Photos: Andy Calvert
Entering Bake and Bloom feels a little like stepping into a children’s book where some magical character lives inside a wedding cake. The first impression is the aroma: sweet, seductive, delightfully mouthwatering. (If bakery owners Rebecca and Corey Lance could patent that smell they would never have to work again.)
The space is cozy, bright, mostly white-and-pink, and spotless. A glass display case shows off a colorful array of handmade treats, and a counter is topped with artistically rendered wedding cakes that speak to the shop’s eclectic reputation.
It’s a wedding cake…no, it’s a sculpture. It’s both!
Rebecca Lance is an artist, that is clear from her work. Even the shop’s walls show her talent. On one wall she painted a scrolly Bake and Bloom logo. On another, she painted a tossed pattern of kitchenware, everything from mixers to oven mitts, each object created in an iconic thick-and-thin French style. “Everyone asks if it’s wallpaper,” Rebecca says, “but it’s hand painted.”
Rebecca’s wedding cakes reflect the same kind of creative flair. Her designs are unexpected, even eccentric, like something that would not be out of place on display in a modern art gallery. “Of course, I can do a plain white cake,” she says, “but I like to use different textures and colors. We like to do fun stuff. We’re open to unusual requests.”
From cakes to cameras to cakes again
For Rebecca Lance, owning a bakery was a dream that came and went and then came back again. As a young married couple, she and Corey lived in a loft apartment in downtown Adairsville, where she tried to start a baking business, following the cottage industry model (that is, baking at home). “Then she got pregnant, and the smell of cake made her sick,” Corey says, “so we put that on hold. It wasn’t meant to be.”
Still wanting to do something creative, Rebecca founded Rebecca Marie Photography. “I stumbled into it,” she says, “but that was never the plan.” The Lances worked that business for eight years. “Then,” Rebecca says, “we ran into a friend at a store, and he mentioned that I had made a cookie cake for him in high school.
He said, ‘You need to make me one of those again.’ So random. That week I made a cookie cake and posted it on Facebook.” From that posting, other people asked for cookie cakes, so in August of 2018, the Lances started a new cottage baking business.
Putting his hands up, Corey says, “This was not my thing. Not at all!” Rebecca nods and explains, “I roped him into it. I was busy doing all the baking and decorating. It became too much, so I taught Corey how to bake.”
He picked it up fast. He often baked until 4 or 5 A.M., then Rebecca would start decorating. Corey says, “We were passing each other in the hallway.” At first, they only made cookie cakes, but soon customers were asking for other things, such as cupcakes, decorative cookies, and wedding cakes.
Corey says, “We were working from home, loading cookie boxes in our car and making deliveries.” Rebecca adds, “Our kitchen and dining room were constantly covered in cakes and bags and boxes.” The Lances did that for two years as the business grew. Finally, they got to the point where they were having to turn customers away because of the workload.
Something had to change.
In August of 2020, the Lances opened Bake and Bloom at their current location, 868 Spider Webb Drive, Rome, Georgia. Corey says, “We looked at each other and decided this must be something bigger than we thought, so we took the plunge. And here we are.” One career built on the another to give this enterprise a kick-start. “Rebecca’s photography gave her a big following on social media,” Corey says, “and that’s what made this business successful.”
Rebecca does all the decorating, a staff of five employees do the baking, and Corey takes care of all the behind-the-scenes business issues. And, yes, they still deliver.
A pleasant surprise for the customer
When it comes to wedding cakes, many customers come to Bake and Bloom unsure of what they want. Rebecca walks them through the options: flavors, fillings, frostings. She makes a variety of cupcakes that reflect the customer’s choices and then hosts a cake tasting. From there, the customer can make an educated decision about what to order.
Many regular customers come in and say, “Here’s our theme. Just let Rebecca do whatever she wants.” They know when they pick up their order it will be a surprise, but a pleasant one.
As wedding photographers, the Lances tasted many wedding cakes made by other bakeries, and sometimes those cakes were stale and dry. Rebecca says, “All our cakes are fresh and moist. We make them on the day of or the day before our customers’ events.” Quality, taste, and freshness are important to the Lances. Rebecca says, “I love to see people on Facebook say, ‘That cake was so good,’ and I can say, “Hey! That’s my cake!’”