Michele Gonneville’s face may not be familiar to you. But if you’ve been to a wedding recently, you’ve likely seen her handiwork. Gonneville is the owner of Edible Delights, an Old Orchard Beach business that specializes in making wedding cakes and baked goods associated with large-scale celebrations. 

Q: How long have you been decorating cakes?

A: Twenty-five years. I have owned my own business for 20 years. 

Q: How did you get started? 

A: At first, it was a hobby. Later, I took culinary arts classes at Southern Maine Community College with a focus on baking desserts and pastries. 

Q: What’s your busiest season?

A: Summer. I’m right out straight making cakes for seven months, then winter hits and things get very slow. 

Q: What’s hot in cake trends right now?

A: Cupcakes. Though they are much more time-consuming to make. 

Q: Do you have a signature flavor?

A: Yes. I make a champagne-flavored cake with blueberry filling and butter cream topping. 

Q: What are the popular flavors?

A: Traditional white is the most requested for weddings, but I have baked a variety of flavors for cakes or cupcakes that can be paired with a variety of specialty fillings. For the frosting, I can do butter cream or fondant. 

Q: What is fondant?

A: It’s an edible, sugar-based topping that rolls out like a pie crust (and is the consistency of Play-Doh) that you put on the cake and then smooth out with tools.

It’s great for a nice even cover or for making shapes. I make my own supply of it here in the shop. Eighty percent of my customers prefer butter cream because it’s less expensive.

Oftentimes, they’ll come in with a specific cake design that’s made out of fondant. And they will want me to duplicate it using butter cream frosting.

Sometimes I can do that. But it’s not going to look the same. We’re talking about two different mediums. I never promise to deliver on something I can’t do. 

Q: What’s the price difference?

A: Butter cream cakes start at $3.50 per slice, and fondant cakes start at $5.50 per slice. And cupcakes are $2.50 each. 

Q: Any requests for the mini, individual-serving wedding cakes?

A: Not a lot. Those are very time-consuming to make and expensive — $10 to $20 each. 

Q: Are they all baked from scratch?

A: Yes. And they have no trans fats in them. I try to keep them on the healthy side. 

Q: What is your cake-making specialty?

A: Probably gum paste flowers. I’ve been doing those for a while now, and they come out really nice. I make calla lilies, roses, orchids and other flowers. Like fondant, they are edible, but I wouldn’t recommend eating them. 

Q: Do you also work with real flowers?

A: I will use them if a bride wants them. But she has to order them through her florist and have them delivered to the hall ready to go on the cake. 

Q: What’s the largest cake you’ve made?

A: A nine-tiered wedding cake that fed 500. 

Q: Do you have to remain on site to serve the cake?

A: I can if it’s a private affair. But most reception facilities include a cake-cutting and plating fee as part of their rental fee, so my services aren’t needed. 

Q: How many cakes can you bake during the week?

A: During my busy season, I can make four weekend wedding cakes. I bake those one day in advance. And where I’m delivering the cakes to also factors into how many I can make. If I’m delivering to Peaks Island, that’s a three-hour delivery job just to catch a ferry out to the island, set up the cake and then catch a ferry back (to the mainland). 

Q: What’s your delivery range?

A: From Augusta to bordering New Hampshire towns. 

Q: What’s your mode of transportation?

A: A black Honda Element. The seats pop right out, and it has air conditioning. 

Q: Ever drop a cake in transit?

A: Never! And don’t jinx me! 

Q: How far in advance should customers book a cake?

A: For wedding cakes, I recommend three to six months to secure the spot. They call to book an appointment. I offer them samples of the cake and we go over their preferences for cake design.

People can bring in a photo of a cake they saw in a magazine or online. Or I work with them to come up with their own design. And I have a portfolio of 200 cakes that I’ve made to give them some ideas.

Those consults are free, with no obligation required. And they are good for me because they provide me with a lot of feedback about my product. 

Q: Do you require a down payment?

A: Yes. Customers put a deposit down to reserve the spot and they must pay the bill in full two weeks before the wedding. 

Q: Have you ever been stuck with a cake?

A: Yes. That’s the whole point of the deposit. Plans change, people get cold feet and there are deaths in the family. Last year, two of the (prospective) grooms died. I try to be sensitive when something like that happens. In those instances, I did refund their money. 

Q: Do you make cakes or desserts other than for weddings?

A: Yes. I make cakes for family and corporate celebrations, included theme and shape cakes from fondant and cakes with edible photos on them.

I also make platters of assorted, bite-size pastries — all handmade. And I make whoopie pies and dessert bars. Those selections are all listed on my website.