For more than a decade, local mother-daughter duo Amanda Powell and Angie Hawks have been producing some of the most unique cakes in the Ark-La-Tex. Their business, Sweet Arts Cakery, combines their love for art and baking.
"I started out at The Bakerman and then I got my mom hired on," Amanda said. "We learned how to do fondant sculptures and that became our niche."
When The Bakerman closed, Amanda and Angie decided to open their own bakery. They loved the accepting and positive atmosphere The Bakerman had put forth and wanted to carry it on to Sweet Arts Cakery.
The duo specializes mostly in cakes and welcomes quirky, off-the-wall designs.
"We love making anything Halloween, horror, sci-fi, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter-related. Our butterbeer cakes are one of my favorites that we make," Amanda said.
They pride themselves on being a different bakery -- one that pushes the limits of culinary arts -- and they hope to attract more like-minded people.
"We are horror, geeky, nerdy people, and we want them to come here," Angie said. One of their most popular flavors is Essence of Faire, a combination of almonds that Angie roasts herself, cinnamon and honey. Amanda and Angie love attending Renaissance Faires and feel the flavor truly captures their core.
Halloween has always been a huge part of both of their lives. Angie has fond memories of celebrating as a child. "My dad was a Halloween geek," she said. "We used to have huge Halloween parties," and that flowed into Amanda's childhood. It's a comforting holiday for them. "We find beauty in the darkness."
The Sweet Arts Cakery duo loves working with other local bakeries on fondant sculptures. "Some may think we are in competition with one another, but it's not like that at all." They enjoy collaborating with other bakers in the area, supporting local businesses in any way they can.
Their customers span from New Orleans to Branson, Mo. "We had a cake we delivered to Rockwall, Texas, in pieces and we had to put it together; it was a Beauty and the Beast' theme. Amanda had to use a step stool to stack everything where it needed to be," Angie said.
They do not have a storefront and have decided not to add one at their location. "We have had a storefront before, but it's not our thing." They do plan to add a pickup area in the near future.
All their cakes are made-to-order, and the best way to place an order is through their Facebook page listed below. Their Facebook also displays a variety of their work over the years. Amanda and Angie plan to branch out and would like to have some of their items featured in coffee shops and to do more events. On Nov. 4, they will be at Universal Vibe in downtown Texarkana, Ark.
Amanda and Angie hope to grow locally and want to be the place to go for unconventional cake design. Whether it's nerdy or gory, the Queens of Halloween and Horror Cakes of Texarkana have it covered.
Sweet Arts Cakery can be reached at facebook.com/sweetartscakery. It is the best way to get in contact with them and receive the quickest reply.
In addition to being a writer, lifelong Texarkana resident Nicci McCarty is a photographer, songwriter and musician. She performs both solo and with her band, Brain Panic.