Rebecca Martin is the artistic genius behind Becca’s Bakes whose love of baking shows in every custom cake, cupcake, and treat she prepares. She is part of Florida’s Cottage Food industry, a talented group of entrepreneurs who produce and sell products directly from home to consumers while adhering to strict state guidelines.
Baking is her biggest passion, and she does it well. Incredibly, she also works a full-time job and manages to keep up with her husband, three children, and three dogs. When I recently convinced her to take a break and visit me at my home, not only was she sweet and adorable but she also brought cupcakes. Here are the highlights from our interview.
Could you please tell me a little about your background?
I’m a lifelong Tallahassee local. My full-time job is in customer service and I started my part-time baking business in January 2019. I have fond memories of watching my grandmother bake and learning from her. In high school I was in a pie baking club. I’m a baker who loves making sweet treats such as cakes, pies, and brownies.
What do you love most about baking?
The first part is the fun of creativity. Taking random ingredients to produce a finished creation that looks and tastes amazing. The second part is that wonderful look on a customer’s face when they first see what I’ve made. That is especially true when a child has envisioned a specific cake and it has become a reality.
Should people respect cake decorating?
Yes! Cake decorating is an art requiring time, patience, skill, and imagination. It is not for the faint of heart. Intricate details can take hours. Piping must be precise. There must be a balance of flavor. There are tears as well as moments of dread and panic. When the art looks and tastes right, then the result is worth it all. And the customer’s satisfaction is priceless.
How do you spark your creativity?
I like to watch baking competitions on television to see how various items are made. I often try to recreate some of my favorites. An interesting one was a three-tiered cake with a Fortnite theme. My kids can sometimes be my biggest critics. When they say it looks great then I know other kids will love it. I get creative with flavor combinations or trying gluten-free and Keto recipes.
Which are you most passionate about: food, music, or art?
Well, that sure is a tough question. I play piano and saxophone and love to sing. My favorites music would be either jazz or indie with a folk twist. I feel that the food I make is art. I am also an avid gardener and nature lover. My edible garden includes tomatoes, peppers, onions, and a banana tree. I also have a butterfly and bee garden.
What do you envision as “food as art”?
I see a perfectly balanced table set up beautifully with a wide assortment of food. It is so visually stunning that I might feel bad to mess it up by eating any.
Do you have any other thoughts to share about your baking?
Clients will often surprise me by requesting unusual ingredients like prunes and that becomes part of the creative challenge. I like to get a two-week notice so I can take my time making sure it has pleasing flavors and is not too dry. In a way it would be fun to be on a TV baking show, but I would feel too rushed and fear the dish would lack quality. I love my two stand mixers and my bucket list item is a sugar printer. I could totally see opening a small bakery in a few years.
What do you want others to know about your hometown?
Tallahassee, Florida is a great travel destination because we have a lot of history. It was the first home of the Apalachee Indian tribe. It is also home of two great colleges, FSU and FAMU. Just to the South of here is Wakulla Springs where the original “Creature of the Black Lagoon” was filmed.
What other destinations interest you?
When I was growing up my family often went to the Tennessee towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Those mountains seemed like a second home. I would love to take my husband and children there to create new memories. I have never traveled abroad, but when I do my first adventure will be Scotland.
What is the most fun thing you have ever done?
Playing tenor sax in my high school marching band was an incredible experience. We perfected our music and choreography for months, then played to large audiences all over Florida. At one point I even marched with a broken foot. We felt like a family and I look back fondly on those times.
What would you like to share about your family?
My wonderful husband is a sweet teddy bear who makes me laugh so much. The day after I met him, he came over to rescue me from lizards (which I have an unnatural fear of). That’s when I knew he was a keeper! He is a tech type, and we love watching Star Trek and Star Wars. He will get up at 4am to put meat on his fancy smoker.
My kids are 12, 9, and 4…and just the absolute best! They enjoy helping in the kitchen and give great feedback on my creations. My friends and large extended family are an excellent support system that I cherish.
What makes you an exuberant person?
My husband would say that I am compassionate, big-hearted, and caring. I prefer to say high-spirited, bubbly, and inquisitive. I try to be positive and honest. I can find the silver lining in any situation.
What is your message to the world?
Smile more, live more, love more. Be the change we so desperately need.
— — — —
Dang, y’all! She just seems like the most precious person ever. I have much respect for the way she handles two jobs, three dogs, and family. She’s on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/beccasbakestally and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/beccasbakestally/ .