On a mission to teach cake baking and decorating skills
Growing up, Malisa Swan often joined her nana Alice Richardson for a baking session.
Today, the owner operator of Bermuda Cupcake Company is on a mission to share her passion by teaching kids and adults baking and decorating skills.
Ms Swan said: “My love of baking comes from my nana, she always baked with us when we were younger. I always tasted her stuff, and said when I’m older I would make her treats in my style of baking.”
She added: “I don’t have her recipes, but I remember what she put in there so I throw it in the bowl, mix it up and make it. The taste is similar to hers, but not exactly the same.”
Launched in 2009, Ms Swan’s company offers themed baking camps for kids, baking classes, a Friday baking club that includes dinner, Saturday classes – and a range of classes and workshops for adults.
It also operates the popular Snowball Shack mobile dessert trailer on Palmetto Road in Pembroke.
Ms Swan said: “Baking camps are good for a lot of reasons – social skills, math and science. They are learning a lot more than just baking.”
She added: “We bake assorted treats. We have a different themed treat each week so that little bakers and their family members won’t get tired of the treats.
“They enjoy baking it themselves, and want to eat it right away – as soon as it comes out of the oven. Over the Christmas break, one little girl ate all her cookies before she went home, so we had to bake some more so she had some for family.”
In addition to baking cupcakes, cookies and cakes to eat and take home, Ms Swan said campers also prepare chocolate-covered fruit, as well as some healthy options.
She said she enjoys sharing her passion with young bakers.
Ms Swan said: “It’s fun, I really love it, I enjoy the kids, and treat all the kids as if they were my own. All the kids get spoilt.
“They teach me as well. I learn from them, they have their way of doing things that they do at home. Being the teacher is really awesome.”
The company also offers kits for an online bake-at-home option, held over Zoom from 11am until 2pm during camp weeks provided 20 or more little bakers sign up.
Ms Swan said: “Parents collect a whole week of baking camp kits and are able to bake everything that we bake at camp.
“Lots of people enjoyed it over the Christmas break. We had 75 registrants for our Christmas baking camp. We couldn’t take them all because of Covid restrictions, so we sold baking camp kits.
“Once Covid passes, we will be in a much bigger space and able to take larger numbers.”
Until the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, Bermuda Cupcake was limiting camp enrolment to 12 little bakers.
With a group that size, Ms Swan said she splits attendees into groups of three to six children.
She added: “Once they come to camp, they stay within their baking bubble.”
Ms Swan said parents are required to complete a health screening form. Temperature checks of campers are taken daily, she said, adding that masks are mandatory for all students.
Next up is a spring break camp, “Ice Cream Shop Edition”, for kids ages 5-12.
It is scheduled for April 5-9 from 8.30am until 5.30pm daily. The cost is $275 per child per week.
Due to the current spike, the camp will accommodate a maximum of six children at a private hall, Ms Swan said, adding: “If the cases are extremely high during the break, spring break camp will be cancelled.”
She said a decision will be made April 1.
If camp is cancelled, Ms Swan said parents will be offered the option of at-home baking camp kits for the week or to reschedule for another camp date.
She added: “All parents have been sent baking camp health screening forms. They must answer all questions listed on the form before a little baker can attend. If they answer yes to any of the questions listed on the form the little baker will be rescheduled to another date of baking camp in the future or until it is safe for the little baker to attend.”
If the camp goes ahead, Ms Swan said little bakers will be split into two group bubbles of three. Masks will be mandatory, and social distancing will be observed for the safety of bakers and camp staff, Ms Swan said.
She added: “In December, Bermuda experienced a similar spike in cases and we were able to have little bakers come by in small bubbles and many parents collected home baking camp kits for the safety of their little bakers.”
Summer baking camps for kids ages 5-12 begin July 5 and run until September 3. Parents can register their child for one week, or for the entire summer.
Camps are $499 a week, including lunch and field trips. The entire summer is offered for a package price of $3000 if booked and paid for by April 1, Ms Swan said. Camps in the summer are $275 weekly for members.
Summer camps also have a ‘no baking’ option at a cost of $175 per child per week.
For more information, and to register for a camp, see www.bermudacupcakecompany.com
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