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MU student turns baking into a side business

Oct. 27, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Alicia Renae Lewis, a Marshall University student from Charleston, has turned her love of baking into a side business.

Lewis is an education major at Marshall and a culinary arts major at Mountwest Community and Technical college.

"I started Kawaii Confections in June," Lewis said. "I've mostly worked out of my apartment but I've also worked out of my mother's house in Charleston. I've done round cakes, sheetcakes and cupcakes. I started a page on Facebook to make a little money selling cakes to friends and family but it's blown up to something a whole lot more. I mostly do stuff on the weekends for friends but I also get orders for churches for things like church parties. I've done a sheet cake for United Christ Church a few weeks ago, and I did a wedding cake for Huntington's mosque."

The name Kawaii comes from the Japanese word for cute.

"I chose the name Kawaii Confections because I was a fan of anime ever since I was 7 and watching 'My Neighbor Totoro,'" Lewis said. "Before I went to culinary school I had a passion for baking. I liked to experiment in the house and bake cookies and cupcakes. It takes patience to bake. I remember just sitting and listening to the timer being so excited to see what I've been doing. I got into cake decorating after ordering my first cake from Paula Vega a few years ago. I looked at it and said 'I want to do this some day," Lewis said.

One of Lewis's biggest projects came earlier this month when she did a cake for the 10th anniversary of Tsubasacon, an anime convention in Huntington.

"I knew Jerad and Tiffany Bailey, who are on staff at Tsubasacon, and was attending the convention's 'Natsu No Tsubasacon' summer picnic," she said. "I told Jerad, 'I would really like to do a cake for you guys because I was a con fan and would like to do something special for the con's birthday.' We chatted back and forth on Facebook, and I came up with the idea of the cake. It was a three layer homemade cake. The top layer was vanilla, the middle was chocolate and the bottom was red velvet. It was covered in vanilla buttercream icing on the inside and we covered it in marshmallow fondant. I baked the cake the night before and had help from one of my culinary friends, Emma Williamson. She rolled my fondant. She came to my house at 8:30 Friday morning, and we delivered the cake at 11:30. It took us about four hours to get the cake assembled, doweled and put together."

Lewis is offering a dozen cupcakes for $20 and round cakes starting at $25 for a 6-inch. Sheet cakes start at $45 for quarter sheet and $75 for a half sheet.

For more information on Kawaii Confections, visit Lewis on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KawaiiConfections2013 or call 304-951-1319. Cakes are made to order and customers should call about a week ahead. The best time to call is from 5 to 11 p.m. Voicemails can be left during the morning.

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