The French Pastry School: What was your background previous to pastry, and what led you to pursue a pastry education?
Candi Ecton: I have always been fascinated with cake decorating and love watching cake shows on TV. I started decorating cakes five years ago and found I had a natural talent for it. I found out about The French Pastry School a few years ago and fell in love with The Professional Cake Decorating and Baking Program; it seemed exactly what I was looking for. I never thought attending the school would ever become a reality since I live on the other side of the United States and didn’t have the means to finance it. If it wasn’t For the Love of Chocolate Scholarship Foundation I never would have been able to attend this amazing school and fulfill my dreams.
FPS: What has been the most surprising or eye-opening moment for you so far in the program?
CE: The most surprising thing for me was that I felt completely in my element. I was afraid the school would be too “high class” and that I would be stressed out by the amount of work and expectations of the chefs. However, the program and chefs were great at helping the students learn at their own pace. We were faced with challenging projects but never too much we couldn’t handle. I never felt like I was “working” and enjoyed every day being there!
FPS: What are your plans following graduation?
CE: My plan after graduation is to open a small business working from my home kitchen and slowly build my equipment and inventory. Unlike most cake decorators, I love making birthday specialty cakes because each cake is so unique and different so a home business is perfect for me. Plus my kids are young so I want to be able to stay at home but still work and have the best of both worlds.
FPS: Where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you hope to be?
CE: After my kids get a little older and my family is more financially set; I plan on opening a storefront selling cupcakes, smoothies, and taking wedding and birthday cake orders.
FPS: In the future, what will you look back on and remember most vividly about your time as a student at The French Pastry School?
CE: I will remember the students and the chefs. The time we spent together and the memories we made. I loved being in the classroom watching the other students, getting ideas, and learning from one another. Whenever there was something I didn’t know how to do, there was always someone to ask and find the answer. Everyone was so willing to help and share so we could all succeed.