Meet Casey! - Stamford Moms

Casey with celebrity Pastry Chef and Great Chocolate Showdown Judge, Anna Olson. Photo by Jeremy Kohm

How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have 2 little girls. Charlie is 4 months old, and Sydney is 3 years.

What do you love about living in Stamford?
My husband and I moved to Stamford during the pandemic after living in Riverdale – but my parents have been living in North Stamford for 10 years so we have spent a lot of time here before moving. I love the fact there is so much to do outdoors and that it is so family friendly. We love our home, and the space it allows us to have as our girls grow!

What’s your favorite restaurant and/or place to shop in Stamford?
My husband and I are big fans of Tomato Tomato (their nachos are ah-mazing!) and Teff. We also just recently visited the Wheel and love the option to sit outdoors on the water. Plus their Pistachio Cheesecake was pretty great.

One of Casey’s custom creations — a breakfast themed cake with chocolate cake, blueberry maple filling, vanilla buttercream, white chocolate “milk” splash, and handmade cereal milk ganache bon-bons.

Tell us about your business.
I’m a full time teacher, but on the side I bake and sell 100% custom buttercream cakes. Cake decorating has allowed me a really fun creative outlet over the past few years. I work with my clients to develop completely unique flavor profiles and designs, using buttercream and chocolate (never fondant). My favorite is when a client lets me unleash my full creativity – both with flavors and designs! I’ve made everything from a basic funfetti unicorn cake to a Cheetos cake with orange flavored frosting and a milk chocolate ganache filling (it was delicious!!).

How did you get into baking?
I’ve always loved baking (I have a BIG sweet tooth) and have used it to make connections to people over the years – in college I baked a big tray of chocolate chip cookies as a way to meet new people. But I didn’t start cake decorating until my cousins had kids, about 10 years ago. People had been asking me for years if I sell my baked goods, but I was never confident enough to make the leap until I competed on the show “Great Chocolate Showdown”.

What’s your favorite food to make with your kids?
I love making chocolate chip cookies with my eldest, but her favorite to make is pancakes – They always need to have chocolate chips and we always pick a fun color to add to them.

Casey and the 9 other competitors on the set of Great Chocolate Showdown. Photo by Jeremy Kohm

You have also spent some time on television! Tell us how that got started.
In 2020 I was on a show called “Great Chocolate Showdown”. It honestly still shocks me that I did that – my friend convinced me to submit an application for another baking show. So one day I did, figuring why not… and low and behold the show called me. I didn’t get further then the first round of auditions for that, but it inspired me to try auditioning for other reality baking shows. That’s how I came upon GCS. I sent in my application, still not expecting anything, and they called me. Every round of the audition process, I thought, “I’m not getting to the next round” until I was actually on set… It was pretty wild. And just goes to show you what you can accomplish when you don’t give up.

Tell us about “Great Chocolate Showdown.”
“Great Chocolate Showdown” is a really fun baking competition show where 10 home bakers (none of us were professionally trained in anyway) compete in a variety of challenges that all use chocolate as the main ingredient. We had to learn a lot really quickly on the show about how to use chocolate and baking in general. The show originally aired on Food Network Canada in February 2020 but is now on HULU in the United States and will be airing on the CW later this year.

What do you enjoy about being part of the show?
This is the only show I’ve ever been a part of, but it was pretty life changing. I learned SO much – it was basically baking boot camp! I also gained a lot of confidence in my own abilities. It challenged me in ways I never imagined – creatively, mentally – plus I got to meet 9 other amazing bakers! We all still talk every day.

How do you juggle work and mommyhood?
Plan plan plan – I have to schedule myself ahead of time to fit in everything, my job, my baking, and my family. Before Charlie was born, baking and cake decorating was regulated to only after Sydney went to bed (thankfully, she’s always been a good sleeper!). But I’ve had to re-work everything now that Charlie is in the picture! Since I’m a teacher and have summers off,  I’ve been able to bake while Charlie naps and Sydney is at summer camp. It will be a fun new adventure to re-balance everything once school is back in session in the fall! Hopefully Charlie will be sleeping through the night by then and I can get back to baking at night. I find it really relaxing and it helps me unwind after a long day.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
No one is perfect. I have to remind myself of that CONSTANTLY. It’s so hard to not compare ourselves to what we see on social media – mom’s who always look amazing, have clean homes 100% of the time, and create 3 well balanced meals a day for their families – as long as my kids are happy, it doesn’t matter that my shirts are wrinkly, there are dishes in the sink, and my kid had cereal for dinner. It happens, and it’s fine.

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