With television shows like Food Network's Cupcake Wars and TLC’s DC Cupcakes growing in popularity, it seems Bayville native Susan Rust has tapped into the designer treats industry at just the right time.
Rust is the owner of Suzie Cakez Cupcakes, a local website-based business specializing in custom made cupcakes and cakes. With her wide knowledge of ingredients, vibrant presentation and attention to detail, one might assume she is a veteran of the baking field – but that is hardly the case.
After leaving her office job five years ago, Rust said she felt the need to conquer something new and different.
“I kind of just fell into cupcakes and cakes; it was an accident,” said Rust. “A friend of mine had bought me a cupcake book for Christmas. I just started baking and it came really easy to me.”
What began as an interesting hobby has now become a full-time job for Rust, who is booked every week catering all types of events – from birthdays and Jersey Shore themed parties – to baby showers and weddings.
Her biggest job to date will be an upcoming Bar Mitzvah where she will be making dozens of sweet and lavishly-decorated cupcakes.
“I’m very excited about this,” said Rust.
The cupcakes are all her own recipe. Rust said peanut butter cup and mint chocolate chip are her most popular flavors.
“I started doing a lot of cocktail parties, so I came up with martini cupcakes,” said Rust, pointing to a photo of a cupcake placed in a colorful martini glass, garnished with a sugary lime slice.
“It’s a vodka vanilla cake with an apple pucker buttercream. I also do tequila shot mini-ones.”
Although she markets herself through the internet, she claims the credit for most of her jobs goes to good old-fashioned word of mouth.
“I ended up getting super busy just by people referring me to friends,” said Rust.
Suzie Cakez also has a philanthropic side, as Rust will be be donating 400 cupcakes to a breast cancer awareness fundraiser in May. She has also been asked to have a booth at the St. Gertrude’s Parish Feast in June.
“It’s a different theme every time; I have a lot of fun with it.”