Little red wagon takes the cake


Sarah Farmer delivers the baked goods in Big Apple exhibit

                                                                     SOUTH COAST BEACON

Launching imaginative voyages for boys and girls since 1917, and glorified in a 1992 movie, the ubiquitous little red Radio Flyer wagon chalked up another adventure recently. Local cake artist Sarah Farmer, of Sugar, relied on one in her journey to New York City’s Grand Central Station, where she was among the 50 leading sugar artists showing off their creations at the largest wedding cake event ever held.

Farmer said she was thrilled to be invited to the event, called Cakewalk at Grand Central, and hosted by Brides Magazine and Martini & Rossi, but getting her three-foot tall confection to New York was a challenge, to say the least. The stunning, complicated, Moroccan-themed wedding cake, inspired in part by Chef Karim’s Restaurant in Victoria Court, had its own airplane seat, but still had to be completely deconstructed for the trip.

Plus, the original vision of the two boxes in which the cake would travel had to be modified into three boxes at the eleventh hour.

“Then I had to figure out how to get these three boxes through the airport,” said Farmer, who credits local United Airlines staff members Tim Crews, Aaron Muller and Sean Russer with helping her — and her cake — make it safely to Grand Central Station.

And then there’s the little red wagon belonging to her daughter, Lily.

“It was a Radio Flyer that my sister had found on the side of the road ... this beat-up thing covered with leaves and rust and sticks hanging off it, and I thought, that will work,” she said. “By the end of the trip I had named her Lucy, because I thought this is more than just a wagon, this is my personal assistant.”

Stretching the limits of her creativity is nothing new for Farmer. Along with partner Kirsten Soria, who is the baker half of the duo, they’ve created completely edible cakes that look like a Monopoly Game, Manolo Blahnik shoes, Academy Award statues, Santa Barbara’s downtown district, Michael Jackson and an exact replica of the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort.

“Every artist’s dream is to make a living doing what they love,” said Farmer, who studied illustration and design at the Fashion Institute before fate intervened and she began working with baked goods at Debbie’s Delights.

“For me, cakes are clay. Cakes are a canvas. Each one is a personal challenge to me to create something new and fantastic,” Farmer said. “Everything I have ever studied, painting, sculpture, graphic design, illustration, jewelry design, all comes into play when creating our cakes.”

In addition to the dozens of weddings, birthdays and events on the docket for Sugar, coming up soon is a Halloween photo shoot commissioned by Child Magazine. It’s a safe bet that whatever witchy creation Sugar comes up with will not only be incredibly clever, but extremely delicious as well.

For more information visit, Sugar is open by appointment only Thursday-Saturday. Call 683.5600 or 452.4659 to schedule a complimentary tasting.

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