10 Minutes With: Sophie Bifield
Wedding Cake Designer
Meet Sophie Bifield, an accidental cake designer whose confectionary delights taste just as good as they look.
With a degree in psychology and a career in digital strategy and advertising under her belt, Sophie’s journey to the world of wedding cakes was definitely non-traditional. In 2010, she became simultaneously engaged and laid off in a matter of weeks, but the timing couldn’t have been better.
Unable to find the cake designer of her dreams, Sophie took matters into her own artistically inclined hands and took a 6-week course in Toronto, intending to make her own wedding cake. What she discovered, in addition to the ins and outs of gum paste and buttercream, was a passion for cakes that has quickly turned into the successful Sophie Bifield Cake Company, an Ottawa-based wedding cake and dessert table company with a penchant for bright colors and modern, sculptural details.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unexpected places. I love texture and color; often inspiration comes from something as simple as a piece of fabric.
I also draw a lot of inspiration from the couple I am designing for—their vision, their story, their theme or style. Sometimes couples will present me with their favorite piece of artwork, a detail from their wedding or a family heirloom.
What is it about your work that appeals most to brides?
A lot of brides come to me because they are looking for something that is modern yet traditional and they find my designs to be a good balance. Brides also come to me because they are looking for attention to detail both on the cake and during the design process. I work with all of my clients to create a cake that is unique to their personal style as well as to match their event. This year I’m getting a lot of requests for fabric style flowers and soft, feminine cakes.
What should all couples know when choosing a cake designer for their wedding?
To me, how the cake looks and how the cake tastes are equally important, and I would love for every couple to want the cake to be an extravagant and detailed centerpiece. Often couples have different priorities when it comes to the cake, and that’s okay, but I think it’s important to know what those priorities are before they start scheduling appointments.
Do some research first. If price is the most important aspect of the cake and detail isn’t as important then look for maybe a larger bakery or someone who doesn’t specialize in custom designed cakes. If, however, a couple were looking for a certain style, they would be wise to search a designer’s portfolio for that style. Not all designers can do everything and most good designers will specialize in certain techniques or styles. If you fall in love with a particular style, make sure the designer you choose has experience with the techniques you are asking for.