I did a quick blurb on Marta’s Cakes, the new store of Marta Matute at Serendra, a day after it opened. I had never met Marta before, and she had no clue who I was. I promised myself I would return to the shop a month or so later to give them time to get settled and stock their shelves. I did the follow-up visit a couple of weeks ago. However, I must say that I visited the store several times in between and since then, as The Kid and some of her friends are absolutely smitten with Marta’s cake/cookie decorating kits.
And there lies the secret # 1 of this place… the target customers for the store are perhaps 1-13 years in age, and they just absolutely adore the cookies, the cakes, the candies, the little chairs and tables, the sprinkles, the utterly delicious smell of sugar. Marta’s has already hosted several kiddie birthday parties, with up to 24 kids, and I can see how parents would rather have the kids mess up this place than their own dining rooms! With icing galore and sprinkles all over the place, I can only imagine what clean-up must be like!
Secret # 2 is Marta herself. One of the most self-effacing, laid-back, creative bakers I have ever met, she has turned out (with her crew) a stunning 8,000+ custom cakes in her career so far. And these aren’t just any cakes. They are STUNNING CAKES. The creativity, planning and execution that goes into each cake boggles the mind. I could never ever hope to make even one of her cakes. They are practically works of art! Just have a look at the samples I was able to photograph for this post…the cakes were wonderful! I didn’t ask pricing details but I suspect they would range from PHP3,000 to 30,000+ for the most elaborate cakes. Marta happened to be there when I took these photographs, so we have been introduced to each other, and I must say she is a pleasure to speak with. A really deep burning passion for her cakes is apparent and the obvious joy she takes from her hobby turned quickly growing business, is palpable.
Secret # 3 is that Marta’s custom cakes are not only great for kids, but for adults and companies as well. I took a quick look at their albums and realize there were kiddie cakes, debut cakes, special event cakes, anniversary cakes, car brand cakes… the list was endless! And the choices were just incredible. I know, I sound like I am bowled over. And I am. Marta did a cake for my birthday and it was wonderful, and The Kid is hoping she can order a cake for her birthday as well… So you could say we are definitely fans. When I was a kid, the best cake I could hope for was a chain bakeshop cake with a plastic spiderman on it… Marta’s take on this theme would be far more impressive, I am certain.
Not only do the cakes look good, they taste terrific. I feel they have that honest to goodness childhood sweetness balanced with a nice hit of chocolate (at least my chocolate birthday cake did) that just hits all the right buttons. No fancy flavors or touches. No pretense. The cakes on sale at the shop are pretty good, but let me make this clear, this isn’t fine french pastry, this is superb birthday and party cake material with fabulous icing and decoration. At about PHP50-ish for mini cakes or cupcakes in the shop, they are well priced despite their tony location. If you haven’t visited the new shop, check it out the next time you are in Serendra. And if you are thinking of ordering a custom cake, reserve a few weeks ahead of time. The holiday season should be particularly busy I am told…
Here’s a terrible photo of The Kid working on a mini-cake…