Piece of cake: An island entrepreneur is seeking a patent on a product meant to help even the novice cake decorator look like a pastry Picasso.
April Didrikson, owner of Art in the Baking LLC, has a patent pending on Ice By Number, a product that works along the same lines of the paint-by-numbers kits immensely popular in the 1950s.
Ice By Number’s method uses a custom-designed icing sheet as an edible template. Users just follow the numbers to decorate their cakes.
After earning a bachelor of science degree in Hospitality at Stephen F. Austin University, Didrikson went on to study baking and pastry at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.
Later in Lufkin, she opened Texas Baking Co., a European bakery and espresso bar, which she operated for eight years. She also taught at San Jacinto College for five years as a Restaurant Management/Culinary Arts adjunct instructor.
While living briefly in Paris, she continued studies at Le Cordon Bleu, among other prestigious institutions before, moving to Galveston to launch Art in the Baking in November at the Moody Gardens Home for the Holidays Gift Market.
During her tenure as an instructor at San Jacinto College, she trained others to decorate cakes, but found methods lacking, she said. Through trial and error, she streamlined a modern, cost-effective solution and last year launched Art in the Baking.
Her family owns a property on the island, and she’s always enjoyed the city, making it a natural choice to launch her business, she said. The Ice by Number toolbox includes icing sheet template, food color, icing bags, icing tips and coupler.
Buying the individual products at stores and trying to decorate a cake on your own is expensive, she said.
“You get home and still don’t know what the outcome is going to be,” she said.
An edible template with a 24-piece decorator toolbox costs $24.95 and helps beginners produce a cake they can show off to family and friends, she said.
The company also sells icing sheet templates for consumers who already have cake-decorating supplies. The company’s Christmas and holiday kits sold well, Didrikson said. And the company also offers year-round design templates for other occasions, including baby showers, birthdays and more.
Art in the Baking sells products online at www.icebynumber.com. But Didrikson also is working to offer the products in boutiques and major retail stores. Stay tuned.
Stand at ease: The area breastaurant scene will start the first quarter with a bang. Bombshells Restaurant & Bar plans to open sometime in the first quarter at 803 E. NASA Parkway, near the corner of El Camino Real in Webster.
Houston-based Rick’s Cabaret, which owns more than 40 gentlemen’s clubs, is behind Bombshells. The Webster eatery marks the second such Texas establishment for Rick’s Cabaret; the concept debuted in Dallas.
Like most breastaurants — Hooters, Twin Peaks, Bone Daddy’s and Brick House — Bombshells will employ attractive, scantily clad servers and offer sports-bar style grub of burgers, nachos, wings and more.
And like any self-respecting breastaurant, it will have a theme. Bombshells’ theme is the military, with décor ranging from old helmets to wings from fighter planes and cleverly named menu items, such as Stuffed Artillery Shells — fried potato skins stuffed with bacon, cheddar and sour cream — or Taco, Taco, Taco, Tora, Tora, Tora. You get the picture.
Eric Langan, president and CEO of Rick’s, said the Bombshells concept appeals to young adults and families “who like the ambience, the energy and the great hospitality, as well as sports fans who love to watch their favorite teams on more than 70 large TVs.” Stay tuned.
Making a move: Dickinson has attracted a new business. The Preston Group, a process and loan review consulting firm that works with financial institutions and certified developers, has acquired a 5,000-square-foot building on FM 517 in Dickinson, the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership reports. Look for more details next week.