Oneonta resident Allison King, 47, is having her cake and decorating it, too.
Though King, owner of King’s Kakery, began baking sweet treats during her childhood in Guyana, she set up shop within Wise Guys Scoops at 254 Main St. in Oneonta in early October. King runs the business with her two daughters and son.
“I’m originally from Georgetown, Guyana, but I came to America in 1988 as a teenager,” she said. “In my country, I always liked baking with my mother and when I came to America, I became fascinated with cake decorating, so … I took Wilton cake-decorating classes. I knew how to bake them, but I wanted to know the decorating, and that was in 2009.”
A visit to Oneonta in the early 2000s, King said, prompted a move upstate from Brooklyn.
After taking and graduating from all the decorating courses she could find, King said, she began baking for local friends and family.
“Then I started doing it for a few outsider customers,” she said, “and once we did that, word spread, and we were getting a lot of orders.
"I took the business to Florida temporarily for four years,” she said, “where my oldest daughter and I went back to school at the Art Institute (of Fort Lauderdale), and I did (courses in) pastry and baking.”
Upon returning to Oneonta in 2017, King said, an encounter with Mike Joubert, owner of Wise Guys Sammys and Wise Guys Scoops, led to her brick-and-mortar move.
“He said, ‘Would you want to sell me some brownies and cookies and every week I’ll sell them in the shop?’” she said. “So, I started doing that, and then a couple of weeks ago, he said … he was thinking about a cool partner for his ice-cream shop.”
Joubert said King “makes the best stuff — the most unique, delicious and creative desserts.”
King’s goods, she said, are a mix of everyday treats and specialty confections.
“We do custom cakes, birthday cakes and wedding cakes; we’ll have pies for Thanksgiving; we always have brownies, cupcakes, chocolate-chip cookies; and we do lots of custom orders,” she said. “We try to use a lot of organic and farm-fresh ingredients and … I’m trying to put more stuff in here (that uses) my pastry background, (such as) eclairs and fruit tarts, and I have some Guyanese pastries.”
For wedding cakes, King said, she requires “at least a month or two,” though she prefers six months’ notice. And while birthday cake times “depend on the complexity of the cake,” King said, she typically needs two to three weeks. King works with fondant and buttercream and will deliver finished cakes locally as well as to “Albany, Jefferson and outside areas.”
With the holidays approaching, King said, she plans to further highlight her heritage.
“I’ll have Guyanese black cake, or some people know it as Jamaican rum cake,” she said. “Most people don’t know what it is, but it’s made for Christmas and (infused with) alcohol. It’s made with unique ingredients, not like a regular rum cake, and uses prunes, raisins, currants and cherries, a lot of rum and cinnamon. I’ll be doing samples at the shop.”
King said she plans to introduce vegan, gluten-free and keto-friendly treats.
As King’s Kakery establishes itself, King said, she hopes to share her knowledge and expand services beyond a primarily Oneonta-area clientele.
“I am going to be offering classes soon,” she said. “I want to start doing mommy-and-me classes and cake-decorating classes.
“And I would love to be in my own storefront, so that people can see it more and it’s more set up like a bakery, with a bigger kitchen for onsite baking and classes,” she said. “Those are my long-term goals.”
King’s Kakery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.
For more information or to place an order, visit kingskakery.com or find “King’s Kakery” on Facebook.