Taking “Homemade” to Heart: Auburn Baker’s Specialty Cakes, Cookies a Hit | Lifestyles
Hannah Cartwright’s cakes and other creations are homemade in more ways than one.
The owner of Hann’s Homemade actually makes everything she sells from scratch. But she also does everything with as much care as she would if she were the customer, she told the Citizen.
“If someone commissions me for a special event, I’m going to act like it’s my special event,” she said. “I’ve put so much time and learning into the recipes that I use, recipes that I love and think are awesome.”
Cartwright, 28, a Cato native who now lives in Elbridge, ran Hann’s Homemade from his home for six years before opening a storefront in the former Maggie’s Pies & Pasta in Auburn in February 2021. His cakes, cupcakes and cookies Decorated Sugar Shops are also a lot of requests for her to have anything for sale there, but she’s happy to take orders when it’s open Wednesday through Sunday.
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Baking, and especially decorating, has been a passion for Cartwright since childhood. She is self-taught, although she worked at Camerons Bakery in Auburn, the city’s Wegmans and Lasca’s bakery, where she sold her cupcakes. This passion has also been inspired by the growing popularity of baking over the past decade, with shows like ‘Cupcake Wars’ and ‘The Great British Bake Off’.
“The different things you can do with cakes and cookies are crazy,” she said. “It’s fun to learn and fun to do. It can be difficult, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Cartwright has seen its share of tough orders, especially over the past year due to word of mouth. They include a cake with polar bears and hot air balloons for a gender reveal party, and another with a puppy she felt “really nervous” about because it was one of her first orders in her window display. With two tiers and intricate fondant icing, these types of orders take about 10 hours.
In a Facebook review in March, customer Lily Monahan said the baby shower cake she ordered from Hann’s Homemade nearly brought her to tears.
“I thought it was the cutest thing ever,” Monahan said of the cake, which featured a white bunny with a bow tie on top. “We also saved the bunny to freeze it (because) I just couldn’t let it go.”
Before he could complete these baking challenges, Cartwright faced a banking challenge. She submitted her bid for her showcase in January 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed her loan approval until July. After that, the renovation of the building on Burt Avenue took about seven months to complete. Hann’s Homemade is also her, although she hopes to hire employees in the future.
She has the request to support this, between weddings, birthdays, graduations, showers and other events. Cartwright has some availability this summer, she said, but advises placing orders about a month in advance. It’s not just because of the number of orders she handles, but because she wants to be able to take the time to give people what they want, the way she wants.
“I love doing pretty things for people,” she said. “I’m just excited to see people getting excited about what I do.”