STRATFORD, Conn. -- Norwalk resident Renata Papadopoulos, owner of Stratford-based business Lovely Cakes, will be competing for a $10,000 prize on the Feb. 8 episode of the Food Network's "Cake Wars" airing at 9 p.m.
Papadopoulos, a married mother of three, will appear at the Station House Bar and Grille at 232 East Ave. in Norwalk for a public viewing of the premiere broadcast of the competition and will serve tastings of the prize-entry secret cake flavor.
Papadopoulos started baking her beautiful, custom cakes for friends and family in 2005 for celebrations from birthday parties to weddings. “It was a labor of love and something that I truly enjoyed,” Papadopoulos said.
As her business grew, she had difficulty finding appropriate commercial kitchen space to rent. This inspired her to dream of owning her own commercial kitchen. So, in 2013, she reached out to the Stamford-based Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) to help her realize her dream.
The WBDC offered her no-cost entrepreneurial training, one-to-one financial counseling and help optimizing her small-business marketing efforts, organizing her business financials, and applying for loans and grants.
Now, more than ten years after she started, this mostly self-taught, local entrepreneur is the owner of Lovely Cakes Custom Wedding and Celebration Design Studio, which features a 1700-square-foot, fully licensed, equipped and rentable commercial kitchen at 195 Charles St. in Stratford.
Fran Pastore, president and CEO of the WBDC, said, “Renata is a strong example of an entrepreneur who has combined her passion with solving a need in the community. Her innovative business growth, fostered with help from WBDC, has allowed her to establish her own cake design studio while filling a need for commercial kitchen space in Fairfield County. WBDC is proud to continue to help her and her business grow in Connecticut.”
Having recently enjoyed accolades and awards from Bride’s magazine (America’s Most Beautiful Cakes Award), Wedding Wire (Couples Choice Award) and The Knot (2015 Best Weddings Award), Papadopoulos hopes to take home the large cash prize from the show.
“Being on the show will bring more visibility and credibility to Lovely Cakes," she said. "I have always watched food competitions on TV and have always wanted to be on one. Regardless of the results—win or lose—my kids are so happy that I will be on ‘Cake Wars.’ If I win, I will use the prize money to take my family on a trip to Disney World!”
Those interested in attending the public viewing of Valentine’s day-week episode can register on Lovely Cakes’ Facebook page by Friday, Feb. 5. Space is limited.
For more information about Lovely Cakes, visit www.LovelyCakes.net.
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