Publix saves a couple’s wedding cake via Zoom
When the coronavirus pandemic derailed a Florida-born bride’s dream of having Publix cake at her wedding, the supermarket chain came to the rescue, showing that not all heroes wear capes. They wear aprons sometimes.
Newlyweds Erin and Ben Cohen had expected their ceremony in their hometown of Coral Springs to be surrounded by loved ones, but when the pandemic broke out they caused them to change their travel plans and turn around.
The couple began to ponder how to bring a Publix cake to their new wedding venue in Ben’s parents’ back yard in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where family and friends saw them marry live on Zoom.
With Publix locations only reaching as far as Virginia, getting a fluffy buttercream cake over 1,600 miles north would be a challenge.
“Since we first met, Erin has told me everything she loves about Florida. When I first visited Florida with her, the first thing we had to do was get a piece of Publix cake, ”said Ben Cohen.
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First, Erin and Ben tried to recreate the Publix cake recipe. But none of them have formal baking experience, and finding the recipe on Google turned out to be more difficult than they expected. they felt defeated.
After an interview with the Associated Press, Erin’s dream became a reality. Publix received a message of their desire to recreate their famous cake and reached out to the couple to see if they would be interested in a wedding cake decorating session through Zoom.
Erin and Ben said “I’m doing” to Publix’s offer and the grocery store “Where Shopping is a Pleasure” took action by sending everything Erin and Ben needed. Her special delivery included buttercream frosting, pre-baked cake layers, spatulas, a turntable to frost the cake, and decorative gum paste flowers from Publix’s Lakeland, Florida headquarters.
Brittany Lavallee, a Publix technical bakery specialist, walked her through the process from start to finish. She explained how to put the layers together, icing the cake, and adding the finishing touches with gum paste flowers.
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While virtual cake decorating is not a traditional Publix service, the couple’s special moment was viewed by the grocery chain as a “unique opportunity to create a memorable wedding moment”.
“Publix is looking for ways to surprise and delight our customers, so if there is an opportunity in the future, we may take it,” said Maria Brous, Publix Director of Communications.
A special note
Publix added a special touch by delivering an identical wedding cake to Erin’s family in Florida, where they were watching the wedding via Zoom, so the entire family could share the same cake and also feel together from different states.
“Publix gave my family the opportunity to enjoy the exact same wedding cake we had at the ceremony in Minnesota. Sharing that experience with them was invaluable,” said Erin Cohen.
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Since the pandemic has no known end in sight, Lavallee has the following tips to offer couples who want to virtually decorate their wedding cake with a cake decorator of their choice:
- Consider a simple design. This can create a really elegant look if you embellish it with flowers or other accents. Erin and Ben’s cake, for example, has a simple design that is made even more beautiful with decorative flowers.
- Make sure you have all the tools and ingredients you will need. Things like a spatula and turntable (to use when frosting the cake) make the process so much easier for a home improvement baker. Once you have the supplies, it’s also a good idea to do a practice run so you are comfortable and ready to start your special day.
- Have fun! This is the most important tip of all. Do-it-yourself projects are about experiences and memories. Preparing your own cake for a special event like a wedding means even more when you do it yourself for the people you love.
For couples who don’t plan on canceling their 2020 wedding and choose to do things in virtual style, find ways to create small but meaningful experiences that bring everyone together even when they have to be apart.
“It was possible for Erin and Ben to get an impression of home with a Publix wedding cake: one for the personal event and one for Erin’s family who is watching live via Zoom. Although they couldn’t be together physically, they could still share the moment and they will always be able to share those memories, ”Lavallee said.