Rosie Williams grew up on a farm in the Willamette Valley with seven siblings, and that’s where her passion for baking began.
Williams watched her mother bake pies, cookies and cakes almost daily and over time, she learned some of her mom’s recipes and tricks in the kitchen. Williams took what she learned into her adult life and it became her daily delight to bake for her husband and two daughters.
Once her children grew up and left home, she hit a new season in life and realized that she needed to do something else to keep her love for baking alive. In 2011, the idea for Rosycakes began. Williams spent that year teaching herself how to make and decorate wedding cakes and specialty occasion cakes. She also began learning the art of creating exquisite sugar flowers for her high-end wedding cakes.
“At that time this was all just a hobby, but as my skills grew and family and friends started to want cakes, I established Rosycakes as a cottage business in my home in 2012,” Williams said.
“The business grew rapidly and during the 2015 wedding season I made and decorated 40 wedding cakes in my kitchen. During that time, an opportunity to get into a storefront close to my home opened on Grand Boulevard. My soon-to-retire husband and I decided to go ahead and open the storefront with the help of my daughter, Kimberley Zerzan, who had been helping me with all those wedding cakes.”
Today, Williams works alongside five other employees, one of them being her retired husband who has turned into the full-time business manager at Rosycakes. All the baked goods are made from scratch using the highest quality ingredients and they use local products whenever possible.
“My customers know a good product when they taste it,” Williams said. “My daughter and her family pick fresh strawberries and raspberries in the summer, which are frozen and used to make the raspberry filling for my cakes, and the Hood strawberry jam for my giant thumbprint cookies. Fresh berry and peach pies can be purchased during the summer when berries are in season and local apples are used in my pies and other baked goods. My menu is heavily dependent upon the wonderful recipes I inherited from my mom and grandma, and wonderful recipes I discovered during the years of raising my family. My best daily sellers in my bakery case are the cinnamon rolls, the recipe coming from my mom, who has been making them since the early 1950s.”
Williams and her family have been a part of Vancouver for more than 30 years and in that time, they have seen a variety of high quality food establishments come into the area. She said she believes that Rosycakes is a key piece in the changing Clark County food scene, especially in her specific role as a sugar artist.
“Rosycakes plays an important part in providing high-end wedding and specialty occasion cakes to not only Vancouver clients but Portland-area clients as well,” Williams said. “All the sugar flowers for my high-end wedding cakes are custom made by me, a product that is offered by only a handful of bakeries in the region. It’s a skill I have been developing for many years.”
The customers keep coming and Williams continues to gain both local and national attention for her products. She has been featured on Buzzfeed, Ruffled, Oregon Bride Magazine and several more, including the world of Instagram.
Going forward, Williams aims to expand the wedding and specialty cake portion of the company and hopes to get into the wholesale business with her cinnamon rolls, scones and cookies.
Rosycakes is located at 701 Grand Blvd., in Vancouver. To learn more about what the bakery offers, visit http://www.rosybakescakes.com/.