KITTERY, Maine — In Jenna Malloy’s mind, if a client doesn’t believe her custom cakes are actually cakes, then she did her job.
One time, Malloy created an oyster cake and brought it into a Portsmouth restaurant for a party occasion. The waitress who greeted her was concerned why she was bringing her own oysters into the restaurant.
The fine artist and cake decorator, who specializes in “object cakes,” recently opened her first shop off Route 1 in the new Landmark Hill Plaza development. Her business is called Paints and Pans.
Now a Kittery resident, Malloy attended art school at Pratt Institute in New York City, from where she graduated in 2010. She was then tasked with figuring out “how to make money as an artist.” From there, she entered the world of cake decorating, first working at a shop in Brooklyn and then continuing her craft after a move to the Seacoast in 2012. In 2015, Malloy appeared on the first season of the Food Network’s “Cake Wars.”
In August 2015, she started her own business out of her home.
Malloy, 30, bought the new storefront space in March and spent the last several months outfitting it to suit her business and creative needs. She installed a commercial kitchen, did all of the decorating, had her family help in designing furniture and more.
She held her official ribbon cutting two weeks ago.
“I do cakes for any occasion, but I’m trying to get more into weddings right now,” Malloy said. She explained being so close to a mega wedding destination like York will give her an opportunity to work with more couples. Now, instead of meeting them out at coffee shops to discuss dessert desires, she can host them at her new space.
Malloy said she does cakes for baby showers, birthdays and celebrations of any kind. “But my favorite cakes are object-style cakes,” she said. She opened her business booklet to show photographs of cakes shaped like champagne bottles and different animals. She plays with doughnuts and cupcakes, as well.
“My background is as a fine artist, so I approach cake decorating as an artist,” Malloy said. Her baking style is more on the traditional side, offering vanilla, chocolate, red velvet and carrot cakes, for example.
On Thursday, Malloy was putting the finishing touches on an apple cider doughnut cake with life-size sprinkles, and a Mickey Mouse cake for a first birthday party.
“I think trying to get it as perfect as I can is what I like,” Malloy said. “When people don’t believe it’s actually a cake.”
Malloy called her work “super detailed.” She combines her own vision with her client’s, she said.
The name of her business is a play off of “pots and pans,” she said. Paints and Pans combines both artistry and baking, with a little alliteration thrown in there for a catchy element. While she accepts walk-ins, her shop is not retail.
Malloy said since her new storefront has ample room, she might like to start hosting cake decorating classes. For more information about Malloy’s work, visit https://paintsandpans.org/.
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