“Together we create their dream cake,” Suzanne Gardner said. Gardner owns and operates Some Like It Hot Cakes and Catering in Spring Valley. Originally named the Victorian Gourmet, Some Like It Hot offers a unique experience for brides and grooms who are in the process of planning their perfect wedding.
When couples visit her shop to pick out a cake, they can choose several of the many flavors available to taste test. Gardner has a large portfolio of pictures of various cakes she’s made for her clients to look through. Often, brides already have a variety of photos that they’ve collected that show what they’re looking for in their wedding cake. “We have a lot of amazing cake flavors, but I have to say for the past 30 years, there are two that remain the favorites,” Gardner said. “One is the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Amaretto with Chocolate Mousse and the White with Bavarian Crème and Raspberry.” A few of the other flavors include Tropical Key Lime with Pineapple Mousse, Southern Red Velvet with Whipped Mascarpone Mousse, and Dark Chocolate Pistachio with Pistachio Creme and Kahlua Ganache. In addition to tiered wedding cakes, Gardner also offers a variety of over-the-top and cocktail shot cupcakes. When couples can’t decide on just one flavor, Gardner is ready. “We are always asked if they can do a variety of cake flavors, and of course, the answer is yes,” she explained, adding that that does mean that they may need to have more cake at the wedding reception as guests will want to try all the flavors. “Who wouldn’t…” she laughed.
For those planning a wedding shower or other event or who may just want to go the unconventional route with their wedding, tea breads, pies, coffee cakes, bars, cookies, and more are also available to order at Some Like It Hot.
In addition to make amazing desserts for weddings and other events, Gardner also caters entire gourmet meals from appetizers and social hour, to the main meal and dessert. This helps busy couples planning their wedding as it means they can take care of both the catering and the wedding cake in one stop.
With the wedding season coming up in the spring, Gardner is gearing up for another busy year, but that doesn’t mean that she relaxes the rest of the year. The holidays and Valentine’s Day usually keep her working hard baking desserts and catering events.
While she is originally from Rochester, Gardner’s first experiences with baking and catering began in San Diego, Calif., after being stationed there during her time in the Navy. In 1996, she moved back to Minnesota and later opened a bed and breakfast in Spring Valley where she continued to cater and bake cakes for special events on a smaller scale. At the time, Gardner’s daughter, Jenn Slifka was operating a salon out of the B&B as well and suggested moving both of their companies to a building in downtown Spring Valley. For the next seven years, the two continued to share a space until the building next door became available for sale last year. Gardner saw an opportunity to grow her business and moved Some Like It Hot Cakes and Catering next door to Chateau de Chic Salon and Boutique at 112 North Broadway. An open doorway in the wall between the two businesses connects them and allows clients to easily browse both. “It works out well,” Gardner commented.
This year, Gardner is working to install a commercial kitchen which will allow her to offer meals in-house as well as more bakery items for walk-in customers. Currently, her catering is done off-site, but she will be able to move that to her storefront as well.
“It’s always been hard to be just that 9-5 job person,” Gardner said about her career as a small business owner. “I’ve always had kind of that above and beyond mindset.” While she does catering across the tri-state area, she especially appreciates the encouragement of her town. “Spring Valley’s such a nice community,” she said. “It’s nice that the local people support us the way they do.”
Currently, Some Like It Hot is open from 9-8 on Monday through Thursday, 9-6 on Friday, and 9-4 on Saturday, but Gardner plans to change the hours after the renovations are complete. Customers are welcome to stop by the shop, or place their catering/bakery orders online or over the phone. You can find more information at somelikeithotcc.com.