POWDERSVILLE — Back in the 1980’s, before YouTube and reality television, Veronica Arthur stumbled upon a hobby that would lead to a rewarding career and international exposure.
“When I was probably 17, my mom had always been a good cook,” Arthur explained. “I wanted to learn and when I did I wanted to learn how to cook and bake from scratch. It turned out I was good at it and enjoyed it so I kept trying new things.”
You can turn on the TV and see any number of programs that show you how to create the multi-leveled and layered works of art in cake form these days, but when Arthur picked up her spatula in the beginning she was on her own.
“We didn’t have YouTube and TV to learn how to do these things,” the confectioner said with a smile. “I had to learn how to do all of this on my own, which was hard. But I got to be creative with what I was doing so that made it fun for me and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
But how do you go from an interest or hobby to being featured in Cake Central magazine three times, with the last being the cover itself?
“My dad told his friends at work about what I was doing and someone asked me to make a cake,” Arthur said. “After that, any time anyone wanted a cake for one of the employees they paid me to make it. From there it kind of grew on its own and I ended up on Bob Jones University’s list of preferred vendors for the weddings they host and I’m running a business out of my house. Then I opened this place in March of 2013.”
The “this place” Arthur is referring to is With Love and Confection, her bakery at 838 Powdersville Road, which serves as more than a bakery with some of Arthur’s astounding creations on display, including the cake that made the cover of Cake Central.
The world of cake design and decorating is a growing one and getting recognition for your work is stiff competition. Arthur’s time consuming and detailed work, sometimes for more than 30 hours one cake, seems to speak for itself.
“I submitted some photos of some cakes I had designed on their website,” Arthur explained of her success. “It’s a lot like social media, people comment and share what you’ve done and I was getting some attention and had two cakes featured in the magazine itself but was shocked when I found out I had been chosen for the cover.”
But as good as her cake work is, With Love and Confection has more to offer from Arthur’s creativity, including one success that surprises even her.
“Maple Bacon cupcakes, believe it or not,” she said with another smile. “They taste like pancakes and bacon. That has to be the weirdest thing we’ve tried and people love them, especially men.”