Nicole Norman has baked cakes since she was a teenager, but it wasn’t until the pandemic began that she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time baker.
Norman – owner of a baking business called Chasing Simone for the last five years – typically spends about 35 hours a week taking orders and baking cakes and other desserts for various occasions, such as weddings, birthday parties, and baby showers. In addition to her baking, she also works full-time in billing for ADP but eventually hopes to open her own bakery. “If it wasn’t for the pandemic, I probably wouldn’t be doing this because I didn’t realize it was possible,” says Norman, a single mother of two. Her business is named after her children’s middle names. Norman’s son’s middle name is Chase, and her daughter’s is Simone.
While she has baked cakes for years, she didn’t start decorating them until April 2020. Norman used to tell her clients she couldn’t decorate cakes, but last year, “I stopped saying that,” she states. Norman now creates a variety of elaborate theme cakes and cupcakes, as well as cookies, pies, Rice Krispies Treats, and even dipped fruit. “People send me a picture, and I recreate it,” she explains.
Shemp & Petey’s Bistro in Evans, which recently closed, according to a post on Facebook, sold five of Norman’s desserts, including chocolate chip cookies, peach cobbler cheesecake, and monster cookies. That opportunity came her way because she was Facebook friends with the sister of one of the restaurant’s owners who was looking for a dessert maker. Her most popular cake flavor is red velvet, but her favorite to bake is a strawberry crunch cake, which is similar to the Strawberry Shortcake ice cream bars made by Good Humor. “It’s amazing to see and taste,” she says. The holidays are a busy time for Norman, who generally bakes 20-25 cakes between November and December each year. With a full-time job, two kids, and a cake business, she sleeps when she can. Norman says Friday nights are the busiest because that’s when many customers place orders for the next day. “I may be up until 3 or 4,” she adds.
Norman says she maintains her busy schedule by being both dedicated and organized. Norman usually handles cake orders, appointments, and invoicing at night while her kids are asleep. She keeps track of all her orders on a calendar. “I have my calendar with me at all times,” Norman states.
Her assistant is her 16-year-old daughter, Mayah, who packs her cakes and helps with creating pieces for theme cakes. “She is my right hand,” she explains. Besides wanting to open her own bakery, Norman would also love to participate in a baking competition on the Food Network and even host her own baking show. She is also only eight classes away from earning her doctorate in ministry with a concentration in hospital chaplaincy – a degree she pursues to increase her knowledge. “I probably won’t do anything with it because I can’t see myself doing anything other than baking,” Norman says.
For more information or to place an order, contact Norman at 762-383-9738 or send her a message on Facebook Messenger.