Let Them Eat Cake! Interest in art leads to cake design

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Nin Glawe shows the steps that go into finishing a cake.

By Jean Marie Hall

Freelance Writer

Life sometimes takes strange turns. Take Nin Glawe’s life, for instance.

Nin was always interested in art. In high school at MFL, Monona, she took lots of art classes. After high school, she attended Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo to study commercial art. She had visions of moving to Seattle and finding a job using her talent in some form. Maybe graphic arts.

But, as often happens, life took Nin in a different direction. She married, had two sons and divorced. She found herself working at the Clayton County Sheriff’s office for five years. Then the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s office in Mason City for another year and a half or two.

Nin is now back in Clayton County and has been working at Pedretti’s Bakery for about 7 years. Surprisingly, this is the job that has finally let her practice her artistic talents - in the form of cake decorating.

“As I worked, I’d often watch Jamie and Jane decorating cakes. It looked challenging but also like fun,” Nin remembers, “Jamie and Christopher asked me if I’d like to start decorating cakes as a way to alleviate some of the stress on Jamie. That was in January 2014.”

Jamie Reimer, along with her husband, Christopher Reimer, are the current owners of Pedretti’s, and Jane Reimer, now deceased, Christopher’s mother, was the former owner. Jane was the daughter of long-time owner and founder of the bakery, Joe Pedretti, also now deceased, and Christopher’s grandfather.

As Jamie and Christopher began to recognize Nin’s talent, they approached her about taking a course in cake decorating. They offered to pay for the course and all the equipment needed. How could she turn that down?

“It was a four-month course,” says Nin, “Each month was for something different.”

The first month was dealing with butter cream frosting; the second, flowers and cake design. The third month taught the use of gum paste and fondant while the fourth month was advanced cake decorating.

When asked if she was the only one going down to Marion from here, Nin said, “yes, but sometimes I would get someone to ride with me because it was about ten o’clock when it was over. Since I’d been up very early for work, I was afraid I’d be too tired to drive.”

“I’m pretty particular, a perfectionist,” she goes on, “and I want the customer to be happy. The hardest part is trying to get the same vision as the customer.”




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