Why She’s Interesting: Known for her chic buttercream cakes and crispy-yet-chewy macarons, Shepard provides Clevelanders with sweets that taste like childhood but look like art. She has more than 118,000 followers on Instagram and counts Shaquille O’Neal, who gave a shout-out to her Cavs-themed sugar cookies during the 2017 NBA Finals broadcast, among her fans.
Pattycakes: Shepard’s love of baking dates back to time in the kitchen with her mom, Liz. Birthday cakes were her favorite. The icing was almost all buttercream, which is what Shepard still uses today. “When I see big fondant cakes, I cringe,” she says. “It’s a lot of money and a lot of work for a mediocre-tasting thing.”
Guilty Pleasures: Shepard sells what she, herself, likes to eat. Gingersnaps are one of her biggest weaknesses. She tries not to eat them every day. “But if there are a few broken gingersnaps sitting on a tray, I’ll usually nibble at those.”
Gotta Keep Moving: Shepard appears bubbly and outgoing but, as a child, she switched schools four times. “Through all those moves, I got more and more introverted because I had to keep leaving all my friends behind,” she says. But it also taught her self-reliance. “I can keep myself entertained.”
Cake Emergency: One time, when Shepard was delivering a cake to a wedding, her car was run off the road by a semitrailer. The cake was demolished. But Shepard and her team rallied, decorating a dummy cake to look like the real cake and racing to bake and decorate new cakes in time for the serving of dessert. Most of the guests never knew anything had happened. “That cake is actually posted on my Instagram,” Shepard says.