I was born and raised in a small town in Upstate New York by my very loving and very creative parents Bob and Suzanne Cardwell.
From a very young age I was interested in creating ways to make $. I had more curbside stands than I can count selling everything from lemonade and wax beans to painted pumpkins, and a myriad of hand-crafted items. I solicited the help of my father to draw posters for winter carnivals, summer carnivals and staged haunted houses in our basement…I charged 50 cents and kids paid…it was always fun and worth the fifty cents they had to cough up.
I grew up in the 1960’s…and looking back I think it was a great era. My childhood revolved around memories of being able to walk to school, and in the summer, going to swimming holes without parental guidance. We came home when the dinner bell rang. Times were more carefree, and being a middle class family was admirable and the norm.
Most Mother’s stayed home with their kids. For me personally, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, and it was a very significant beginning to the place I have come to today. I remember eating P&B sandwiches and creamed Campbell’s tomato soup while watching “ Jeopardy” with my Mom, baking “Jiffy mixes” , icing cakes and baking cookies. I have always been a somewhat overly-nostalgic being. I distinctly remember that setting the table for our nightly sit down dinners was not a chore for me, but an enjoyable experience.
Picking wild flowers, wild strawberries and black caps in the summer were a form of entertainment with an end result. The wild flowers were for our dinner table or for my Mother, and the berries were for my” Easy- Bake –Oven” pies and cakes! Many times the flowers were a nice compliment to the delicious tuna-stuffed tomatoes and iced tea my Mother served in the summer on our back porch. The meal was finished off with a chocolate icebox cake made with sweetened whipped cream sandwiched between thin,dark, crisp “Famous chocolate wafer” cookies. Hop scotch, jump rope, and “Barbies” were other forms of enjoyment. More physical activities included ramming around on my bike ( as my parents referred to it). I loved my bike; it had a glittery and sparkly pink banana seat, and what we called a “sissy bar” ( no doubt a phrase coined by boys). Hanging around with a family of six kids down the street, playing “ ghost in the Graveyard” and putting on plays in our backyard were fun too. The kids invited all of their parents, and the parents would come!
The Fingerlakes area was known for doozies when it came to winter storms, and we took full advantage by digging forts and tunnels through massive snow banks the plows would create around town. Sledding was the BIG thing on weekends and despite the embarrassment of our Mother’s insistence of wrapping our legs in plastic Wonder bread bags before putting our boots on, every kid from town went. “ Bowkers Hill” was the place to go and if we were really feeling daring we would take a few runs down
“ Deadman’s Gulch” which was directly behind an old cemetery. “The big kids” constantly made up ghost stories to keep us off that hill, but we went anyway.
My father was an engineer by trade, and an artist by nature, and needless to say, I followed in his footsteps. Throughout high school, I was less interested in organized sports and ‘making the grade”
and more interested in drawing, painting and expressing myself through the arts.
I always liked working and the feeling of independence. My jobs consisted of weeding, babysitting, and working at a local fruit and vegetable stand. I was still planning events. and loved it when my parents had a party. I always offered to serve the hor’s douvres and help in the kitchen.
When it was time for college, I decided to stick to art and pursued it while attending TC3, a local community college with an excellent reputation for top-notch professors and artists. When mid-terms neared, I put together a small brochure of holiday-inspired pastries to earn money for Christmas gifts. I was awake until 3am filling orders for catnip crackers, dog biscuits , mini rum cakes and cashew shortbread. I sold out of everything and had to stop taking orders. I failed my economics midterm, but decided that I loved the excitement of baking , at which time, the proverbial light bulb went off in my head and I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do with my life and career. I decided to pursue a career as a Pastry Chef. I went on to Johnson and Wales College in Providence Rhode Island and found my niche. I had never studied harder and had never received better grades. I was on the honor roll and was offered an extremely coveted teaching assistant position which I turned down to continue to pursue my education in the field.
After graduating from Culinary school, I was desperate to move to a different climate and was ready for an adventure so I packed my bags and moved to a place where the sun always shined, and where there were beaches, mountains and deserts all within a stone’s throw. “California or Bust” became my motto and I excitedly went for it! I instantly loved it! I could hardly believe there was a pool at my apartment complex! I lived and worked in various hotels, and restaurants in California for five years and then moved on to Hawaii for a position as the Executive Pastry Chef for American Hawaii cruise Line. At that time I was hired by the Executive Chef of American Hawaii Cruise Line, and he quickly became my mentor and friend . When my mentor/friend left the cruise line, he decided to open his own restaurant, so I made a brief nine month pit-stop in Seattle. I worked with my then mentor ,( now 70’ something year old friend) as his Sous Chef. After this, I come back to my roots and opened a wholesale dessert company. In the fall of 1991, Sincredible Pastries was born. I created wholesale desserts for local restaurants and custom designed wedding cakes and pastries for clients..
In 1996 I met and fell I love with a sweet and handsome Latin man. In 2000 he became my husband! I had my first and only child, my beautiful daughter, in the fall of 2001. Along our journey together we amassed several furry and feathered creatures that keep us on our toes. In 2008 we moved into a home in the countryside and I built my 1000 square foot DREAM Bakery studio in a large outbuilding on our property. I now create custom designed wedding cakes, pastries, cupcake, candy and sweet tables , and corporate orders in my Pink, retro-vintage bakeshop.
I teach ‘Cake Camp” for kids in the summer and baking and cake decorating classes for adults throughout the year. Baby showers, Birthday’ parties, and holiday events are some of the many parties taking place in my kitchen every year. The space is rented on a limited basis .
Many charitable events have been hosted at Sincredible Pastries kitchen studio. I have worked with the following businesses to raise both money and awareness for things that are close to my heart like: childhood cancer, “ Mira’s movement” www.mirasmovement.com , and childhood hunger “ The Great American Bake Sale” www.thegreatamericanbakesale.com. 5% of our annual profits are donated to The Great American Bake Sale. We also support through donations, the SPCA of Tompkins County, and The Northeast Animal Shelter.
I belong to several professional and entrepreneurial organizations such as: “ Women Ties” www.womenties.com , the NAPW ( The National Association of Professional Women”) and “Ladies Who Launch Inc.” www.ladieswholaunch.com .
Over my 23 years of business as a pastry Chef, I have been humbled to be honored in many ways. Bride’s magazine awarded Sincredible Pastries as having one the” 50 Most Beautiful Wedding Cakes in America” two years in a row…and I am competing again this year, 2011 for that coveted title.
Sincredible Pastries cakes have appeared in many magazine’s including Bride’s, Catering magazine, Well Wed magazine, and Bride’s Reception’s magazine. On May 1st, 2011, Sincredible Pastries will appear as the “featured” article in: “Holiday with Matthew Mead” Book-azine. www.summerwithmatthewmead.com . If you would like to purchase one of these exclusive “Book-azine’s,” I will have several signed copies to sell! Just go to www.marionsvintagebakeshop.com to place your order! You will not find these “Book-azines’ “ in your local book stores. They are held only by special retailers and I will have the only copies signed by Matthew Mead himself!
Sincredible Pastries has been featured in the Ithaca Journal, The Ithaca Times, The Lansing Star online newspaper, the Lansing Ledger, The Syracuse Herald, and on Syracuse’s channel 11 news.
On March 17, 2011, I will launch my first blog called: “ Marion’s Vintage Bakeshop” www.marionsvintagebakeshop.com. This blog will feature 52 weeks of miniature vintage baked goods and treats from the 1940’s-1960’s. Between the weekly posts of recipe how-to’s, the blog will be peppered with humorous anecdotes, stories from my childhood, vintage finds, and crafting projects. My blog will also highlight other amazing bloggers, crafters, and artists who share my love of vintage and retro “schtuff”! At the end of this journey, I hope to compile the recipes and create my first cookbook called ,of course: “ Marion’s Vintage Bakeshop”.
- Mimi’s Attic…for me?…”Happy Hour”
- Featured in ” Where Women Cook” Autumn, 2012
- marzipan strawberries-miniature
- The Vintage Motherload!
- Miniature Croissants for Easter-Marions Vintage Bakeshop
- Miniature Cinnamon Rolls and Caramel Rolls-Marion’s Vintage Bakeshop
- Miniature Buche De Noel-Marion’s Vintage Bakeshop
- Miniature Gingerbread House-Marion’s Vintage Bakeshop
- Miniature Pumpkin Pies-Marion’s Vintage Bakeshop
- Cupcake Cereal and Nostalgia
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