Baking Memories from Scratch
For the better part of the last decade, Classic Cakes and Confections has not just been making amazing cakes for events for all over the Arizona and beyond. They have been setting the standard.
The company first opened their doors in 2006, after the husband and wife team of Neil and Ella Levinson decided to combine their talents and jump right into Scottsdale’s competitive culinary scene. But with Ella’s sculpting precision with a pastry knife that she perfected while learning the craft in Russia, combined with Neil’s construction background whose ultimate passion led him to become a master baker in Montreal, the couple felt they were prepared to find their niche by providing unrivaled, imaginative and delicious cakes that had yet to be seen in the Valley.
Like most small businesses, trying to get a foot in the door during those early years proved to be a challenge, but Classic Cakes continued to be persistent and allowed their product to speak for itself. In an industry where referrals and word-of-mouth reigns supreme, over time the Levinson’s vision began to build momentum, and today have coveted partnership’s with Arizona Biltmore Resort, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort, The Phoenician, Montelucia Resort, W Scottsdale, El Chorro Lodge, DC Ranch and Silver Leaf, among others.
“We do cakes that not everybody else can do,” explains Ella. “We participated in a charity event at the Biltmore, and we did a gingerbread house cake modeled after the Disney movie Up. We took first place, but that house took six people more than 300 hours, and we even had to have an architect create a blueprint for us.”
Their hard work has not gone unnoticed. Classic Cakes and Confections has been featured on numerous local and national morning television shows as well as numerous print publications. They are consistently at or near the top of every annual “Best of the Valley” list, and in November of 2014 they were named among the Top 63 Pastry Pros in the country by Martha Stewart Weddings magazine.
The Levinson’s realize, however, that all of their past and future success is dependent on having a platform on which to express their artistic creativity, and having chosen to establish their roots in Scottsdale has been key. The wedding season in Southern Arizona is a solid nine months and attracts couples from all over the world, meaning there is never of shortage of discerning clients who are unwilling to settle for anything short of the best.
“Being in Scottsdale affords us a cliental who allows us to do all sorts of fun things,” says Neil. “We just had a client who had just received a one-of-a-kind Valentino handbag. She brought it straight to us because she wanted it duplicated in cake so she could have a party for her purse. We just have great customers, and stuff like that happens all the time.”
Classic Cakes and Confections’ also opened a retail shop in 2013, located in the Southbridge District of Old Town just south of 6th Avenue. There they offer a wide selection of cookies, bars, brownies, cakes, pies, and other specialty items, including a selection of treats that are gluten free. Items at the shop have a habit of selling out quickly, so the Levinson’s do recommend calling ahead at 480.994.9662 or getting there early if you sweet tooth has a craving for something specific.
For specialized and custom items, such as those for weddings and other special events, consultations can be set up either by calling the production kitchen directly at 602.795.9662 or by filling out a consultation request online by visiting ClassicCakesAndConfections.com. Their website also includes an extensive gallery of previous cakes as well as other information to help assist prospective clients.