Janis Luzzo has opened her cake-decorating store in a new location but fortunately, didn’t have to move far to spread her wings. Moving next door to where a children’s gymnastics and dance school was, Janis and her husband, Duane, put in months of renovation efforts into their newly purchased building.
Every Baking Moment was opened in July of 2000 after Janis retired from the Air Force and was looking for a new career.
“It’s been 12 years now. I had the opportunity to purchase the building and we seized it,” said Janis. “The gymnastics [school] vacated September 1 and we tore down the insides of what they had before and put in new walls, counters, fixtures, and more. We’re still working.” She had several scrap booking friends help her out with the move and even do the signage throughout her new store.
Duane was the chief handyman along with the couple’s sons, Damien and Luc. Luc helped in the demolition part back in September of 2011 before he went back up to college and Damien did all the painting—“over all that red that was in here before,” Janis said.
Friends also helped out in major ways. Sam Thompson, a friend of Duane’s, worked side by side on most of the work. All the men took about 5,000 pounds of carpeting and debris to the dump.
“Sam was invaluable,” said Duane.
Their goal was to provide more space for retail as well as create more room for cake decorating classes.
“We were full on both spectrums and our classes still are,” Janis said. “Our class sizes are larger now but they are still an intimate size so our students don’t lose the one on one with our instructors.” Students have come as far away as Fresno, Napa, and Bay Area cities. One mom drove her teen daughter to class every week all the way from northern Roseville.
“It’s because we offer what no one else has,” said Janis who uses Wilton as her main supplier but says there are others. “There are lots of companies out there and I probably have more Wilton than anything but there are real close seconds and thirds.”
To some of Janis’ students, it’s more than just the variety of supplies. It’s the quality of instruction in the classes.
“I probably wouldn’t have started with cakes as my medium if it wasn’t for Janis being there,” said Lindsey Hickman, a local woman who now operates her own cake decorating business after being one of Janis’ students ten years ago. “Janis is more than willing to share her recipes or tricks. She’s created a cake community in Dixon. There are a lot of us who work with each other, share recipes and even equipment,” she said.
Hickman just did her “best cake ever” last October for her friend’s wedding. It was a nine-tier cake with a theme of Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) to match the couple’s wedding theme. It did what few wedding gifts can do: It created a memory.
“When my friends saw it, they were floored,” she said.
Janis knew she couldn’t teach all the classes and gives plenty of credit for her ”great” instructors.
“My other instructors here have been hand picked,” she said. “They are former students and I even have a Spanish-speaking instructor. Renee Gray, of Vacaville is my right hand. She took my classes back in 2001. She really knows her stuff, better than I do sometimes.”
One of the improvements to the business, Janis said, is the ability to host and do more children’s birthday parties.
“What’s really nice about the birthday parties is that they are a lot more private which is conveniently located right next to the bathroom. They can make as much noise as they want to so the children are not being hushed,” she said.
Janis was willing to take the risk in a down economy because she said, her customer base is so wide spread that she doesn’t have to rely on a single group of people for sales.
“And, that makes it a lot easier for me,” she said.