Mini cakes on a stick are popping up all over the place, and Sarasota’s getting into the mix with the addition of the Lollicake Queen — aka Erin Zolner — and her sister, Amy Nichols.
As an investment adviser, Zolner previously spent most of the workday on the phone talking business. But after the birth of her fourth child in 2007, she wanted to harness her creativity and do something she always loved — baking.
“When the cupcake craze happened, my sister and I thought it would be so fun to bake,” Zolner said. “This is the right time, the next best thing and a new trend. We decided to go for it instead of just talking about it.”
She started baking something new for her family every week. Last summer she made a “lollicake” just for fun; she started creating mini cakes on a stick that resembled lollipops. Seeing her family’s enjoyment, she took her lollicakes to a child’s birthday party to gauge the yum factor. By Christmas, it was full-speed ahead for the custom cake business.
“They are kind of nostalgic,” Zolner said. “There are so many three-dimensional things you can do because the surface isn’t flat, like a cupcake.”
Each lollicake is handcrafted, so transforming mini cake balls into Big Bird, Harry Potter, Thomas the Tank and even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can be time-consuming.
Most recently, the sisters have expanded the company to catering parties and wedding showers with custom stands, which hold 100 to 200 lollicakes. The business is a family affair: The sisters’ father, Tom Nichols, constructs the custom cake stands, and Zolner’s daughter, Oliva, takes all of the company’s photos and designs the logos.
A soft opening for the Lollicake Queen will take place March 27, at 1821A Hillview St.
“I never thought I’d be baking cakes on a stick,” Zolner said. “It’s definitely grown organically. There’s not many people making Yoda heads out of tiny, little cakes.”
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Sisters and partners Erin Zolner and Amy Nichols spill five fun lollicake facts.
+ “Each lollicake is about 125 calories, but that doesn’t mean you should eat a whole dozen yourself. You know who you are. Leave some for the children. We’ll make more
+ “The most difficult request to date has been Darth Vader. We know the power of the dark side now.”
+ “Don’t be surprised if, at first, you are a die-hard chocolate-lover but find yourself craving vanilla lollicakes or lemon, even. Somehow they are all equally delicious.”
+ “When we have a late night of making lollicakes, we’ve been known to crank up ‘Whoomp! (There It Is)’ on the radio. Jock Jams is our go-to Internet radio station.”
+ “Our guilty pleasure is watching ‘Days of Our Lives’ while making the lollicakes. Can you believe what Stefano is up to now?”
Contact Loren Mayo at [email protected]