Idea leads to specialty business in four months
by Paula Coughlan
MAPLE PARKâ€”In the spring of 2010, Kelly Siebenâ€™s sister was teaching a class on homemade baked goods in Wisconsin when one of her students brought in small cakes on a stick to share with the ladies in class. She immediately called Kelly.
â€œMy sister knows Iâ€™m creative and like to bake and felt I could make these,â€ said Siebens, of Maple Park.
The next four days she worked around the clock on sizing and shaping the cakes and suddenly it all came together.
Siebens brought the cakes to her vacation Bible school, and after that, it snowballedâ€“or perhaps a better word is cakeballedâ€”into a home business that sometimes consumes 14 hours a day. Mothers who taste the cakes ask her if she would be willing to make some for birthday parties and other events.
â€œItâ€™s an easy dessert that immediately impresses your guests,â€ Siebens said. â€œAnd men seem to like them the most. No slicing, no falling off a plateâ€”just pick up the cake and eat it.â€
News about Seibenâ€™s creations soon spread by word-of-mouth and through Facebook. When she decided to have a contest on her Facebook page to create the most interesting advertisement for her cakes, one of her Facebook friends linked her to Fox News. The next thing she knew she was on the show, which aired July 12 in Chicago.
Then, the word of her LillyCakes was out to all of Chicagoland. Seibensâ€™ mother drove from Indianapolis last week to help her bake and fill orders for 50 dozen cakes. Her mother regularly makes the drive when she or her sister needs help with their businesses.
Seibens said the secret to the cakesâ€™ taste is mixing the frosting in with the batter and then dipping the cakes in chocolate. They are super-moist, but learning to shape them and make sure theyâ€™d stay on the stick took a great deal of practice. She will do any design people request, such as childrenâ€™s characters and apples for teachers. One of the most popular requests is baseballs.
Seibens will ship or deliver the cakes, or you can pick them up at her home. When shipping LillyCakes, she insulates them with two ice packs and Styrofoam peanuts. One of her regular customers lives in West Virginia, and Seibens overnight-ships the cakes at 4 p.m. so they arrive by noon the next day.
Since Seibensâ€™ kitchen has been turned upside down, she dreams of one day having her own shop. Her husband and stepdaughter both volunteered their time to assist; and her 5-year-old daughter Lilly, the namesake of the business, is her constant helper.
Siebens still cannot believe what has happened.
â€œBefore April I had never heard of these cakes, and I had no idea that by July Iâ€™d have a thriving business,â€ she said.
Cupcakes on a stick
For pricing, flavors and styles, click â€˜Infoâ€™ and then click â€˜Photosâ€™to view various cakes.
Contact information for LillyCakes
Kelly Seibens, owner
or call (815) 405-8342