{Baker Interview} Food Network Champion, Jennifer Matsubara

I was so excited about the idea of interviewing a baker. I knew right away that I wanted to pick the brain of Jennifer Matsubara, owner/designer of Shelby Lynn’s Cake Shoppe. Jennifer is from my hometown of Springdale, Arkansas. And around here, we consider her a  local celebrity. Not only is she an adorable hometown girl who makes beautiful & delicious cakes, but also an award-winning Food Network Champion. Jennifer’s motto says it all, “Imagination+Love=CAKE”

 

Shelby Lynn’s Cake Shoppe was established in 2001. Jennifer had never baked or decorated a cake; she simply had the determination to open her own successful business in Northwest Arkansas. Jennifer began entering cake decorating competitions in  2004, and gained national attention in 2007 with her first appearance on the Food Network’s cake decorating challenge. To date, she has competed in 8 Food Network challenges. Including, Surprise Engagement Challenge, Blind Date Challenge, Ultimate Vacation Challenge, Fashion Cakes Challenge, Incredible Anniversary Cakes Challenge, Sex In The City Challenge, Monster Bugs Challenge & Extreme Alien Challenge. Jennifer has taken home 3 gold medals, 2 silver medals, and earned the coveted “Red Jacket” & “Challenge Champion” titles. Pretty amazing, huh?!?! Springdale is very proud of her! {AND…I was lucky enough to have her make my amazingly delicious wedding cakes}

1)  What inspired you to open a bakery?

-The one true inspiration for me purchasing the cake shop would be wanting to be an entrapenuer.  The shop was for sale and I thought “Why not, anybody can make cakes!”  Well, 10 years and about 20,000 cakes later, I still love what I do and am so happy I decided to take the leap!

2) What have been your biggest challenges as a business owner?

-My biggest challenges are the paperwork, taxes, etc.  I hate it!  But I have learned how to do it myself. I do not like to pay someone for a job I can do myself.

3) What was it like to compete on Food Network? And how did winning change your business?

-Competeing on Food Network was extremely exciting!  The jitters, nerves, cameras, were well worth every tear and smile!          Competeing in 8 Challenges, winning 3 and 2nd place in 2, has definitely provided an amount of exposure that money could never buy.

4) What is your favorite dessert?

-My favorite dessert is pineapple upside-down cake.  Although strawberry shortcake is a close second.

5) If you could create a wedding cake for any celebrity, who would it be?

-Lady Gaga!!  Her totally out there sense of style would be a cake designers playground!  The possibilities would be endless and the cake would be a one of a kind for sure!

6) What advice would you give to someone who aspires to open a bakery?

-Expect to work very loooong hours. And make sure your family is totally supportive, they have to be.  Sometimes the amount of time you spend at work can make you feel very guilty.

About Cineca Keck-Newburn

Cineca is a self-proclaimed 'foodie' and sugar addict. She reads cookbooks for fun and loves putting her own spin on traditional recipes. When not cooking, reading recipes or watching cooking shows, she's a busy event coordinator with her wedding and party planning business, Dreamin' N Details. Cineca received her degrees in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Arkansas. She is also a wife, mommy, music lover, traveler and contributor to the party inspiration site, Piggy Bank Parties.

Comments

  1. Dorangela Mazzone Bobet via Facebook says:

    Great article Cineca!

  2. Dorangela says:

    Great article Cineca!!

  3. Thank you! I loved being able to interview & support our local girl :) Her work is amazing! ~Cineca

  4. laura~eye candy event details says:

    great job on the interview Cineca! How awesome to have had a local celeb make YOUR wedding cake – pretty sweet! =)

  5. Really enjoyed that article! Thanks for all the great info you bring to the baking world!

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