While wedding season isn’t as busy as usual, consultations and bookings for events next year have kept some local bakeries busy.
This time of year bakers would normally be busy making celebration cakes for weddings and graduation parties. Instead, the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled large gatherings and has made many wary of them for the foreseeable future. But people are celebrating in smaller gatherings, with smaller cakes.
Cheshire-based baker Ana Parzych has been booking wedding cakes for next year, most of them for postponed weddings.
“If we can reopen, next year will be one of the busiest years for the event industry,” Parzych said.
Ana Parzych Cakes specializes in “luxurious, exquisite, lavish” cakes. Parzych said it wasn’t feasible to change the entire business model to accommodate smaller cakes.
The cake design studio lost about 70 percent of its bookings due to the pandemic, most of which postponed.
Parzych does foresee more smaller cakes — in addition to the main one — for older or other at-risk would-be wedding guests, so they can feel part of the event without the risk of being in a crowd.
Sweet Mia’s foresees cupcakes, or individually served dessert, becoming more popular.
“They find that it’s less handling with the cupcakes,” owner Angela Castaldo-Brown said.
The cupcakes can be placed in one box with inserts between each or individually boxed.
Castaldo-Brown said cupcakes have always been the Plantsville bakery’s specialty and a popular choice for couples wanting to serve a variety of flavors, but since the pandemic cupcakes are being requested even more.
“Weddings have downsized, but we are still getting the backyard weddings that they still want to do,” she said. “Even though they’re downsized, we’re still here for them.”
Mr. D’s in Wallingford does weddings sometimes as well, but will make cakes for any occasion.
“Our business has been affected by it, but not fatally because it’s not a substantial part of the business,” owner Bill DeFusco said.
The confectioner’s shop — which offers candy, a variety of baked goods, ice cream and catering — has had orders for graduation parties and other events.
“Any gathering was put on hold, so the first couple months: nothing,” DeFusco said. “Now we see it picking up … We’re trending back to normal now.”
He hasn’t seen people choosing certain products over others specifically due to the pandemic, but expects price will continue to play the biggest role in what people order.
For clients uncomfortable with an in-person consultation at this time, Parzych is offering Zoom meetings and will ship cake samples to them, a practice that already existed but has become more relevant due to the pandemic. Parzych also plans to start online classes or video tutorials on anaparzychcakes.com.
Sweet Mia’s is open for curbside pickup and serves a variety of cupcakes, specialty cakes, cookies, cake pops, cannolis and more.
Mr. D’s storefront is open to customers now, seven days a week. The candy previously in scoop bins is now packaged individually. For online ordering, email firstname.lastname@example.org or get delivery through UberEats.