A cakelava Love Affair On The Air

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - August 24, 2005
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From left: Groom David La Rocca and bride Kim Evans
with their cakelava cake and its creators Rick and
Sasha Reichart

For Rick and Sasha Reichart, their slice of life is all about cake. Two professional chefs, this husband-and wife team blend their love for each other and their culinary ideals together to whip up a customized cake company, cakelava (yes, no capital C).

cakelava has celebrated yakudoshis, anniversaries and birthdays with many people, and they’ve also done company parties and weddings. From their portfolio, clients can start cooking up ideas for what type of special order cake they want. Sculpted 3-D cakes say something about the party or the person. The cakes can be in the design of almost anything — such as a red Ferrari or supersonic rocketship or maybe a turtle, or perhaps a handbag. Customers have also ordered a cake to match the decor of the venue.

“We’re trying to get people to think in terms of customization,” says Sasha. “People should not try to order out of our portfolio; it’s there to give you ideas of what we can do. We can make anything into a cake.”

For a small fee, a mini-cake is available for brides to sample three cake flavors. And there’s a vast array of flavors including bananarama, lemon pucker, and coconut pineapple chunk.

“I want the inside to be as good as the outside,” says Rick. “I don’t normally eat dessert, but I do like the taste of my own cake.”

Sasha says cupcake cakes are gaining in popularity as they’re easy to serve, and the cupcakes can be done in tiers.

An example of the creativity and originality is the cake that Rick made for Sasha after they were dating for about six months. He surprised her with a burgundy and gold cake topped with a bouquet of fresh sugared fruit. Two hearts adorned the words on the cake: “To The Love Of My Life Sasha.”

Creativity and love are also shown in Rick and Sasha’s towering pink wedding cake, which featured a huge tiki and a surf scene. In September 2004 that special California day was aired on The Learning Channel, on a television show called A Wedding Story in an episode titled Rick and Sasha.

Rick does all the designing, baking and decorating, as he has in his more than 10 years of pastry experience. He has been with other cake companies in the past that made some specialized cakes for Hollywood celebrities. Rick, who was raised in New Jersey and Maryland, bakes his cakes in the certified kitchen at the Pacific Gateway Center in Kalihi. Sasha, who was formerly a sous chef for more than eight years, handles the marketing, public relations and customer service. Since putting up their shingle for business in March 2005, Rick says one of the challenges of starting up is to create a market for something that previously wasn’t available in Hawaii. Sasha agrees, and adds she’s still struggling to come up with ideas to let people know about their work. A ’90 Punahou grad, Sasha’s initial marketing plan includes meeting personally with wedding coordinators and restaurants. Word of mouth has been their best source of business so far: The company’s first order came through a recommendation from a caterer. Kim Evans called from California to order a cake for her July 30 Kailua wedding to David La Rocca. As it turns out, Kim and Sasha went to Noelani Elementary School together, and they used to play soccer together. Another example of their word-of-mouth marketing is when Indigo Catering ordered a red, white and blue shootingstars Fourth-of-July cake for a Communications Pacific party. In addition, cakelava also partnered with Luana Hills to provide a select variety of cakes on an ongoing basis. Another event to feature their work was the Hawaii Public Radio Uncorked fundraiser: cakelava created a wine bottle-shaped cake and donated a gift certificate.

Word about cakelava is getting out more and more, and their love story, Rick and Sasha ,and their wedding cake will be rebroadcast on The Learning Channel show, A Wedding Story, Aug. 26 at 1:30 p.m.

For more information, call 277-7594; e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or log onto www.cakelava.com

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