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Stiletto Sweets turns hobby into sophisticated cakery success

Noddea Moore Skidmore, event coordinator turned baker, explores the non-traditional side of bakeries by starting her own, straight from her own kitchen.
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Cake and cupcake flavors

white cake, blueberry buttercream filling, vanilla buttercream

red velvet cake, chocolate ganache, cream cheese buttercream

spice cake, caramel filling, cinnamon apple preserves, vanilla buttercream

vanilla bean cake, chai buttercream

spice cake, chai buttercream

white cake, raspberry buttercream filling, vanilla buttercream

white cake, pink champagne buttercream, sugar dust

chocolate cake, chocolate stout buttercream, crushed peanut garnish

chocolate cake, raspberry buttercream

chocolate cake, blackberry filling, vanilla buttercream

chocolate cake, caramel drizzle, vanilla buttercream, chocolate chips, sea salt

chocolate cake, dipped in chocolate ganache, crushed m&m candies under chocolate buttercream

chocolate cake, whiskey blast, cola buttercream

lemon cake, blueberry buttercream filling, lemon buttercream

lemon cake, raspberry buttercream filling, lime buttercream

chocolate cake, chocolate ganche, whipped peanut butter buttercream

chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, crème de menthe buttercream

chocolate cupcake, chocolate ganache, chocolate buttercream

vanilla bean cake, vanilla buttercream

chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream

For more information visit Stiletto Sweets Facebook page.

Stiletto Sweets is a special order, in house cake and cupcake bakery that specializes in unique creations and designs for every client. Founder Noddea Moore Skidmore’s vision takes Stiletto Sweets beyond the typical bakery.

“It’s playful and sophisticated and sexy. It’s a product that has evolved with the brand to become more than just cakes and cupcakes. The product really is a beautiful experience from start to finish. You unwrap the bow from the box, you lift out a special creation that was made for you. It’s all wrapped up. The branding is just as important as the product,” Skidmore says.

Skidmore makes her business unique by creating specialized cakes and cupcakes for every order, as well as her development of creative combinations of flavors. Her newest flavor combination involves a chocolate cupcake laced with grapefruit, topped with an avocado buttercream frosting and a sugared grapefruit zest garnish. Skidmore says the flavors work together in unexpected ways.

Stiletto Sweets is not Skidmore's only gig. She balances her full time career and new side business by working all day and baking all night.

Skidmore has a history in bridal fashion and a natural knack for artistic flair, but says it was never her intention to become a baker. Instead, she stumbled upon it when beginning to plan her own wedding.

“I come from a long line of doers. When I saw pictures of wedding cakes in bridal magazines, I wondered if I couldn’t do it myself. I am a performer, and into really artistic things, and combining those with my past with bridal fashion, I just understand color and texture and design and how it all comes together in the right way,” Skidmore says.

Skidmore began baking and cake decorating as a hobby. She never intended for it to become what it has grown into today. With the support and guidance of her friends and family, Skidmore became more comfortable with the idea of running her own cakery.

In the summer of 2010, after the passing of the Michigan Cottage Law, Skidmore, was able to begin marketing and promotion for Stiletto Sweets. Under this law, vendors are able to produce non-hazardous food items out of their private homes up to a certain income level.

“For years people have been making cakes on the side for a profit and they have been doing it out of their homes, which has been illegal in Michigan for decades. In the past people would tell me that I was really good at what I was doing, and that I should put it into action. But because branding and promotion was one of my favorite aspects of the business, and I couldn’t do it legally, I just wasn’t ready to take that step,” she says.

After the law’s passage, nothing more held her back. She decided to take the leap while still holding on to her full time position as the event coordinator for ArtPrize.

“One of my coworkers at ArtPrize put the article on my desk about the passing of the Cottage Law. They are so supportive of what I do, and I have met some of my best clients through ArtPrize and the connections I have made,” Skidmore says.

Since that day Skidmore has continued to balance her career with her newly found business, a challenge that she enjoys.

“The biggest challenges I face are of time and space. Usually for every order I receive, I have to turn down two or three, just because I don’t have the capacity to do it all. It’s a beautiful challenge to have because it means that the demand and the interest is there,” she says.

Working out of her kitchen has also provided challenges to overcome.

“People assume that I have a huge, beautiful and brilliant kitchen and that I can accommodate everything that I do, but really I do feel limited sometimes. It’s one big learning experience, though. I’ve learned that it might not be the best idea to air brush a cake in my kitchen, unless I want everything to be blue and purple,” Skidmore jokes.

Staying local and keeping Grand Rapids in view has been an important priority for Skidmore, who has incorporated the city into Stiletto Sweets’ logo.

“We need to continue to do things that put Grand Rapids in the spotlight on a statewide, national and international scale. That shows people why we are great and what innovative things we are doing here. We have ArtPrize and Laughfest and people from all over the world are looking at us,” Skidmore says.

Becoming a part of the innovation happening in and around the city inspires Skidmore to encourage the next generation of small business owners to take their own leap.

“We are looking at this post-graduate age demographic, and they have received the best education and are such an important part of our society, but they are moving away. We need to show them that our city is doing really amazing things too. All of the things that Grand Rapids is doing is really brilliant and if more small business can pop up, and get a bit of that experience and culture, I just think that is really important,” Skidmore says.

Skidmore continues to grow in her own small business, a hobby turned success.

“I like to think of Stiletto Sweets as a great fitting little black dress. Never too much, always just enough.”

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