I met the lovely and down to earth, Tiffani Tucker when she came to a Bad Girl Ventures Kickoff event to cover it for Channel 19 News. Réka Barabás, the Marketing Manager for BGV NEO, introduced us when she learned Tiffani had recently launched a business baking cakes called Have a Slice. It was a great match, as Réka is well known for crafting connections within the Cleveland community. These days I have a habit when I am talking to a person in the food industry that fascinates me to just blurt out "do you want to be on my podcast!?" Thankfully, Tiffani said "YES!"
If that sounds a lot like the beginning of a love story, it's because it is. To record the April Podcast Tiffani invited me over to her house, made me breakfast, let me break her coffee machine, baked me a cake, gave me a really cool Have a Slice coffee mug, gave me a full cake plus four mini cakes, and let me meet her mom, husband and son. I could not believe how generous she was, but when you hear her story of how she got started baking it's easy to understand that sharing love is her thing. Influenced by her family and their recipes, she gets to know her customers wants and creates custom cakes and flavors to fit their needs. Then she bakes them at her home with lots of love and care. There is tender loving care put in to how often she checks the cake. If she checks it too much the oven loses temp. Not enough and the cake gets overdone. It is a delicate balance of checking, poking and making sure the cake comes out at just the right time.
Tiffani really lights up a room. She is beautiful, intelligent, holds herself well, and beams confidence. When you see her you think, wow, she must be on tv. And she is! She is the Channel 19 News weeknight anchor. She was nominated for an Emmy for her coverage of the three Cleveland women who escaped after a decade of entrapment in a Cleveland home. She has accomplished so much and is admired by many, yet she is so humble. Her attitude is "this is my job." I suppose that is exactly what I want to hear from a local news personality, but I expect its not the norm.
She has a cake company, but doesn't consider herself a baker. It reminds me of the sentiment I've heard from Anthony Bourdain, that you can often get better food from someone that calls themselves a cook than you can from someone that call themselves a chef. There isn't years of culinary school and studying of the masters behind these cakes. There is years of lovingly crafted recipes from her and her family who made cakes to share with the people they loved the most. If the latter doesn't make a wonderful cake for a family occasion I don't know what does.
The cakes are bundts, no icing, no refrigeration needed, and freezable. She does mini bundts and large bundts. She currently has six varieties she makes, but if you have an idea she'll try and create a flavor around it. Visit her website for info on ordering - Have a Slice.
Check out the April Podcast to hear my interview with Tiffani. We talk about her craziest adventures from field reporting and her love of baking that started with an Easy-Bake Oven. Plus, Lauren chats with Matt Fish of Melt.