Deb Joyce

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1960. My parents relocated to Webster, NY in 1964 where they raised me and my three brothers.

What was your introduction to cooking/ baking?

I was introduced to cooking and baking by my mother. She cooked every meal and always had freshly baked desserts each day. 

Where and how did you train? 

I did my training at Tops Markets by Caravan Baking Co., Rich’s Better Cream, TopsBakery Office Training team. I learned the processes and practiced daily to improve and perfect my skills.

Where and how did you train? (Culinary School, Internships, self-taught, family member etc.)

I began my professional career working in Tops Markets Bakeries when they first came to Rochester. My journey began at Baytown Plaza. This is where I began my journey of training and learning all areas of the bakery. I have been Food Safety Certified since 1990.

I was professionally trained by Rich’s Better Cream company. I was trained in how to properly make Better Cream icing for cakes, cupcakes, parfaits, etc. This is where my cake journey began, learning tips and tricks of cake decorating.

I was trained in Butter Cream cakes by Tops Markets Bakery Training team. I was always interested in cake decorating as the cake was always a blank slate to be created. There were always competitions for the managers to work with the cake decorator to design a display, maintain that display and see which store had the best display of cakes, cupcakes and baked goods that brought in the highest increase in sales. We placed first for 2 years in a row.

I was trained by Caravan Baking Company to make New York bagels from scratch from mixing dough to running the bagel machine, boiling, and baking the bagels. I was also trained by Caravan  Baking to make the different bread doughs that were put through the large hopper on the big bread and roll machine. I was trained in making scratch croissants and operated the croissant machines. I was trained in pastry by Caravan Baking Company as well. I was also trained in scratch muffins, pies, cookies, etc. I was entered into a competition for who could make the best  Marble Rye Bread. This included a tight roll of the dark and light dough with an even roll with small air holes through the dough.

I did all of the baking and setting up of bakeries for all of the Rochester Tops Bakeries.

I became ill and could no longer perform my duties. While recovering from my illness I earned my BFA in Visual Communication placing emphasis on digital design.

I began working at Dunkin Donuts in 2005 and have been a part of the management team.

Baking is a true physical labor of love and a passion to create.  My motto is quality first – If I would not buy it, I will not sell it.

When did you open our business and what inspired you to go out on your own?

I did not own my own business but, was always asked if I could make cakes for birthdays, showers, graduations, weddings, etc. I have always done it for the passion of decorating. Taking a blank cake and turning it into someone’s wishes for their special day or occasion brings me joy. I always try to add in an extra touch of creativity to exceed their dreams. The smiles are always worth the effort!

Where do your recipes come from? 

I use family recipes as well as things I’ve found online, frequently putting my own twist on a recipe. The trial-and-error process is always a good way to learn and improve.

Is there any one chef that you admire the most? Who and why?

I do not have any one chef that I admire more than the other. I feel that all chefs have something good to offer, be it tips or tricks to make something easier or to give your work a better result.

When you are “Off the Clock” do you like preparing meals for friends and family or do you prefer someone else to do it?

I enjoy preparing a meal for family and friends. I like to prepare meals that would be something that the people have not had or something that is a variation of a more mainstream dish. However, I cannot lie; it is always nice when someone else cooks!  It always tastes good and I love a break now and then!

You have a day to eat anything you want, what will your menus be?

I would make a simple chicken French with rice, bacon wrapped asparagus. For dessert I would make a dark chocolate cake filled with chocolate mousse, iced with dark chocolate icing and topped with fresh fruit.

What is your favorite thing to bake?

My passion is decorating cakes. I truly enjoy coming up with ideas to meet each person’s wishes.  I’m always trying to include an extra detail or two that will bring smiles to faces and provide a memory that will last forever.

What are your best and worst baking skills? List a baking or decorating skill you have mastered and one that no matter how hard you try, you just haven’t been able to get the hang of?

My better skills are icing a smooth, even cake while working with a piping bag. I am working on learning how to work with rice paper cake decorations and am not having the best of luck. I will practice until I master it though!

Is there a handy baking utensil that you just can’t do without?

I like to have my turn table. Also, I can’t make cakes without my small and medium spatulas.

Besides baking, what are your other hobbies?

I enjoy gardening with my husband. We have been working in the back yard and designing our retirement park for when we retire.  I enjoy designing graphic images in fireworks and photoshop. 

My husband and I like to work on our N-scale train board.

Please include anything else that you would like to share.

I’ve always had the need to be creative to keep a happy balance in my life. I am a mom of three beautiful grown children and a grandmother of three beautiful active granddaughters. I enjoy trying to maintain creativity with the kids so we can build memories and build their creative side.

I live daily with autoimmune disease (Graves Disease and Thyroid Eye Disease), and I have had to adjust my life and learn new ways to make my life as happy and healthy as I possibly can as life is a gift. 

I also sit on the Board of Directors for Amgen.

My motto is – Life is Good, Be Kind

I am honored to have been asked to participate in the Chocolate Ball this year as you can accomplish anything that you put your mind to. I am thrilled to be able to do this and be a mother daughter team!