Charmaine Jones Interview

With a client list that includes Michael Jordan, Jay Leno and Susan Sarandon, just to name a few, it’s no wonder that Charmaine Jones is known as the Cake Diva!
Her business philosophy is quite simple: “I make cakes for everyone because these cakes make the party and I love seeing my clients having a great time. This to me is the icing on the cake”!
We say Amen to that.

Q – Charmaine, where did you get this name Cake Diva for your co?
A – Well, people, from the beginning of the 90’s have been calling me that. They see the cakes and say, “You’re the Cake Diva”! We’ve been printed in magazines since 1990 with the name Cake Diva.

Q – How did you get started in the business?
A – Well, my mom was a French pastry baker and my father was an Artist and an Architect. And, I have my masters in Art. That’s how I started.

Q – How do celebrities hear about you? Do you advertise?
A – Well, it was word of mouth. People will talk in New York, and they talked a lot. So, people ended up calling me, and also through caterers.

Q – How many years had you been working at your craft before you got to make that first cake for somebody famous? Does that kind of thing even impress you?
A – Actually, I was working for about 6 months, before someone like that called, their people called me. I was impressed at first, but, you know now it comes down to paying the bills. So, anybody that calls me that wants a cake and pays for it is fine with me.

Q – A few weeks ago, Regis was complaining to Kelly Ripa about the cost of Wedding Cakes. He said they now cost as much as the Wedding Dress. If you could talk to Regis-----what would you tell him?
A – Welcome to the 21st Century. (Laughs). It’s quite a lot of work. This isn’t something we can send over to China to get done. It has to be done by hand. It has to be fresh. It has to be good. It’s a lot of variables, more so than a wedding dress. Some people could send their stuff over to China to get beaded. We can’t do that.

Q – Kelly was sort of needling Regis and told him maybe he should ask for a discount. Do you give the rich and famous discounts?
A – No. It’s the same for everybody. That’s it. Some people want it free. Some people want you to pay them. In my case, that’s not the case here, because it’s a lot of hard work. I can’t tell my landlord, I’ll do a cake for rent. (Laughs). I, can’t do that. I’ve got bills I’ve got to pay.

Q – How much help do you need in the kitchen to create one of your cakes?
A – It depends on how busy we are. I hire people as needed. If we have a heavy week, I’ll hire people. If we don’t, then I’ll do it myself.

Q – You must have people to call then?
A – Right.

Q – Did you go to a Culinary Institute for training?
A – Well, culinary institutions send their people to me, to do the internship. I teach them. As far as me having any formal training, I have a Masters in Art, and a hell of a lot of practice, and my mom was a French Pastry Baker. So, she stuck me in the kitchen as free labor. (Laughs).

Q – So, if you don’t have it down by now…..
A – Forget it.

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