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THE MIAMI HERALD
Brother-Sister Team Mix Well In New Pines Bakery Business
BY LESLIE ELLENBOGEN VOGEL
August 3, 2003
A new Pembroke Pines bakery has a history that dates back more than eight decades, from Cuba to Puerto Rico -- and now to South Florida.
Owners Beatriz Otero and her brother, Jorge Garcia opened Elite Cake Creations on June 12 at 9920 NW Sixth Ct.
The family's baking business spans three generations of the Garcia family, beginning with grandfather Valentin Garcia Sr. in Cuba. The family left Cuba after Fidel Castro came into power and moved to Puerto Rico, where they opened another bakery.
''I grew up in the business,'' Jorge Garcia said.
At Elite Cake Creations, customers use their creativity and imagination along with the owners' expertise to make the cake of their dreams a reality.
Garcia was 14 when his sister Beatriz was born. He grew up in Puerto Rico and was raised in the Dominican Republic, where the Garcia family relocated. At age 18, he left to attend the University of Florida, where he studied architecture and art history.
Marriage and fatherhood sidetracked Garcia's college career. He went to work for a Publix in Gainesville, where he worked in the bakery. He eventually moved to Miami, where he was employed by a cake company and where he learned the craft of baking and decorating wedding cakes.
Otero moved to South Florida to attend Florida International University, where she earned a degree in business administration and marketing.
''After working in other fields, I decided it was time for my brother and me to open our own business,'' she said.
The siblings both live in Pembroke Pines.
At Elite Cake Creations, Otero handles the business and catering end of the business and Garcia does the baking.
Not surprisingly, wedding cakes are a specialty at Elite Cake Creations. When a bride orders her cake, she meets with Otero to discuss what she wants.
''We offer them personalized service and help with the details of the cake presentation on the table the day of the wedding,'' Otero said.
They use candles, flowers and other decorative accents to highlight the cake.
Novelty cakes in the shape of dolphins, boats or Spider-Man also are available.
Cakes for bridal showers, baby showers, anniversaries, birthdays and other special occasions can be ordered.
''We try to match the cake with the theme of the party,'' Otero said. ``We want to work with the customer to personalize each cake.''
Other yummy offerings at Elite include individual desserts and pastries. For example, one pastry is a guava mousse creation with cream cheese. The Dobo Torte is made with a cookie-like dough, coffee liqueur, and coffee butter cream. And eclairs, brownies, and pastelitos are always freshly baked.
Wedding cake orders should be placed at least six months before the big event. Other special-occasion cakes should be ordered at least a week in advance.
Wedding cake prices at Elite start at $2 per person, including delivery of the cake. An anniversary or birthday cake starts at $1.50 per person.
Elite Cake Creations is at 9920 NW Sixth Ct. in the Palm Johnson Plaza.Business hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.