ST. ALBANS CITY –– Keeli Garceau’s Farrar Street residence is where she launched her business, Cakes By Keeli, in March 2013.
Fourteen months later, the local baker has more than 500 friends on her business’ Facebook page, and she is so busy – a “good busy,” she said – she’s already expanding her cupcake line.
“It’s going well,” Keeli said at home, while holding her daughter, Victoria, who is 4 months old. Keeli and her husband, Derrick, also have a 2-year-old daughter, Vivien.
“Thank God for naptime,” Keeli joked. “That’s how we get things done around here.”
Keeli uses her home kitchen to create custom cakes and cupcakes for any occasion. Her baking philosophy is similar to that of one of her many inspirations, Buddy Valestro, from TV’s “Cake Boss”: Give her a theme, and she’ll do the rest.
Keeli is capable of filling tasty orders for small, private functions to large, corporate affairs, and she can arrange a pick up or delivery, depending on her customers’ needs. Her main request now is for birthday cakes. Her busiest month to date was May 2013, when she filled 18 cake orders.
“I’m getting a lot of business of Facebook, word of mouth and referrals,” she said. “I know a lot of people in town, too. It helps.”
Keeli said decorating her cakes and cupcakes is therapeutic. She enjoys reading about various techniques, watching them applied in online videos, and then using them.
“It feels fulfilling,” she said. “And, besides, who doesn’t like cake?”
Growing up in St. Albans, Keeli’s mother always made her special birthday cakes. Keeli graduated from BFA-St. Albans in 2000 and the University of Vermont four years later with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She also has a master’s degree in teaching – her other passion.
Keeli also works as a part-time reading teacher at Enosburg Falls Middle School. She uses free time on nights and weekend for Cakes By Keeli.
“But I’m doing it more and more,” she said. “It’s grown since it started.”
Cakes By Keeli will be a home-based business for now, but its owner and namesake has not ruled out the possibility of owning her own storefront bakery, somewhere along her path.
“I like to do it out of the house,” Keeli said. “You can do it when you want, and there’s really no overhead.”
For now, she will split her time between the classroom and Cakes By Keeli.
“I’ll still with teaching as long as I can,” she said. “But I foresee myself always making cakes for people.”