Philadelphia wedding vendor spotlight series: Lily Fischer of Cake Life Bake Shop
I sat down with the super charming Lily Fischer of Cake Life Bake Shop to talk about how she started her business and what she loves about working with couples on their wedding day. I love hearing the stories of fellow artists who’ve become business owners and are using their creativity in the wedding industry.
Cake Life Bake Shop is Lily’s gorgeous new bakery and cafe just down the street from my photo studio here in Fishtown. I met Lily when she hired me to bring a photobooth to her wedding a few years ago and instantly was drawn to her magnetic personality. It’s no surprise that she was on the reality tv show Cupcake Wars and won it with all her charm- not to mention her kick ass baking skills! Scroll through the photos below and check out the interview I did with her and if you’re planning a wedding please order your cake from her!
Hi Lily! Tell me how you got started as a baker.
I first started in 2009 when I was a preschool teacher. I made decorative cupcakes for a woman at work and then the parents saw them and loved them and they started ordering from me. So I started baking a lot at night and all of a sudden it felt like I had two jobs. I’d been looking at graduate programs but I didn’t want to go to grad school. I didn’t love academia. So I considered culinary school and decided to do a year at The Art Institute in a baking and pastry specific program.
I’ve always identified as an artist and I like baking because of that.
I started culinary school and I had my terrible website, and I came home from school one day and I had a message from the producers of Cupcake Wars that they wanted me to audition!
So I created this Rocky themed audition video of me running around Philadelphia and they chose me! I skipped my finals in culinary school to fly to LA and film the show which took a week. I ended up winning and came back with my prize money and invested in a pretty bare bones kitchen in the Globe Dye Works building.
Take me back to the beginning stages of opening this beautiful spot.
Talk about a long pregnancy! This took us two and a half years to finally open. We opened on November 5th of last year. We saw that Philly really needed a great bakery. We wanted to do these American style layer cakes with a European methodology and we wanted them to be really beautiful and to look different than any other cakes you’ve seen.
This year I had a baby and my mom passed away 5 weeks after we opened. She had suffered from Alzheimer’s for a long time. My baby was just 7 months old when she died. It’s been a crazy year for me personally. It’s been life changing in so many ways. I’ve had low lows and high highs. As I get older I’m like- life is nuts. You have to just go with it.
Opening a business has a lot of similarities to birth- your focus is trying to get open. That had been our focus for two years and suddenly when we opened we just said a prayer to the cake gods and we said ‘let’s go!’
What do you like about working with couples on their wedding day?
Well I think love is contagious and I’m certainly on board with that. I love to hear people’s stories of how they met and I like to see how people interact. I always tell my couples that this is the best part of planning a wedding. Planning a wedding can be super stressful but when you come here you get to just fucking eat cake for an hour.
It feels really special to be a part of someone’s life changing moment. I feel honored when people let us into that special moment and I love staying in my couple’s lives. We do their wedding cake and then their baby shower cake and then their children’s birthday cakes.
What do you love about Philly?
Well I’m from Philly and I live 5 blocks from here and it was super important to me to open a business in my community.
I love how neighborhoody Fishtown is and I love my regulars. I also like Philly in general because it’s so liveable. I could never have done this business in New York unless I was a millionaire.
Philly has a thriving music and arts scene because it’s so affordable. Philly is a truly creative community and that’s so important to me.
And if you’re in Philly check out her space and have some cupcakes- Cake Life Bake Shop is located at 1306 Frankford Ave in Fishtown.