A childhood passion can be one of two things... a dream, imagined upon for years, only to be washed away by adulthood... or, it could turn into something glorious: a reality, inspiring happiness and creativity for a lifetime.
One former Limerick resident and St. Pius X alumna experienced both worlds at one time of her life. Fortunately for her, the latter is proving prevalent in her life.
Mindy Touhey, who now lives in East Vincent with her family, grew up with a passion for art, baking and cooking. However, with a fine skill in track and field during her teenage years, Touhey decided she would attend La Salle University on a scholarship to run track and field and pursue a career in elementary and special education. She even went to graduate school and received special education certification from Lehigh University.
Then, Touhey began life as a wife, and soon after, a mother. Little did she know it would be that very aspect of many women's paths that would change her life dramatically.
"That changed everything," Touhey said. "I made the decision to stay at home with my kids. When my daughter’s first birthday came around – my family and my grandmother always made everybody’s cake – I wanted to do that. We never went anywhere to buy cakes. It was always my grandmother. She’s getting older, so I thought I’d give it a try. It turned out to be a great experience. I loved doing it."
So, Touhey volunteered to do cakes for everybody in the family and many of her friends. Gradually, people starting asking where her business is located. Shocked, but intrigued, the wheels started turning and Touhey decided to go through a real career change.
With her husband having a successful career in commercial real estate, Touhey was able to explore some options with investment. For more than a year the Touheys looked at empty storefronts in Phoenixville, Royersford, Pottstown, and eventually Spring City. During that time, Touhey also registered her custom cake business, so named Cake Couture.
Then, Revolution Tattoo changed locations and space opened up right in the heart of Main Street in Spring City. Touhey purchased the shop at 117 N. Main St. and her business began to formally come to life. She now feels that creative spark coming back to her life.
"With having children and being able to almost be a kid again – I get to play with Playdo, clay, drawing and I just love doing this," Touhey said. "It took me a while to make that change into thinking – getting away from being a teacher to a cake artist now. I think all of the teaching has helped me with all of this."
The shop has a real studio-feel to it, and Touhey's philosophy is not one of a traditional bakery. She hopes to be able to work one-on-one with her clients to bring out the best cake that is most characteristic of the event it is for and the person/people it is for. Currently, the shop runs by appointment only.
"A lot of people walk by and see it’s a cake shop, they get excited to come in and get cupcakes and cake," said Touhey. "You can, but we really feel by appointment only is the best way for us to design the types of cakes we want to do. When you go into your traditional bakery, you see cakes from a couple of days ago. You have to go in and see what works for you.
"This really isn’t that much different. We’re still baking things from scratch. You can still get a birthday cake, you just have to do a bit more planning. You have to call us and we can help you design something more custom to your event. Everything is baked fresh and we don’t believe in freezing cakes."
Currently, Touhey has developed a plan for her sister to work part-time. Her sister, Liz Rega, is a Spring-Ford graduate and lifelong resident of Limerick, who went on to get a degree in fine arts and teaches part-time. The two hope to develop a "curriculum" for a summer camp program where kids between the ages nine and 12 can learn the ins and outs of baking. Touhey said they are also developing classes for high school students, and possibly adults.
Touhey said her sister and she balance each other out very nicely, according to Touhey.
"I’m the older sister, so I always have pulled my sister along," Touhey explained. "I’m the super-organized, schedule-oriented person. She’s kind of like the complete opposite, but our artistic styles are similar. We balance each other. It’s nice we can be honest with each other."
According to the website, pricing is as follows:
- Traditional Shapes (Round, Square, Rectangle, Petal, Hexagon)- Prices start at $4.00 per serving.
- Cupcakes- Prices start at $2.50 per cupcake. This includes all cake flavor choices with any basic filling/frosting. Must order by the dozen.
- Add-On Cakes- Prices start at $2.50 per serving. These can only be ordered with a traditional shaped wedding cake that serves a minimum of 50. Cakes are made with the same flavors (cake/filling) as the main cake, but do not include fondant or any additional decorations.
The big-picture goal for Touhey and Rega is to be doing a lot of wedding cakes.
"I’d really like to do a lot more with weddings," Touhey said. "My sister and I would both be working full time and maybe even have a few people working for us. I’d like to have the basement finished. It’s halfway done right now, but I want the whole thing done so we can maybe have more of a dedicated classroom in a sense for having a more detailed curriculum with set classroom space for different classes."
Cake Couture will be having its grand opening on April 21, with doors open between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Customers can register to win a $100 gift card and other door prizes by liking Cake Couture on Facebook. Complimentary cupcakes will be offered that day.
Overall, Touhey encouraged potential business owners to find their business' home in Spring City and the surrounding area.
"I really hope that other business owners, if they’ve ever thought about bringing their business to Spring City or Royersford, that they consider it," Touhey concluded. "I think a lot of good can come out of it. A lot of good people live in the area and it would be great to revitalize it. Take the risk and come down here!"