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A sweet switch from computers to cakes

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When Jane Stangl swapped a career in information technology to start her own business, the switch confirmed the next chapter of her life would be all about cakes.

Stangl, who has a degree in computer science, recently opened All About Cakes at Unit 10-1604 St. Mary’s Rd.

Co-owned by Stangl and her husband, Jeff, the business is a division of Lange’s Pastry Shop (710 Ellice Ave.) in Winnipeg’s West End, which the couple bought and revamped in 2010 and is currently overseen by Stangl’s mom.

It was then that Stangl quit her job at New Flyer Industries, where Jeff still works, to focus on her passion for making cakes full time.

"The business started at home as a hobby when I used to bake for friends and co-workers, who would give me orders," said Stangl, who lives in North Kildonan.

"I’d make cakes in my own kitchen, but it got too much and too messy for the space. But I fell in love with it, so I decided to take things to the next level, get a licence to serve the public and look for established business premises."

And whether she’s busy making cupcakes, cream slices, macaroons, cheesecake, poppy seed bars, shortbread cookies or numerous other mouthwatering treats, Stangl is so far enjoying her short stint in St. Vital.

"So far, it’s going great," she said, noting she hired a qualified pastry chef, Yanjie Gong, a month ago to help share the workload. "She’s a great help."

"My customer base has been mixed so far, with some people who used to travel to the store on Ellice now coming by because they live nearer to St. Vital and local residents are also coming by to find out what we’re all about."

Specifically, Stangl is also all about making customized cakes. So if someone wants a cake like a Barbie doll, or a fish, or a police car, then Stangl is happy to step up to the challenge.

"I’ve always had a passion for the creative arts, and I love draw, so this seems like a natural progression," Stangl said, noting she makes cakes for weddings, bridal showers and hosts decorating parties for kids.

She said part of her motivation to expand the business was that Winnipeg "needs something that is authentic and there are not a lot of scratch bakeries in the city."

"A scratch bakery means we make all our cakes from scratch — using eggs, flour, ground carrots and everything in between. We don’t make anything from a packet."
Stangl said she is driven to maintain her St. Vital store if there is a demand — despite the extra workload.

"There are some challenges to owning a business, as it is very labour-intensive. You don’t have a specific nine-to-five time frame and I’m tied to the shop for most of any given day because I’m working for myself. It’s sometimes overwhelming, but I love what I do," Stangl said.

For more information, visit www.allaboutcakes.ca or call 204-505-2252.

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