above: meeting with Sylvia at her studio
One of my very favorite interviews from our book, Mom,Inc. was with “Queen of Cakes” Sylvia Weinstock. At eighty years young she is the real thing. I flew to NYC to interview a few of the moms and I won’t forget meeting Sylvia at her bustling cake studio. Her enduring passion was palpable. Her office is modest and far from glamorous. Her focus has and remains laser pinpointed to her clients and her work. I followed her downstairs where she inspected the arms of a fondant ballerina from one of her cake artists. She advised or assured clients that their cakes would be beautiful. She checked through an order an assistant gave all while telling me her amazing, illustrious story of going from teacher to mom to battling cancer to being cake diva. You don’t get to be dubbed ruler of cakes without being true to your art and she is…staying close to the operation of her business, tending not only from her heart, but exalting her perfectionist vision and attention to details to her cakes and clients decade after decade.
And what about the man behind the woman? Something that touched me was her story of how her husband first made her special cake tools because at the time there weren’t any on the market. And it was almost too good to be true…but at the end of the interview he came into the studio and very sweetly announced to her that he brought her her staple gun which he had patched up and mended. It was to be their sixtieth anniversary in a few weeks and the two (below) were glowing together. Thank you Sylvia for the opportunity to include you in Mom,Inc., it was an honor!
above: Sylvia with her adoring daughter and hubby