake to date. I was asked a couple of weeks ago by Northern Health to create a cake to celebrate the construction process of the new hospital being built in Fort St John. I was really excited and honored to be asked to create this cake. After several meetings and looking at pictures and diagrams, I started to plan. I also sought the assistance of Kara of A Cake to Remember who constructed a large building cake recently. She gladly answered ALL my questions in regard to construction.

The cake was made from both chocolate and vanilla cake iced in Italian Meringue buttercream. I covered the walls, cut out small windows and and constructed the signs all from fondant. The trees were wired from floral wire and then dipped in chocolate. I then cut out over 1000 leaves and attached them to each tree with chocolate. Grey sugarpaste was laid out to resemble sidewalks and then green grass was piped all over the board. I have never done SO MUCH piping in my life before. My hand was so sore I couldn't even grip a pencil after that.

Overall, the cake took over 3 days to construct (if you added up all the hours), but I'm glad with the outcome.

Valentine's Day Specials

Only available until February 14th - Order today and Reserve your sweet treats today!

Hand Decorated Custom Valentine Sugar Cookies - $2.75 each (min of 12)

Valentine Cupcakes: $2.50 each (min of 12)
  • Strawberry Passion - Strawberry cupcake with strawberry buttercream
  • Red Velvet - Red Velvet cupcake with cream cheese buttercream
  • Chocolate Truffle - Chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache
  • Chocolate Raspberry - Chocolate raspberry cupcake with raspberry buttercream
  • Chocolate Brownie - Chocolate cupcake with pink buttercream finished with a chocolate brownie heart.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The "Patch"

I created this cake this weekend for a lady who was ordering it for a client's birthday. NOW, by looking at the picture, I'm sure you can tell what this client does for a living. For those, who are a bit confused, up here in the North in Fort St. John, life basically revolves around the oil and gas industry, even other industries like farming, forestry and manufacturing, all seem to tie into the oil patch.
Cake flavours were vanilla with Italian Meringue buttercream filling, iced in traditional buttercream and then covered in fondant. I topped off the cake with black fondant to resemble oil. Completing the cake was a chocolate oil derrick with chocolate spewing from the top.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mud Bogging Jeep

A couple of weeks ago I received a call for a jeep cake from a lady for her boyfriend. She emailed me a picture of a cake and wanted something similar except she wanted lots of mud, rocks and their pet dog.

Sculpted cakes are always a challenge since I receive very few requests for these type of cakes. But, I was up to the challenge, and since I loved going 4x4ing myself, I found this cake lots of fun.

So I built up the hill from vanilla cake filled with raspberry buttercream iced and carved it and then covered it with a blend of green and brown fondant. The jeep was carved from chocolate cake filled with buttercream and then iced and covered with black fondant. All the rocks, jeep accents and the dog were molded from fondant. The mud was pretty easy to do just by spreading on brown royal icing. The jeep wouldn't be complete without mud splatters all over the front and tires. Lastly, cookie crumbs were sprinkled all over to resemble dirt.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011 Fort St John Bridal Show Part A

This month I participated in Fort St John's 14th annual bridal show. The bridal show was well attended with over 50 brides accompanied by their bridesmaids, moms, sisters and occasional reluctant groom.
Over the years I have been working on achieving a certain look and feel to my booth and I think I am finally getting there. It's hard to believe that this was my 5th bridal show and when I look back, I cringe because I still remember my first booth - 4 cakes with red and white balloons in the background. UGH!!! I really loved how my booth turned out this year complete with black skirting, lavender tablecloths and lavender draping. I even got a new sign made this fall too.
Overall the show went very well, I was busy answering questions and handing out tons of cupcake samples. I made over 400 samples consisting of red velvet with white chocolate cream cheese, chocolate with traditional buttercream, and vanilla with raspberry buttercream. I went home at the end of the night with about 2 doz samples to the delight of my family who quickly devoured them.

Part of this years bridal show, I handed out these great coffee mugs designed by Imagine That to all the brides who stopped by my booth. Each mug had a few pictures of my cakes complete with logo and contact information. The words "Bride" were written on each mug for that personal touch.

White Victorian
Since I have a soft touch for anything old, vintage and Victorian, I designed quite a few of my cakes for the show around this theme. The cake below featured white drop strings, piping and borders traditional of the 80's. To contrast the white look, I topped the cake off with deep red roses with a spray of pearl beads.

2011 Fort St John Bridal Show Part B

Here are the rest of the cakes I created for the Fort St John Bridal show.

Vintage Suitcase Cake
I created this cake using an assortment of handmade gumpaste flowers overflowing the top. To create a vintage feel, I brushed a mixture of vodka and warm brown gel paste on numerous times in varying strengths. Adding to the charm, latches were created from molds from some of my treasured brooch collection.
Simply White
This simple cake was created just for the sake of simplicity. I wanted to show brides the option of having a simple, yet elegant cake. Flowers were silk and the cake was decorated with a simple ribbon and scroll work.

Redneck Wedding Cake
This cake was created with a very specific couple in mind: my niece and her boyfriend. We are always teasing them about "when they are going to tie the knot". I always have said that if they were to get married, I would do their wedding cake. So, I thought why not design it for fun for the bridal show and show brides how they can personalize their cake. Since my niece is into horses, I designed the middle tier for her going with a denim look complete with belt, buckle and gumpaste flowers for the added feminine touch. The bottom tier was created just for him. He is a total fan of John Deere machinery and loves working with dirt and rocks. The top tier was to combine their love of hunting and shooting. I topped the cake off with modeled figures of the couple holding guns in their arms.

Ivory Brooch
This cake I ABSOLUTELY love, it is my favorite to date. The whole world of molds opened up before me when I was designing this cake. First of all, I wanted the look and feel of ivory and gold. I just love how those two colors go together. I then got out my trusted brooch and button collection and started playing around making molds. After narrowing down my design, I got to work and put all the elements together. The overall design included quilting, gold swiss dots, gumpaste bow, gold painted scroll work and hand molded cameo brooch and buttons.

Black Victorian
I know it sounds weird, especially in today's cake world, BUT I still love the look of the traditional cakes from the 80's. You know the ones with all the piping and scroll work. So, I decided to go with the design but give it a modern twist and make the overall cake BLACK with contrasting piping. Out came the molds again, in which I added molded draping, cameos and buttons to the design. To add to the final look, I brushed pearl luster dust on all the adornments to give it a polished look.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Zebra Stripes & Black Diamonds

This past weekend we created these 2 cakes for two lucky ladies. The first cake was created for a little girl turning 7. Her favorite color was pink and even though she was into the whole "girly" thing, she also wanted something modern and trendy. I designed this cake with pink fondant with the bottom tier draped like a dress with zebra stripes. I added black hearts for the top tier, wrapped a bow around it with a "bling" center. Lastly, a touch of lime green was added for contrast. The other cake created this weekend was for a sweet 16 party. The birthday girl chose one of my previous designs. Since I really don't like replicating my past designs "to a T", I changed it up a bit my adding a "Queen of Hearts" topper, some fondant rolled roses and some whimsical fondant cut outs at the base of the cake. The birthday girl chose red velvet with white chocolate cream cheese filling and chocolate cake with cappuccino buttercream filling. The entire cake was iced in Italian Meringue Buttercream and covered in fondant.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Wedding Cake Revisited

I love receiving customer feedback telling us how amazing their cake was. I created this beautiful scroll work cake for JD and Shelley for their wedding this past summer and Shelley sent me a wonderful letter expressing her gratitude. Fast forward 6 months later, and Shelly wrote on Facebook these kind words,

"The cake was perfect. I still dream about eating the delicious spice cake layers. Thank you Tara for exceeding my cake dreams!"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Resolutions: In with the New & Revisiting the Old

I know this is a bit late, but I sometimes say "Better late, than never", but I wanted to wish everyone a belated "Happy New Year!" I can't believe 2010 has come and gone. I mean, was it just me or did it fly by WAY TOO FAST? Maybe, it was just me, cause I was so darn busy cak'n. By far, 2010 was the busiest year for Just Like Gram's. The number of wedding cakes we created this year more than doubled from previous years. I also got the chance to fly to Toronto and learn the art of sugar flowers from Ron Ben-Israel. Once I got past the first day of recovering from air sickness, I really enjoyed the course. I loved meeting so many people who shared the same addiction to cakes as I did. Not only did I learn about sugar flowers, I also got the chance to learn so many little tips just from talking to other cake designers.

So, looking back at our 2010 resolutions, how did we fare?

Resolution 1) Marketing:

  • This year we launched our new and updated website. I ABSOLUTELY love my new website. It so much more easier for me to maintain, plus the look is more sophisticated and elegant compared to my older more simpler version.

  • We also participated in some on-line marketing on Fort St John's community website

  • plus we added a Facebook and Twitter page.

  • participated in several community trade shows

Resolution 2) Delivery

  • Well, I think this is going to be one of those issues that is going to be on-going for me and will never truly be resolved. Obtaining a store front is just not an option right now. Part of the reasons for this is my schedule is very eratic right now. My children moved to a new school which is in a rural area in the opposite direction from the school they used to attend. I am up at 5AM to get them ready for school and we leave at 6:45 to drive to catch their 1 1/2 hr bus ride. Combined with their after school activities, I sometimes have to pick them up at either 2:30 or 4:00 depending on the activity. So for now, I am just giving customers the option of picking up thier orders and if they want delivery, I charge a delivery fee. One exception is wedding cakes, delivery is included with all wedding cake orders within Fort St John and Taylor.

Resolution 3) Personal: Weight Loss

  • This year it was my goal to try to lose some unwanted lbs. So far, I have gone down 1 size and lost 9 lbs since Sept 2010. My goal is to lose 6 more lbs. by the end of February.

So what about 2011? What plans do I have for this year?

  1. Marketing still.... I plan to continue various forms of on-line advertising, plus participate in various trade shows. I recently purchased these cute sticky note pads to hand out to clients. I really loved how they turned out.

2. Blog MORE, MORE and MORE.... I am absolutely terrible for keeping up with this, so this is my resolution to attend to my blog on a regular basis.

3. Try new recipes. Last year I did so much cak'n, the last thing I wanted to do was bake for my family. Well, I got some new recipe magazines with neat cookie recipes, so I plan to try at least 1 new recipe a month.

4. Lose those last few lbs by February.