Sweet Shop cake honors West Virginia
A special cake commemorating West Virginia’s 150th birthday traveled 80 miles from Shepherdstown’s Sweet Shop Bakery to the U.S. Capital Tuesday.
The cake, a four-foot replica of the state of West Virginia, was commissioned by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, to be served in the Senate offices during Tuesday evening’s “Taste of West Virginia” celebration.
Bakery staff members Kayley Kemp and Kellie Ravenscroft hand-delivered the cake Tuesday morning after weeks of coordinated effort by the Sweet Shop bakery staff.
“Everybody has contributed in some way,” said Sweet Shop owner, Pam Berry.
“I think it’s a great opportunity,” she said.
After receiving a request from Sen. Manchin’s office in May, Berry said Kayley Kemp, a part-time employee and full time Shepherd University student, volunteered to coordinate the unique project during a meeting of the whole staff.
Kemp, an art student at SU, set out to research and design a cake that paid tribute to West Virginia’s unique geography and notable features.
“I went and looked up landmarks from West Virginia,” she said explaining the process.
Designed to be entirely edible, Kemp first assembled a model cake topped with iconic West Virginia symbols, before she and staff member, Stephen Wheeler worked on larger scale icons -making use of everything from gum balls, to edible glitter.
The White Sulphur Springs and Greenbrier, a Robert C. Byrd Lock, a West Virginia coal mine, the Golden Delicious apple, the canon at Harpers Ferry, symbols for West Virginia University, Marshall, and Shepherd University were all included.
And even a mini “red-eyed Moth Man,” the Rio Turtle and Chester West Virginias famous giant teapot were included.
“Some of it’s just kind of silly and fun,” said Teresa Mcbee, Manager of the bakery.
Mcbee oversaw Kemp’s work throughout the project and noted the opportunity the task gave to showcase some of the Sweet Shop’s talents.
“It’s an opportunity to kind of stretch our skills a little bit,” she said.
Kemp work with Dylan Ravenscroft to hand paint the West Virginia themed board the cake would sit atop, which incorporated things like West Virginia’s state bird, flower, and motto, “Wild and Wonderful.”
A Sweet Shop staff member of 14 years, Kellie Ravenscroft, baked the multiple cakes that would make up the finished product and was joined by Kemp and Sweet Shop Bakery cake decorator, Megan Pine, to hand frost every replica tree, farm and hill.
Pam Berry said she felt honored to be able to pay tribute to West Virginia’s millstone birthday, as it wasn’t widely celebrated around the Eastern Panhandle.
“It gave us a chance to do something sort of novel and exciting,” she said.