Above & Beyond Cakes generously donated $1,500 worth of wedding desserts to one of our lucky readers in our Wedding Sweets Giveaway. Samantha and Nick are getting married on November 19 at the Lake Natoma Inn in Folsom and recently sat down with Daniel of Above & Beyond Cakes to design their wedding cake. UvVisions Photography was there to capture their experience!

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Describe your business. Did you find it, or did it find you?

My wife, Meghan, had decorated cakes for many years from home for friends and family. My background was in production baking and construction management. Over the years the clients grew to a point where we decided to take the leap of faith and open a shop. We opened in March of 2012 and have been going strong ever since.

What is it like working with your wife?

Working with my wife has its good points and bad points just like anything else. I must admit though it’s been an amazing experience to watch her growth as a mother, wife, and business owner. We have definitely become a stronger couple because of it.

What was the first job you ever had, and what did you learn from the experience? 

I started my own business mowing lawns when I was 11 years old which lasted until just before I started high school. In all I had 4 clients and it taught me that doing a job correctly is worth the effort.

How are you involved with both the community and your customer? 

We as a company donate a lot to community fundraisers and the occasional personal sponsorship of student athletes. I personally serve on the Elk Grove Community Connection Political Action Committee (EGCC PAC) as the co-chair.

Why is your staff the best in the business?

Our company is the best in the business because we make it a point to really understand the client as a person and meet their needs with the best flavor to finish quality possible.

What life accomplishments are you most proud of? 

My wife and I are the proudest of our 4 sons. Between the business and [everyday] life, we depend on a team effort to not just survive life, [but] thrive in it.

Who is your role model in business or in life, and why?

At this point I would have to say that my biggest business role model is [serial entrepreneur] Gary Vaynerchuk. We share a lot of the same perspectives on how to grow branding in business.

My biggest life role model is my grandmother. She has a third-grade education. Barely speaks English. Taught me to sew holes in my socks, cook, and dance when we cleaned house. She never takes no for an answer and is the most results oriented person I know. She is AMAZING!

Where do you go when the going gets tough?

I go to a really good Pho restaurant not far from our shop. I have the combo with no tripe, a special spring role combo, and a beer. Then I regroup and start getting things done.

What’s your biggest job perk?: 

The biggest perk is networking with other business owners to create lasting friendships with people who are experiencing the same life adventures as me.

What advice would you give to couple’s planning a wedding?

Opinions are like rear ends. Everybody has one and nobody wants to smell each other’s. Ignore the opinions because they only add to the stress. Keep in mind you’re celebrating the merging of two worlds to create a new one. At the end of the day when you and your partner are alone and the world finally stands still… all that matters is your new world together.

What’s your hidden talent? 

My first love is art. I grew up painting and drawing with anything I could get my hands on. Recently I’ve made it a point to make more time to create on canvas again. It’s been good.

What’s your favorite childhood memory?  

My favorite childhood memory is of playing outside with my cousins at my grandmother’s house and the smell of dinner from the kitchen in the air.

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would meet my grandfather. He died before I was born but the foundation he left as a man for my family didn’t die with him. Even now his words and actions affect my life in a very real way.

Where do you and your family go locally to have fun?

We like to bowl and play video games as a family so we head over to the local bowling alley about once a month.

What’s your favorite place to eat out locally? 

This is a tough one but I’m going to say Boulevard Bistro here in Elk Grove. One of my best friends, Bret Bohlman, is the owner and head chef.

What’s your favorite local event that you go to?

We love to take our kids to the Christmas event held in Old Elk Grove every year.

What’s your favorite local business other than your own?

My favorite local business is La Fiesta meat market and deli. The food is always good and its really easy to pick pre-marinated meat for dinner.

If you could be any other profession, what would it be? 

I would be a full time artist and philosopher.

And finally, customer service is…? 

Interesting and rewarding.

Wedding Sweets Giveaway sponsored by Above & Beyond Cakes.

Photos by UvVisions Photography.

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Associate Editor, Emily Peter.