Lower East Side's Silk Cakes to Open Retail Store in Forest Hills
QUEENS — When it comes to art, this takes the cake.
The bakery, at 98-14 Metropolitan Ave., will start serving pastries by the end of November or in early December.
The new location will be a retail store, unlike the Lower East Side bakery, which is by appointments only, the owners said.
Silk Cakes was founded by Judy Lai, a graduate of the International Culinary Center in Manhattan. Lai was also a pastry instructor at the school, before opening her own boutique bakery in 2006.
Lai, whose parents came to New York from Hong Kong, said that in designing her cakes, she likes to use Chinese letters, Asian fabric patterns as well as floral and animal shapes common in Asian art, such as koi fish.
She also uses a number of Asian ingredients, including green tea, black sesame and Japanese lemon.
"Living in New York City, because it is such an ethnically diverse metropolitan area, exposes me to many facets of all the different Asian cultures and so I get inspired looking at Asian art and Asian fashion as well as having access to an array of Asian cuisines that the city has to offer," said Lai, whose father was also a chef.
Lai, who also makes cakes for special occasions like birthdays or baby showers, transforms dough into all kinds of shapes, from turtles and castles to fish tanks and igloos.
Oftentimes customers tell her what they would like, and Lai comes up with a design that reflects their request.
“She has to envision it in her head and figure out how she is going to go about it,” said Judy’s sister, Amy Lai, who does marketing for the company. “It takes a lot of time.”
For her cakes Lai usually charges about $8 per slice, but the price may be higher depending on how elaborate the design is, Lai said.
The retail store in Forest Hills, as first reported by Edge of the City, will offer the bakery's most popular cakes and a variety of pastries.
“We want people to try our cakes beyond those for special occasions,” said Amy Lai, who has lived in Forest Hills for 5 years. Her sister Judy is also planning to move to the neighborhood soon, Lai said.