SAINT JOHN – Sherry Brown closed the storefront of custom cake and cupcake shop Piece O’Cake last September. She still makes cakes under the same company name, but she’s focusing more on her family and her other passion, photography.
Brown started photography company Sweet Shots two years ago but wasn’t able to pursue it full-time because of her cake shop. Since she closed the store, she has rebranded her photography businesses to Sherry Brown Photography, started offering workshops and is building a studio at her home.
Photos from one of the weddings she shot were even included in Wedding Bells Magazine, which is distributed nationwide.
“I closed Piece O’Cake to pursue photography and I wanted to base my industry solely on weddings as far as the cakes were concerned, but also the photography,” she said. “I have a wide range now, where it’s not just weddings. I do family, headshots, babies, lifestyle, in-home photography. So, this time away from Piece O’Cake has kind of allowed me to grow it in that way.”
Her bakery background also gives her additional business when it comes to weddings.
“I’ve been doing a lot of wedding cakes for brides that I actually take photos of, so that worked out really well. I do offer package deals sometimes,” she said.
She bakes the cakes at the kitchen of the former Piece O’Cake shop on 91 Prince William Street, which has been taken over by another baker, Wild Flour Sweets and Treats. Brown also teaches cake-making classes at the Carleton Community Centre.
“[The new owner] still allows me to do my own cakes at her facility, which works out really well because it makes my life more flexible. I don’t have to go into town every day and be at my business from 9-to-5. I can be flexible with the photography, so I can choose what I want to do. Which is nice because I have three boys at home,” she said.
With more time spent at her home-based photography business, Brown can spend more time with her children.
“This way I can choose when I can turn it off and when I can turn it on and divide my time between businesses and kids,” she said.
Her photography business continues to grow, mostly by word of mouth and social media. But Brown is not done exploring her talents.
“I always challenge myself. Next year, I could be a florist. I don’t really know. It’s open,” she said. “Keep learning. And I kind of go with the flow. Always keeping true to myself and hoping my passion stays alive within that process. Because I don’t want to make it about how much money I can make. I want to make it about helping others.”