Local Vendor Spotlight II: Angel Heart Cakes
Two local ladies started Angel Heart Cakes with one goal in mind: redefine the traditional American angel food cake
With such delicious and unique cakes, you’d think Chris Rivera and Debbie Umphreys had grown up baking together. Just the opposite is true in this case. Turns out that sometimes all you need to create something so amazing is desire,
heart, a helping hand, determination and grandma’s recipe.
While the ladies both grew up in the Bay Area and raised their families in Menlo Park, the two have only known each other going on nine months! They had each held careers and did volunteer work in their children’s schools and communities, but once the children were grown they each had a desire to start something new.
“You can only go to so many spin classes,” joked Chris. “Once we had raised our families we were greeted with what we call the second half of life and the strong desire to do something rewarding and fun.
“We were introduced in February 2009 by a mutual friend and quickly realized we had led parallel lives,” said Chris. “We’ve become close, like sisters. We support each other and complement each other – it’s been rewarding to start something together from scratch.”
Using Debbie’s grandmother’s recipe as a base, Chris and Debbie have made a few modern twists to introduce new flavors that better meet the palates and nutrition preferences of today. The ladies use only natural organic eggs and fresh flavorings – you won’t find any additives or preservatives in their cakes! Each cake is handcrafted in small batches in their commercial kitchen to guarantee quality and freshness.
Each cake is light, airy and fat free – the cakes truly are attractive, delicious alternatives to mass-produced or even
unhealthy options. All in all, Angel Heart Cakes are great, heart-healthy desserts! Additionally, the ladies package their cakes in 100% recyclable cardboard boxes. The kitchen they rent in Menlo Park has a strict compost program and encourages everyone to be environmentally conscious.
“When the gals first came into the store I said, ‘Oh no, not another angel food cake product,’ but after the first bite I knew this was no ordinary angel food cake,” said John Nava, specialty foods buyer for Sigona’s. “It reminded me of my grandma’s angel food cake we used to eat topped with strawberries. I remember saying, ‘Wow! This is the best angel food cake I’ve ever tasted, bar none!’ Once I found out it was fat free, I ate the whole thing.”
The cakes have been sold commercially for only a few months, they’re flying off our store shelves.
“We’re extremely grateful for Sigona’s,” said Debbie. “The store and especially John Nava have really been gracious and encouraging. He gave us some startup pointers and even gave some advice on sizes and packaging.”
“John Nava is really a kick to work with,” said Chris.
Some of their more unique cake flavors include espresso-chip, lavender-lemon, lime coconut, rose water and, of course, pumpkin! To guarantee each cake is a palate-pleaser, Debbie and Chris also gave their cake toppers a modern twist, with choices from bittersweet chocolate ganache to a fluffy, white frosting with toasted coconut!
We’re excited to offer an entire petite, or “Angelette” pumpkin angel food cake as our Oct. 28 –Nov. 3, 2009 bonus offer. Perfect for a Halloween treat, don’t you think? Be sure to print out and bring in your coupon!