top of page

My (long) Story

My cake story began over 20 years ago, when I offered to make my nephew's 2nd birthday cake. At the time I had no idea how to make or decorate cakes and mind you there was no Pinterest, YouTube, online tutorials, etc. So, I would go to the library and check out cake decorating books. Followed that up with taking a Wilton 1 course at a local craft store. Learning just enough to (barely) put together a buttercream star-tipped Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cake for my sweet nephew. I had a blast making it and since I was already the crafty type – I took cake decorating as another one of my creative projects! Over the next few years, I made cakes for all my family and friends while honing in on my skills (but never taking any additional classes). There came a point where I wanted to start charging for my cakes, but quickly learned that in order to market myself that would entail operating as a legal food business. So I began the uphill climb to become a fully licensed and health permitted business. I filed my fictitious business name as NO MORE BORING CAKES, got a business license, and went on a hunt to find a commercial kitchen to work out of.

In 2009, I began to bake and decorate after hours out of Eat Your Lunch Deli in Carlsbad. I had no storage space, so I would carry everything up and down a flight of stairs. Several months later, I was contacted by SmokeHouse catering company to partner with them in opening up a new joint facility in San Marcos. Just a couple weeks later I subleased a space within their building. Things were moving along very smoothly and I was thoroughly enjoying having a storefront.

Then the day came in 2010 that I received the phone call that every up and coming baker strived to get. The call came from a producer from the TLC network about filming No More Boring Cakes for their ongoing reality cake show called Fabulous Cakes. I was absolutely shocked and so incredibly humbled that they found my little cake business and wanted me! The crew did a 4 day film shoot at my shop in San Marcos and then my episode ‘Southern California Makin Waves’ aired in 2011 (it’s uploaded on my youtube channel - fyi). It was simply a dream come true to be on national tv for my cakes!

At that time I felt like I was climbing towards the top rungs of my cake career. The notoriety that the show brought allowed me to become a much more established cake shop and to be honest it was just loads of fun! I chugged along doing hundreds of cakes until that came to a screeching halt in August of 2012 when the catering company that I subleased from had a fire in the wall behind the smoker that closed us down by the health department. As I began to wonder what my next move was going to be, my Step-Dad was diagnosed with cancer (just a couple days after my fire). Surgery was on the books for him and I couldn’t help but be thankful that I didn’t have to worry about my cake shop or any outgoing orders. A quick 30 days later he beat me to heaven, but I truly believe that the fire was God’s way of making sure I was at the hospital every single day with my Dad. Within about 45 days, I had lost my cake shoppe and my Dad. I was involved (witness) to an armed robbery that was a bit traumatic for me. I spiraled into time where I felt entirely lost. My Dad would come and sit at my cake shoppe and watch me work, bring me lunch, cut my cake boards, etc. And I just couldn’t fathom going back to cakes without him.

The catering company ultimately sold to Mike’s BBQ (Escondido) which allowed me to move back in after repairs were made from the fire. But a short time later the catering business was shut down entirely and there was no opportunity for me to return even if I wanted to. I put all my equipment into storage and was sure that I would never return to cakes again. Now that didn’t mean that my phone didn’t ring and I didn’t get constant emails in which my clients were encouraging me to return. I ignored them all and was just trying to put one foot in front of the other while dealing with my grief.

One morning, in late 2013, I was sitting in my car in a parking lot and I was overcome with tears and sadness. So I simply pleaded with God to show me my path, because I was tired of feeling lost. My phone instantly rang and I ignored it like usual. Then it dawned on me that what if that was God’s answer. So after well over a year, I picked up the phone and said “No More Boring Cakes, this is Jen.” On the other end of the phone was a longtime client of mine that I had made several cakes for over the years. She pretty aggressively told me that it was time I get back to cakes and that she wasn’t going to take no for an answer and ordered a cake for 2 weeks out! I knew at that moment; it was time to return and with a grateful heart I hung up the phone and began to scramble before fear changed my mind. I immediately pulled everything out of storage making multiple trips in my car and set up a room in my home, tables and racks and all. I had just moved into a new house a few months prior and just so happen to have an extra empty office. I called my old vendors back and started ordering supplies. By that night when my family got home, my cake room was nearly all set up and everyone was very surprised. The next day, I was at the health department reinstating my health permit. While I was out of business for 15 months, the law in California changed and the Cottage Food Law was adopted. This allows for home bakers to operate under strict rules out of their homes, instead of commercial kitchens! So, in the beginning of 2014, No More Boring Cakes got their second chance. I was greeted with open arms by the local community and business got off the ground quickly and easily (again).

In 2017, my husband of (now) 22 years was diagnosed with cancer. For 2-3 years I put my business on hold, as I cared for him. I took a few orders here and there, in an attempt to have some normalcy - but was only focused on his health. Update, he is doing very well these days!

In 2019, I had the luck of meeting one of the best custom cookie ladies in North San Diego – Adella’s Cookie Creations. I helped her establish her business and get a health permit. Since then, I have had the privilege of a beautiful partnership with her. I offer my clients the option of adding custom cookies to their cake orders and not only are they gorgeous/high quality, but they taste yummy too!

In 2020 right before COVID hit, I was invited to be part of 2 Gelson’s Markets (high end grocery stores in Del Mar & La Costa), by another local baking company, Little Cakes Kitchen. I excitedly launched custom cake Holiday pre-orders in both locations, but once COVID began to shut everything down - it was clear that my time in those 2 markets wasn’t going to last more than a couple months. Things naturally fizzled out and I decided to focus on tackling the pandemic with the thought of pivoting to meet the needs of the community. I was a little concerned that my cake business would be interrupted, but I was dead wrong. I ended up doubling my typical orders and thriving while offering smaller cakes during the week to help families celebrate their special events. In the middle of COVID, I also launched a side hustle of printing and shipping edible images, under the name of EAT YOUR IMAGES (an homage to Eat Your Lunch Deli that I began this cake journey out of years ago).

So here we are at the beginning of Fall 2022 and I have had the most successful 2.5 years (making over 400 custom cakes, launching Eat Your Images, teaching classes, hosting cake decorating parties, and selling DIY cake decorating kits). I have been very focused and I’ve been learning to dream about what my hobby turned into a business can become.

Before I share with you my announcement, I want you to understand something CRITICAL here. When I moved into SmokeHouse Catering - they found me (on craigslist) and asked me to be part of their business model. Again, when the phone rang and it was the producers of the TLC reality show - they found me (on the internet) and asked me to be part of Fabulous Cakes. Again, when I lost my shop to a fire, it was perfectly, imperfect timing in my personal life (allowed me 100% of my time to be with my Step-Dad until he passed) - a gift that was afforded to me by the fire. Again, when I was exhausted from being lost and I ‘told’ God that He best show up and light my path - the phone rang and I was asked to get back in the game and given the opportunity to work from home under the new cottage food law. Again, when I received an invitation to be part of the 2 Gelson’s Markets - I didn’t seek that out, it came to me. Again, when the world shut down due to COVID - I had a record breaking 2.5 years given to me.

With an incredible amount of joy and thankfulness I am happy to share with you, what is next for No More Boring Cakes. Out of the blue, the Owner of Little Cakes Kitchen (from the Gelson's Market venture) contacted me with what could be one of the best invitations of my career thus far! I am sub-leasing a commercial space once again. Little Cakes Kitchen and No More Boring Cakes have had some similar parallel success over the last 10-15 years. And we have now partnered with one another and are ready to join forces in order to become a greater influence in North San Diego County. NMBC has created a decorating station in their (new) 2nd location in Vista. I will be able to teach classes, host parties, sell edible images & DIY cake decorating kits, decorate custom cakes, allow the public to pop in and watch me while I work, offer cupcakes to go along with cakes, and much more! NMBC will now be working solely with Little Cakes Kitchen cake layers and their Italian meringue buttercream frosting (hooray for better quality flavors and me not having to bake!).

Oh, and one more time, when Little Cakes Kitchen reached out to me in early August - you know what I am going to say here…they came to me. You see, in all of my cake career, all these things have graciously entered my world and with that, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunities that I have had the pleasure of partaking in. I am anxiously looking into the future of what will be next as well!

After moving in and throwing a spectacular Grand Opening party on October 15, 2022 - business has been transforming. I launched dessert boxes, celebration boards, monthly fondant cake decorating classes. During Holidays I have been making a handful of dessert boxes and selling them to walk-ins. When I teach a class, I raffle or auction off my demo cake at a lower cost than ordering a custom cake!

For many years I have been trying to come up with a product that I could make and sell that is not custom ordered. After taking an online course, I hit the jackpot and launched Cake Batter Pancake Mix and then a couple weeks later Sparkly Maple Syrup. These items can be purchased in my shop, online (shipping is available), or at my monthly makers market that I attend in San Marcos! So far the feedback has been great and the sales have been climbing. I am selling the 2 products individually or as a set. They come packaged nicely and make a fun gift, bringing a little bit of No More Boring Cakes into your home at an affordable price.

As the 12-month mark of being in this storefront started to roll around I was forced to take stock of not only my personal preference for working from a storefront, but also if my business was benefitting from it as well. After much anguish, I made the decision that this storefront was just not in the best location and after several instances of my safety being brought to the forefront - I decided to move back home. I am, however, incredibly grateful to Little Cakes Kitchen for inviting me into their space for 1 year. We continue to have a great relationship and I will happily be referring clients to them!

As of October 2023 - I am back to working at home under the cottage food law. All bakery offerings remain the same EXCEPT there is no plan to teach in-person classes at this time. I have grand future plans for a road-side stand to pickup baked goods from me :)

In the Fall of 2023 I was asked to become one of the organizers of the San Marcos Restaurant Row Makers Market. Not only do I sell my cake batter pancake mix and sparkly syrup there as a vendor - I also do 1/2 of the organizing for this event. Please click on the events tab for monthly dates. We can have up to 24 vendors and all are local handmade goods only. Live music and a raffle are provided at the coffee shop who hosts the market. Come see me!

I encourage you to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for current news and updates!

With sincere thanks,

Jen Drury

Owner

NO MORE BORING CAKES

& EAT YOUR IMAGES

 

 

For those interested in a (long) read about the development of my horse trailer:

My entire business story is located on my website, but as a recap: No More Boring Cakes was born 24 years ago. NMBC became a legal entity with all health permits, business licenses, fictitious business name, insurance, etc. about 15 years ago. I have certainly had my ups and downs with multiple storefronts/grocery stores, building fires, national tv show, quitting for 1.5 years, and more! I arguably work my tail off with the best of them, hustle like no other and am constantly reinventing myself/products - but most things have come pretty easy to me. I have been incredibly blessed with big opportunities presenting themselves to me over the many years.

Many people would say that I 'appear' to move very quickly, but the truth is that I mull over, research extensively and think on things internally at great lengths. Always planning my next moves.

Last Summer, as I was sub-leasing a storefront space from Little Cakes Cupcake Kitchen, I began to feel this silent pull to do something different. I spent much time online researching, thinking, daydreaming about new ideas. As happy as I was in the space, I just wasn't seeing an increase in business in comparison to the cost of being there. I actually loved not working from home (which I had done previously for 10 years). As fun as it was to be there, teach classes, have clients pickup their orders - it was just very slow. I understood that walk-in traffic was not going to be busy, but the 12 months that I was there my business was just slow in general. Then there were a few safety issues that became more and more of concern. Once I shared these concerns with my family, it was decided that I would quickly make the move back home at the end of September 2023.

Although I knew that this was the right decision for my safety, I was really bummed out and feelings of failure began to quietly creep in. But then I quickly remembered that I had been having feelings of shifting just a couple months prior. So, I clung onto those feelings and chose to believe that being pushed into the direction of moving out of the storefront was actually a sign. And now it was my job to figure it all out and see how I could come into alignment with what was next for me and my little business!

One of my favorite people/businesses/coaches The Pink Crumbb (I am enrolled in her membership program) - started what is called a bakery cart. She built this little pink cart and fills it up with baked/shelf stable goods and puts it out on her street as a little farm stand of sorts. I fell in love with this idea, however one look at my driveway you would know there is no way to pull a stocked cart up and down daily. So, I began thinking about something more permanent. Luckily, I live on 1/2 acre with no HOA - so I knew I had plenty of room to work with! I began to think of building a shed of some type, but after contacting the city, I learned that a large portion of the bottom of my property (where I wanted to build) was their easement that the city could require access to. So, I shifted to something mobile or at the very least movable if needed. And then after typing in 'mobile' farm stand, bakery, coffee shop, bar into Pinterest HORSE TRAILER CONVERSIONS popped up and I instantly knew this was exactly what I longed to do!

The search was on for me to find an 'affordable' horse trailer that I could renovate into No More Boring Cakes 'display/storefront'. A way for me to control the destiny of my business! Upon multiple searches daily, I began to get discouraged as the prices for old horse trailers were $$$. I learned that horse trailer conversions are becoming very popular and once converted, they can sell for 10k-20k and people are using them for their small mobile businesses. While I continued to search, I started a vision board (literally with printed photos on a poster board) of what my trailer would look like. I pinned away on Pinterest and collected hundreds of ideas.

Aside from locating an affordable horse trailer, I had another HUGE problem. I had NO clue how in the world I would be able to do the work myself. You see, I am a go-getter, working harder than most people that I know - but I don't know how to work power tools, let alone own any! I had grand ideas, but I didn't have the skill to carry them out. And I certainly didn't have the money to dish out to pay someone else to do the work for me. And if I am being honest, there is just something about how good it feels to accomplish something like this on your own accord ;)

Fast forward to October 1, 2023 - I saw MY horse trailer, it was just posted on Facebook Marketplace. Immediately and without hesitation, I sent the seller a message. Just a second after I hit the send button, I saw the name of the seller. Wouldn't you know it - MY horse trailer was being sold by friends that I had met over 10 years ago but was out of contact with (except here and there on Facebook)! Needless to say, within hours my son and I were on their property looking at this old rusty horse trailer and immediately making the purchase!

One issue - solved, I found a horse trailer I could afford. But it doesn't end there... You see, our friends are the most helpful, kind, inclusive and loving people that you can imagine. Not only do they help loads of other people out in life - but they also offered for me to leave the horse trailer on their property, use all their tools, and help me in any way possible! So, remember that I had 2 problems: 1) finding an affordable horse trailer and 2) not having the skills or tools for the project. And with one Facebook message - BOTH of those issues disappeared! And once again, I was blessed by such a tremendous opportunity.

October 2 the horse trailer renovations began. This is all I did with every moment of my time. I ate, slept, dreamed, planned, worked, purchased items for months on end. I took a step away from making my custom cakes to fully work on this project. With some insight from our friends, they helped me realize what a cool project this would be for my son and I to complete together. So, not only did they physically help me on some of the tasks of renovating the trailer but more so, they injected a massive amount of knowledge and self-confidence into my son so that he could oftentimes take the lead on this project! Over the course of 5.5 months, my son and I would journey to over to our friend's property across town with my Tahoe full of stuff and work on turning my vision into fruition. Some days were a disaster and we left feeling defeated. Other days were incredibly fruitful and we left feeling so proud of the work we had done! One thing for certain is that we met dozens of people that are now part of our flashbacks of the time on our friend's property working on this massive project. Towards the end of the project, I was introduced to a newcomer on the property who had just arrived from out of town. For about 3 weeks, we worked together daily. He needed something to do every day and I needed help. He had the skills and I had unconditional acceptance to extend. I could not have completed this project as quickly as I did without him. I will forever remember the impact that he had on my life, and I hope one day as he heals from his own trauma, he will remember the time we spent together with loving reflection.

This horse trailer was presumably made in the 1970's in Oklahoma. I don't know the full history except that it was turned into a chicken coop over the last few years until I got ahold of it. Photos are the only way to truly understand the condition of the horse trailer from the day I bought it until the day it was completed. The photos tell the true story of all the hard and dirty work that we put into this horse trailer (link below of photos). It was rusted out in more spots than I could count. It needed a lot of love, but in the end it is EXACTLY what I had on my vision board. It is EXACTLY what I wanted! I took about 700 photos and videos of the whole process - mainly so that my son and I would have them to look back to remember the amazing time we spent together creating a lasting lifelong bond.

I still need to name my little horse trailer (brand is Linville and I am open to name ideas), but my beautiful teal (my favorite color) and white trailer is happily parked on my easy to find property right off the freeway. All goods will continue to be produced inside my house under my current health permit. The trailer will act as a pickup location for clients who have ordered custom cakes, celebration boards, dessert boxes and edible images (Eat Your Images). This means no more needing to meet clients unprofessionally in public locations for pickup and far less deliveries. I have been developing many new products and those will be sold directly out of the trailer. Cake Batter Pancake Mix, Sparkly Maple Syrup, Infused Sugars, Creamed Honey, Free Range/Organic Eggs are all my shelf stable current products. I have plans to add more items soon! I will also be adding fresh baked Bakery Style Muffins, Brownie Slabs and some drinks (maybe coffee, water, Mexican coke) soon. These items will be posted for sale on specific days with the hopes that the public will sell me out each day! When Holidays come around, I will have lots of options to buy small baked themed goods. My thoughts are to have certain days that I operate sales out of the horse trailer. Of course I fully understand that this will take a lot of teaching people that I am there and open for business. My dream is to have some chairs out and for folks to have a moment to pause time, enjoy a muffin and cup of coffee with me in a peaceful and safe environment. I have a strong desire to continue to help the local baking community. I plan to invite certain small licensed local food businesses to participate in a pop-up shop in my trailer, at no cost. This will give them a location to sell out of on specific days, thus bringing along all their own followers.

As pricey as my custom cakes, celebration boards and dessert boxes are - I have added so many new products at a very affordable price point. This allows for the mainstream client to still have the ability to experience No More Boring Cakes! After so many years I had lost the fire for baking - I was always so focused on the fun decorating portion of business. However, the last couple months, I have been baking, testing out new recipes (thanks to Beth_TheFirstYear), developing new products, packaging and labeling - and I have been thoroughly and surprisingly been enjoying myself and sharing samples with neighbors, friends and family.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that in October of 2023 I was asked to take over the organization of a Makers Market with another vendor. Twice a month we were organizing (had about 100 approved vendors and about 20 at each market) and selling my shelf stable products. After infusing so much growth into this market and successfully having a location to sell my products - I was informed a few days ago that demolition/reconstruction of the area is slated for March 1st. Therefore, Sunday is the last market and all future markets have come to a screeching halt. We expected this news in the Fall. We are currently looking for a new venue. But isn't timing oftentimes the most serendipitous thing? The day after I had received the news of the market shutting down - I moved my horse trailer onto my property. Meaning that I will continue to be able to sell all my shelf stable products!

The transformation is simply remarkably when you understand where it came from. My son wants to start a second horse trailer conversion soon either for himself or to flip as a side hustle. Never in a million years would I have bet that I could have accomplish such a task. The items on my vision board truly came to life after a ton of hard work and help!

I have never physically worked so hard in my life. I have never learned so many skills in my life. I have never felt so loved and helped by so many people (strangers mainly) in my life. I have never experienced the deep connection with my son in my life. I have never been to Lowes so much in my life. I have never been so sore before in my life. I have never worked on such a long project before in my life. I have never felt such freedom knowing that I don't need to look for yet another storefront in my life. I have never been prouder of something that I physically did in my life.

As I begin this new business venture, I want to publicly thank Matt, Shelley, Mike and Eli for their immense amount of time and help that turned my vision into a reality. I simply don't deserve the gifts that each of these people extended to me. THANK YOU from the depths of my heart!

If you have been a NMBC supporter over all these 15/24 years - Thank you!

Please come visit me on Edna Way in Vista. There is tons of easy parking on my small cul-de-sac. I will be regularly posting hours of operation and what baked goods are available that day. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

With much love and a deep/renewed sense of gratitude,
Jen Drury
Owner
No More Boring Cakes

Link to TONS of photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/2yd2HQk6oMLJrRs7A

Jen pictured with Mom and Best Friends at Grand Opening 10-2022.

UPDATE AS OF 2/22/24

427654411_10234790236675916_5922075866877205487_n.jpg
428649422_10234776107882705_8173140589226134180_n.jpg
bottom of page