Shetice Williams graduated as valedictorian from Buffalo’s Emerson School of Hospitality, studied at the Culinary Institute of America, worked in restaurants all over the country from Disney to Vegas, but never imagined owning a bakery. Her baking journey began nine years ago with a box of cake mix and canned frosting that she whipped up for her mom’s birthday. It may not have been pretty, but the smile it put on her mom’s face sparked something in Williams that made her, as her mom said, “Cake Crazy.”
Fast forward six years and Williams has successfully turned that passion into a thriving business, at Cake Crazy Bakery, putting smiles on the faces of more than just her mother these days. She has customer after customer raving about everything from her pink lemonade cupcakes to sweet potato cakes, lemon bars and peanut butter cookies (her favorite!). And she’s honored and humbled to be serving up sweets as Buffalo’s only black-owned bakery.
I stopped into the bakery a while back and was instantly struck by the beauty of her confections. Her cupcake display looked like little sugary soldiers – perfectly dressed, lined in formation and at attention. The perfection that Williams strives for on a daily basis is evident not only by the look of her confections but, my oh my, also by the taste. Sink your teeth into her turtle cupcake and the burst of chocolate you get will have you sending Duncan Hines packing from your pantry forever. There’s no comparison.
The texture, the sweetness. It’s all perfectly balanced. Same goes for her pink lemonade cupcake, funfetti, strawberry crunch, orange creamsicle — flavor after flavor, wow after wow.
Williams will definitely please your palette with her modern flavors, but she’ll also hook you with her Southern staples like sweet potato tarts and 7Up cake — flavors that her customers seek out at Cake Crazy because they can’t find them anywhere else. She takes pride in that. Pride in the fact that she’s the only black-owned bakery in Buffalo. Proud that she’s following a dream and running her own business.
When asked what all of that means to her, she commented, “I just can’t believe I’ve done it. It means everything that people put their trust in me.” And in the midst of some incredibly trying times for everyone, she feels like she can do her part to keep people in good spirits because, “They need sweets and I’m here to fill that need!”