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The cake has always been important to the party

Celebrating is a grand tradition in my family. In fact our festive clan has been known to elevate celebrations into extravaganzas of surprise parties, musical performances, get away trips and personal appearances by famous stars. (Ok, maybe it was only Curious George, but the kids thought he was a famous star.)

Anyway, out of all the trappings that accompany our family parties, the most essential element is always cake

Growing up, my family’s celebratory cakes fit the traditional description. Yellow cake, white frosting, red flowers, happy whatever to whomever. However when my children were born, I expanded my family’s cake horizons to new shapes and colors and even a cast of characters. To this day, I treasure the photo of my son’s beaming face alongside his Cookie Monster birthday cake, in all of its bright blue-frosted glory.

Eventually, however, my time as a custom baker came to a close, my culinary skills surpassed by my children’s imaginative cake requests. Thus began my search for a baker who could create the cakes of my children’s dreams that also met my motherly standards. Thus began my long-running relationship with the cake makers at Pumpernick N Pastry.

In my early PNP years, our relationship focused solely on birthday celebrations, the highlight of which was my daughter’s Sweet Sixteen Doll Cake. Yet, over time, we evolved to a broader base of celebrations and family members. I can still remember diligently investigating the plastic-page notebook of custom cakes that Pumpernick staff kept tucked behind the counter. The obliging employees would patiently discuss various designs and help me figure out specific artwork for my latest dream dessert. And no matter my custom cake request, PNP bakers always delivered in both design and taste.

As Pumpernick became our family baker, we made regular stops at their Hamburg Village location for treats beyond special occasions. Monster cookies became a staple in our family’s diet as well as pineapple and cherry coffee cakes and rye bread rounds. And yes, I will admit on occasion, we made quick stops to snag free samples of yummy PNP baked goods set out on their glass display cases. I would also be remiss were I not to mention the chocolate-coated Easter Egg Cakes to which I became personally addicted.

When Pumpernick moved outside of the immediate village, my visits to their downsized storefront became less frequent; the combination of my children growing up and my waistline growing out definitely tempered my baked good needs. As well, the new location was outside of my regular travel route. However I was not completely unfaithful to my bakery buddies. I still made the occasional stops for monster cookie treats and always returned for my Easter Egg Cakes. Even after they closed their Hamburg locale, leaving only the Buffalo storefront operating, I still ordered cakes from their stellar bakers. After all, they had become part of our family’s celebratory traditions.

No doubt in the future, whenever my family gathers to celebrate for any reason, we will think fondly of Pumpernick N Pastry and recall many memories of their wonderful cakes.
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