A cake plate made of slate, with ropes for handles, may not – at least at first – seem like the steadiest way to present your towering, tiered masterpiece to your holiday guests. But don’t worry. This particular cake plate was designed by a pastry chef, and she assures us that it can carry large cakes across the room without any mishaps.

“The reason we made the cake plate was that I was a pastry chef in Rockport,” explained Alana Hutchins, who owns A&E Stoneworks in Swanville with her husband, Evan.

A&E Stoneworks makes all kinds of products from slate, including cheese boards shaped like Maine and Christmas ornaments in the form of chickens, bears, pigs, cows, lobsters and other animals. All the slate they use comes from Monson.

The origin of the business dates back to the early 2000s, when Evan Hutchinson, a stone mason, was working for his father’s businesss, putting in chimneys, walkways and fireplaces. In 2009, when his father died, Evan Hutchinson took over the business. One day, he was doing some stonework on crown molding in a home when the owner said, “If you can do this, you can cut the state of Maine out of rock.” He took that as a challenge, his wife said, and carved the state of Maine out of a 2-inch-thick piece of Norumbega stone.

“We gave them away to people,” Alana Hutchins recalled. “We called them garden stones.”

Then Hutchinson tried doing the same thing with some slate scraps he had in his back yard. He thought for sure it would crack, but it didn’t. And a new business was born.


All of the slate pieces are cut free-handed with a diamond blade saw, Alana Hutchinson said. “Most people think that we use a water jet, but we don’t,” she said. Nor are there any lasers involved.

The cake plate features a Zepplin Bend knot on each handle. It fits an 8-inch cake, but can also be used to carry and display appetizers, cookies, cupcakes, cheese and other foods.

The plate and other slate products are sold mostly through the couple’s Etsy shop. The cake plate costs $45.


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