Lauren Seim can’t remember the first time she baked a cake, but she has known for awhile that she wants to go to culinary school and open her own bakery.
She was 16 when she started making cake pops for her friends and taking them to school. They were so popular, she said, friends encouraged her to start selling them.
Inspired by the TLC show Cake Boss and by winning a baking competition at school, she began making cakes as well as the cake pops.
“My family has always been into cooking a lot, and I have always been interested in it,” says Seim, a senior at Hammond Baptist High School who will turn 18 in January. “I taught myself by watching Cake Boss and with practice. I think I get better as I go along.”
She started a Facebook page, called Lollicakes, and the page now has more than 400 “likes.” Her baking business has spread by word of mouth, and she has baked dozens of cakes and cake pops over the past year while she juggles school work and a steady babysitting job.
“It started with friends, and then other people saw my work and asked me to make something for them, and then it grew from there,” said Seim, who plans to attend Kendall College for culinary school next year.
Becky Seim said her daughter told her about her budding business when Lauren walked into her office and asked if she had seen her Lollicakes Facebook page.
“By the end of her first day, her page had almost 100 ‘likes,’” she said. “Her business has continued to grow. She’s sent cakes to St. Louis and New York.”
Becky Seim said her Schererville-based family is a family of creative, entrepreneur types.
“She’s seen me run my Mary Kay business, and seen her brothers be creative,” she said. “We’re a family of foodies, and Lauren has always definitely been interested in food and cooking. Her talent is a gift.”
Lauren Seim makes cakes in more than a half-dozen flavors, and has designed everything from a SpiderMan mask to an owl-shaped cake. She has produced cakes for baby showers, birthday parties, bridal showers and weddings.
She said she works about 10 hours a week, and each cake can take up to a week to make. She generally bakes the cake during the week, freezes it, and then thaws and decorates it the night before it needs to be done.
“I like thinking artistically, decorating cakes and making them unique,” she said.
Becky Seim said one of her favorite cakes her daughter has made was a wedding cake decorated with intricate flowers, including peonies and roses.
“The flowers on the cake totally match the silk flowers she used as a model,” Becky Seim said. “They were the only flowers she ever made. There were no practice flowers before them.”
The motto for Lollicakes is “spreading happiness wherever they go,” and Becky Seim says her daughter has dropped the cake pops off at nursing homes and other places for people to sample.
“Whenever people pick up the cake pops, they smile. They make people happy,” she said.
Becky Seim said she is proud of the way her daughter runs her budding cake-baking business.
“She is pulling straight A’s in all her classes in school, she has a regular babysitting job, and she teaches four-year-olds in church,” she says. “It’s amazing how she’s built her business and relied primarily on social media to do it.”
Lauren will bake all night on Friday to have a cake ready for Saturday morning if she has to, her mother said.
“She might stay up until 4 a.m., but there will be a finished cake on the table and the kitchen will be clean,” Becky Seim said. “The only thing I do is help her go buy the groceries because she doesn’t have her driver’s license yet.”