Paula Katz, owner of Layer Cakery, a new, home-based bakery in the Short North, discovered her passion for baking at a really young age thanks to her grandmother Juliette, who was one of those extraordinary bakers who baked from memory and taste, never recipes. She recognized her granddaughter’s sincere interest and began sharing her apple pie and strudel secrets with her. And, since she never wrote anything down, Katz recreates her grandmother’s recipes from memory, but there are a few she’s still trying to recreate.
“The pistachio cake is the one I’m most known for and is the most popular, but I’m trying to create some new ones,” muses Katz. “Taking your basic chocolate cake and adding salted caramel and different flavored creams in the middle make the basics more interesting.”
Katz always knew this was something she wanted to do, but like most small business owners, she found the idea daunting at first. When she left her corporate retail job last January, she knew it was the perfect time to jump into the mix. She started out small by baking for friends and a small
group of clients and didn’t even have the name Layer yet. But, the time allowed her to figure out exactly what she wanted her business to be.
“I really worked like I would work when I was a creative director,” says Katz. “I started out with boards of what I wanted my website to look like, one that I wanted my packaging to look like, what I wanted my product to look like. I even had a board of architecture so when I have a storefront I already have that thought out.”
Originally, she wanted to name her business Juliette, to honor her grandmother; however, when someone suggested Layer, Katz knew it was the perfect name and its true meaning transcended the obvious.
“It makes total sense,” she says. “Layers of ingredients, layers of cakes and all the layers of my life that got me to where I am today.”
In the meantime, indulge for yourself by checking out www.layercakery.com.