A St. Vital woman’s cake business is booming even after a she suffered a physical setback which could have cost her the ability to use her right hand.
Kayla Milligan is the proud owner of Laugh Love Cakes, which makes customized cakes and cookies for all occasions. She launched the business about five years ago and is mostly self taught — she says she’s been concocting yummy delicacies with her family since she was little.
"My dad always had us in the kitchen baking, especially around Christmas time," Milligan says.
Making sweet treats stuck with her as she grew older. When her cake business began to pick up, Milligan went to Toronto in February 2012 to sharpen her baking and decorating skills. While she was there, her right hand began to ache.
"I thought it was because I was working on these intricate flowers," Milligan says.
But the detailed work wasn’t the cause of her pain. When she returned home in March, Milligan went to the doctor, who discovered she had a tumour in her hand.
Milligan had surgery last November and the tumour was removed. She was told her finger was one week from breaking if it hadn’t been operated on. Still, she wasn’t able to bake for months. She even missed Christmas season, her busiest time.
The setback has made Milligan, a naturally positive person, even more appreciative of what she does.
"People have noticed a big improvement in my work. I just appreciate what I get to do even more now," Milligan says.
Now business is flowing and Milligan can’t get enough. On top of working a full-time administrative job she is filling orders. She is a fully certified baker and bakes in a space in Osborne.
"Sometimes I start at 4 a.m. to fill orders before work, but I love it still," she says.
Her favourite cake is one she made for Craig Heisinger, senior vice-president and assistant general manage of the Winnipeg Jets. It featured the logo of every team he had ever worked for.
"He’s always been there for me and has always supported me so I was excited to do something meaningful for him," Milligan says.
Milligan’s next dream is to have a physical store front.
"I’d love to have that daily interaction with regulars who come in every day," Milligan says.
If you’d like to check out Laugh Love Cakes, visit www.laughlovecakes.wordpress.com. She takes orders mostly by email.
The St. Vital business is also on Facebook and you can follow it on Twitter at @laughlovecakes.
Krystalle Ramlahkhan is a community correspondent for St. Vital. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.