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, 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…
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.
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”
Cake Connoisseur & Customer Relations Specialist
Jon joined us as San Diego events were finally reopening from the pandemic, at a time when our bakery peeps needed a boost in morale and joy…and holy smokes, did he bring HUMOR & FUN to our team! Jon is one of the funniest people, bringing his joyful energy & customer service to all clients.
This season is proving to be the BUSIEST wedding season in over 15 years for Sweet Cheeks, and we attribute much of our clients’ enthusiasm to Jon’s joy on the phone and in email with them. They all tell us how wonderful he is to work with – we know firsthand…he keeps us all chuckling daily.
Growing up in rural West Virginia, Jon started out working in the local gas & energy industry, and became a self-taught professional photographer. He worked in the custom logo business for many years, so his skills & attention to detail translate perfectly to our custom client orders today. Jon has very cool taste in tunes as an indie-music buff, and as of this writing, he’s already a near-master of arranging flowers on wedding cakes!
We are thrilled to have Jon as a strong force for our team. Be sure to call and ask for him next time you’re ordering.
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.
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.
Alan joined us midyear in 2022 during the peak madness of the unprecedentedly busy wedding season…and oh boy, what a way to LEARN! “Thrown into the fire, “ in a way, he stepped up to the plate with the slugger. He joined us to help with wedding cake deliveries. With a background in studio art, Alan has a great eye for design and balance.
Almost immediately, we saw what a fast learner he was, so we decided that he could also learn to bake. He has since become an integral point-man in the kitchen. Head-down and focused, he is the quietest of our noisy bunch (thank goodness someone is!) and a very kind soul.
His family stems from farming & the creative arts – I’ve never met someone who loves FRUIT even more than I do! Raised in north-central CA, he has moved south to settle in San Diego.
When he’s not baking 54 pans of Signature Wedding Cake, Alan can be found creating digital design on his computer or playing soccer and basketball.
Design & Decor Team
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!
“Ale” Alejandra Adame
One of the rare breeds, a San Diego native, joined us in 2022, and we couldn’t be happier to have her! Ale is a treasure, with a kind & peaceful nature. Her sense of calm energy helps to offset the manic chaos that crazy wedding weeks can bring to the kitchen.
She has lived in Mexico, LA, and of course now back in San Diego. True lover of the arts of all kinds – her favorite medium is DIGITAL PAINTING, in addition to book illustrating and of course now cake decorating (we like to think we’ve lured her in). She is gifted with piping & painting buttercream as well as sculpting edible décor.
Her favorite theme for art – environmental/landscapes for illustration storytelling.
Ale’s passion for art stems from a family full of artistic creatives. Her family’s company, “Rustic 101,” is known by many of the homeowners here in Rancho Santa Fe, for their gorgeous doors & gates… all crafted in Mexico and sold in Leucadia – be sure to check out their shop on Highway 101!
LOCAL INTEL – her favorite hike: Torrey Pines Preserve (she has other secret/not to be mentioned local spots, but hese shall remain nameless to “protect the innocence of nature” – OH those darn SD natives!)
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.)
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!
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!
Absolutely, Positively, Unbelievably,
The Best Cake Around