Local baker names business to honor grandmothers, mother
“My grandma used to call me her Little Posy, and so I started calling her My Big Posy, and the name just stuck. My other grandma used to squeeze my cheeks and call me Sugar. So this one’s for you, grandmas, and for my mama who passed along her love of baking to me.”
And this is why Heather Moore has named her bakery business, Posies & Sugar.
“Posy honors Pat Arnett of Hendersonville, N.C., and Sugar honors the late Arline Nivin of Santa Barbara. My late mother, Susie Nivin, passed along her love of baking to me. I remember being on the kitchen floor stirring things as a child,” said Ms. Moore, 32.
Now she spends time in her own kitchen on the lower East Side “creating tasty desserts for others to enjoy, to celebrate life with, to pause over and enjoy a sweet moment with loved ones.”
Included are cakes, cupcakes, pies, tarts and cookies.
“Mama’s Chocolate Cake is my signature item. It’s made from my mother’s recipe. My brother and I always had it for our birthday parties. I like to incorporate familiar baked goods from my heritage,” said Ms. Moore.
Other cake and cupcake flavors are Vanilla Bean, Strawberry Bliss, Carrot, Lemon Drop, Coconut Dream and Red Velvet.
“A popular item is what I call a Naked Cake, where the layers can be seen through the frosting,” said Ms. Moore.
Frostings include Classic White Buttercream, Fresh Strawberry, Maple Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter, Shredded Coconut, Whipped Cream and Coconut Whipped Cream, which is vegan.
For the Peanut Butter frosting, she mixes butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar and milk.
“I use a cake turntable and spatula to decorate the cake,” she said.
Cake fillings are Fresh Berries, Homemade Jam, Lemon Curd, Dulce le Leche, Whipped Cream and Peanut Butter.
For decorations, Ms. Moore chooses a combination of nontoxic, locally sourced organic flowers from the farmers market as well as Trader Joe’s, depending on the order and season.
“I don’t use a lot of fancy decorations. I’m inspired by Santa Barbara, which is such a beautiful place to live. I also use floral or masking tape to protect any stems from coming into direct contact with the dessert itself, preventing any funky tastes from seeping in there,” she said.
“I learned about decorating cakes when I was 15 and worked at Cold Stone Creamery, an ice cream shop in Goleta.”
Posies & Sugar cake prices range from a mini “Smash Cake” that serves up to four for $30 to a three-tiered round cake that serves up to 30 for $250.
“The Smash Cakes are popular for children’s birthday parties and for elopements. We’ve had a lot of those this past year. People from out of town come here for weddings, bridal showers and anniversaries. I don’t do huge cakes. Smaller ones are my niche,” said the Santa Barbara native, who graduated from Anacapa School in 2008 and earned her bachelor’s degree in international development and geography in 2012 at UCLA.
She taught in South America for four months and had a variety of jobs in Santa Barbara before launching Posies & Sugar in 2017.
“My husband Matt and I took a six-month trip to southern Asia, Australia and New Zealand and had a wonderful time. But I really missed having a kitchen and hosting people, celebrating and baking,” said Ms. Moore, adding that while she does all the creative work, Mr. Moore “runs all things marketing and numbers, and if we’re being honest, he does most of the taste testing.”
The couple are parents of Paloma, 3, who will be joined by a baby brother in January.
Among the selection of pies at Posies & Sugar are Berry Crumble, Dutch Apple, Fresh Peach, Pumpkin and Pecan; and tarts include Brown Butter Raspberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Fresh Seasonal Fruit, Peach Frangipane and Whole Lemon.
Cookies include Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Brown Butter Coconut, Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Butter, Gingersnaps and Snickerdoodles.
“I love to create custom treats, too, so if you’re dreaming of something not on the menu, let me know,” said Ms. Moore.
“I believe that beauty in life is worth celebrating, worth throwing confetti in the air over and eating a slice of cake — or two. I believe in flowers and in being kind to ourselves and in simple, good things like peach pie.”