What’s Makes Us Sweet

Welcome to our dreamy-delicious world of Sweet Cheeks Baking Co., a Women-Owned & Operated small business, baking cakes & desserts for weddings & special celebrations for San Diego & Southern California! It’s been incredible to be a part of our clients’ continuing celebrations for a decade already. Our clients become our friends, and we continue creating the showpiece cakes & goodies – not only for your weddings but for years of baby showers, 1st birthdays, graduations, and so on…

We’re not a storefront, so please be sure to call prior to popping by – we’d love to have a snack for you when you pick up your orders 🙂

Through the years, our favorite recipes have come from the strong women of our lives (moms, grandmas, aunts, and friends), and we’ve created others along the way. We incorporate top quality ingredients of local butter, cage-free local chicken eggs, local organic field lavender, whole wheat flour, flaxseed & wheat germ, farmers market berries, French nut & fruit purees, and single sourced/ sustainable chocolates.

Our style is CLEAN and elegant, organic & natural, fun & flirty (or “down-n-dirty,” depending on your needs). We customize for your event & taste, based on your vision & our artistic license. Our passion lies in EXCELLENCE of artistry, taste, and service. Our love is people-pleasing.

For more information & answers, please see our FAQs

“We LOVE What We Do!”

We LOVE what we do and what we produce, and it shows to our clients & industry friends through our amazing Cheeks team (sometimes it shows if we skip Pilates & workout classes too!) The name “Sweet Cheeks” came from a former nickname for Elaine years ago (HEY, it wasn’t THAT long ago…), and we felt it best represented our love of sweets & fun. We take orders seriously but not ourselves. “The Right Cheek” and “The Left Cheek” names were coined by Donna – “Elaine is always right, and I’m always left in the kitchen…” and thus the titles stuck.

Meet the Owner

Elaine Ardizzone

Elaine Ardizzone, AKA “The Right Cheek” – Shares her creativity in style, flavors, and background. As a graduate of Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and former restaurant owner, she has started up & operated businesses for three decades. A Certified Sommelier, Elaine earned the highest score of her class at the World Trade Center in 1995; her sense of taste goes beyond cake. Donna knows to accept this Right Cheek’s scattered brain waves, as they usually create something really great…despite the somewhat backwards way they come up. Rather obvious and extremely loyal, she is known for her Monday “Board meetings” (Paddleboard, that is) with industry friends and for doing whatever she can for her family, friends, employees, clients, and fellow vendors. And yes, the buck typically stops right here…

Team Cheeks

Our Client Relation Specialists

AKA Those with “Direct Dealings”

Call it HQ, or call it the Home, our office meets, greets, answers, and emails to hundreds of people daily and handles the endless stream of questions, order requests, budget issues, and last-minute beggars. These beauties entice the masses, manage so much, and please so many. These are the “voices” and the “faces” most seen at the bakery, the lovelies who take great care of details but aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

Kayla Kranz

Known for her incredibly CALM demeanor on the phone, even with telemarketers, Kayla keeps the office under control daily. Kayla is our wonderful Logistics Specialist. Using her ability to figure out ANYTHING technical when none of us cake-brains has a clue, she covers the gamut of helping with not only Administration, Client Guidance, 2nd Geek in Command, and perfect extra set of eyes for all random questions.

She is also our “House Vegan. Taste-Tester”

Candace LiVolsi Valentine

Wedding Cake & Dessert Temptress

“I love the reason for an event…the family, the loving support, the beauty, and the magic – all come to life, acted out in REAL TIME at a wedding, and we get to play a small part of that! With cake, we get to bring that vision to LIFE in an iconic, delicious sculpture!”

Team Cheeks is so fortunate to have Candace here to take such wonderful care of our wedding clients and cakes. She’s been a close family friend of Elaine & Michael’s for years, and her family has been heavily involved in wedding planning, design, & music for decades!

In her free time, Candace is dancing Tango, performing at Burning Man (not so different from a wedding, actually!), and experimenting new recipes on unsuspecting house guests.

Baking & Production Team

The HEART of our world starts in the kitchen. They mix, whip, fluff, cream, create, build, pipe, and master all sense of flavor & design challenges…through heat, chill, urgency, and laughter.

Jeff Lewis

Raised in a family of classic bakers and a wedding cake mom, Jeff then trained and worked in United States Air Force for 20 years. Now he is our Executive Chef & Chief Flavor Master, lucky for us! He steps into every job with enthusiasm and ideas – OH, how valuable that is, finding solutions with the COOLEST methods of baking greatness! He creates delicious fun, whether he’s sculpting a chocolate Yoda, suggesting time-saving methods for buttercream, or torching mini lemon meringue pies.

Noel Conklin

Bring it on, PA! Wow, another Philly-bred baker, Noel is now our 3rd! Noel is our new Kitchen Manager! He has stepped in with so much talent, so much varied Food & Music experience, and the perfect smarmy humor to keep us all laughing… He’s toured the country as a bassist in numerous bands (we’ve even gotten to see him perform live here in San Diego!) But Noel’s true loves really shine when he talks about his fantastic wife Kate, his Award-Winning BBQ Team, and of course his memorable upbringing by his wonderful baking-genius of a mom (AKA “Franny”), known for the pies, cakes, and custard cream puffs that they baked together since he was a little boy. We adore you, Noel, and we are proud that you represent us both as a baker and on our wholesale deliveries!

Design & Decor Team

Stephanie Wiltse

Lead Decorator

Stephanie jumped into action on our team in 2019 and fell right into the whirlwind of Covid restrictions, shortened hours, smaller cakes, and a stressful environment…and hot damn does she just WOW us with her artistic talents and ever-improving decorating skills! Not everyone can start with perfectly smooth cake icing, but she sure did. She is an easy-going, lovely person and team player.

She came to us after a stretch working as a photographer at Disneyland and currently has her own successful Etsy online storefront selling incredibly cute Mickey & Minnie mouse ear headbands! (check out her site: https://etsy.me/2BOkesA)

We feel so fortunate to have Steph on our team, especially during a time of great stress and wedding postponements: Not everyone has the patience, kindness, and stamina to handle so much change & uncertainty as an employee in a small business suffering through a pandemic. Thank you Stephanie!

Priscilla Gallardo

Decorator

As the youngest member of our team, Priscilla brings a whole new fresh set of eyes (and I don’t just mean because she doesn’t wear reading glasses…yet) & styles to cakes. We love her energy! Jeff & Noel call her the “SPICY” one because she is loaded with wit and a little sass, but she’s seriously all sweetness at heart.

Priscilla brings a little extra FUN to the kitchen and is the first to say” HELLO!” and “have a great day!”: “I also like to wear ridiculous socks & clever tee shirts, anything to create a good mood at work.”

At home, she now spends time teaching her beautiful little daughter Naomi how to frost, design, and decorate cakes & cupcakes, so I’m hopeful that we see another future helper in the works soon.

OUR FOUNDERS – Elaine & Donna, AKA The Right & Left Cheeks

We started this company on a shoestring budget in early 2007, as two friends who had cooked & baked for as long as we can recall standing upright. We used a friend’s apartment to test recipes, next rented space in a pretzel bakery, and finally found our own kitchen, where we’ve been ever since.

The Rest of our Team (T.R.O.O.T.)

Andy Kemal

We would be remiss to forget the man & his company www.INFIX.us who helped make 2016 a much brighter year than anticipated…thank you, Andy, for showing us the path to scrapping all those silly menu items that were killing us!

Ana Hernandez

Social Media Manager

What a blessing this joyous woman is entering our world with the biggest SMILE and so much fresh light in her eyes! Ana originally comes from Riverside, CA and is our Social Media Manager – the person who tells our story through photos, videos, and the occasional emojis over on Instagram @sweetcheeksbakingco. She has a deep appreciation for all things beautiful, “especially when they taste good too!”

Having worked with people in the San Diego wedding industry for over two years, she is now ready to take a bite out of the sweeter side of weddings!

The Cheeks in Pictures

OUR SILLY STORY ON FOOD NETWORK finding us:

Seriously, my cell phone rang, and I thought it was a joke. “WHO is this?” I kept asking…not believing the person on the other line who kept saying, “blah, blah, blah,…TV Producer…blah, blah…FOOD NETWORK…” My cell # was of course not listed, so it was a shock + a half! Apparently, they’d seen us present at the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival and win “BEST DESSERT OF THE FEST” during our first month in business. I’d forgotten that our hanging banners at the booth listed our only phone number = my cell.

We were asked to be on the “Road Tasted with the Neelys” series, which focused on companies around the US who ship their products… Well, we not only didn’t ship but didn’t even have a website yet! But who says “NO” to FOOD NETWORK??? So we said we’d get them the info they needed ASAP. This involved building a website WITH a storefront page that WORKED (a FREE one, since we had no money) as well as creating PACKAGING for these said items we planned to ship…What the heck did we even make that we could ship across country without it dying in transit???

Thus the Chewy Chocolate Cheeks were born. When the show aired, we didn’t even have the packaging yet, so when my cell phone started ringing at 4am with the orders from the east coast viewers, I started to panic. Scoopers unite! We started scooping those cookies and packing them in vacuum bags, hoping that we could fend off the orders until the packaging came through. Well, it all sorted itself out, and we got through the madness.

After that, we were called by FOOD NETWORK for a few years once to participate in “Cupcake Wars!” We aren’t much for TV competitions, but Krista asked if she could step up and do it if we got the request again…the rest is history, as many people continue to appear in our “Appointment Only” door, just to say hi, ask to meet Krista, and buys some cupcakes!

Cupcake Wars Winners Featured on NBC News

Absolutely, Positively, Unbelievably,
The Best Cake Around

Old School

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