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Meet Alicia McCall of The Girl With The Whisk Tattoo in Tampa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alicia McCall.

Alicia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been baking since I was six and baking professionally since 16. My passion started instantly – it was on a family Disney trip when I was five or six. We were at a bakery on Main Street, watching pastry chefs create masterpieces; and I looked up at my mom and said: “ That’s what I want to do when I grow up!” Ever since I pushed for a career in culinary arts. She taught me to cake decorating basics when I was 10, and I self-taught myself from there (lol no youtube cake tutorials back then!). I practiced every day after school until I was accepted into my high school’s vocational culinary arts program. After graduating, I went to pastry school and immediately started working my way up the pastry arts ladder – starting on a production line in a chocolate factory. After graduating, I moved to Florida and worked several executive pastry chef roles until last year when I found myself hungry for more.

I feel that I’ve always carried a strong sense of leadership, but I honestly always told everyone I would never own a bakery. I would say things like “I want to be able to focus on doing what I love, not on overseeing and relying on employees in this crazy industry.” It wasn’t until a few months before starting the business that I knew what I had to do despite my reservations. After years of pure frustration – attempting to make everyone happy while trying to be creative at the same time, I said enough was enough. I decided that being stressed for the sake of my business and true-to-self-creations would be infinitely better than the stress I was already experiencing. People outside of the industry assume an executive chef role means you get all the say – you get to come up with the recipes and design the looks, etc; but sadly, what they don’t know is that an exec sometimes gets zero say. I found myself with four different bosses from different departments all wanting different and conflicting things all at the same time and then I would be scrutinized for not coming up with enough creative items in the midst of that madness (overseeing 10 back of house employees, procedures, inventory, etc). So, after four hard years in various executive pastry chef roles, I realized I do have what it takes to be independent and I deserve the happiness that comes with it. Starting that day, I quit my job and I worked as fast as I could to be able to “open my doors” to the community. It took me 1 month from quitting my job to open my business and start accepting orders – all in the middle of moving to a new house one week after getting married! It was wild but I wouldn’t trade it. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Entrepreneurship has its challenges for sure. However, my biggest obstacles along the way so far have been when I’ve worked for other establishments. This surprises a lot of people, but I’ve been bullied a lot over the years in many kitchens. I eventually overcame it and I learned to always come back to the present moment and face all challenges with a positive, patient heart.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
My work life revolves around being the owner/operator of my small business bakery. I am the only employee of the operation currently, so my role consists of everything from bookkeeper to cake decorator. I spend most weeks helping clients with custom cake orders. The other time is spent creating digital content for my brand independently and collaboratively. I’m known for my unique style of cake decorating, and ‘Instagrammable’ treats like CBD truffles and glitter chocolate chip cookies. I’m most proud of the experience my clients get to have when ordering from me. I pride myself in giving people the intimate and customized ordering experience they crave, all while creating an edible art piece that I’ve made exclusively for them, with their personality in mind. I feel that the unique experience and end product one has with me and my cakes is what sets me apart.

What have been some of the most important lessons you’ve learned over the course of your career?
If I had to start over, I wouldn’t change a damn thing. Everything is always working out for me, exactly how it’s supposed to. I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’ve had that have brought me here for anything.

Pricing:

  • Custom cakes for 12 starting at $65
  • Glitter Chocolate Chip Cookies $20/dozen
  • Private Lessons and Group Baking Parties (including kids packages as well) starting at $150

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ashley Lippincott – Ocean picture & milk bath picture, MTV – purple hair picture, Chynna Ratner – photo with husband, David McCall – photo of tiered cake

Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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