By Steve Gravelle, correspondent
A confluence of interests and experience led Jennifer Smith to create elaborate, intricately detailed cakes in her Cedar Rapids backyard.
“I dabbled,” Smith said. “I did have a background in graphic design. So, graphic design, food.”
Chicago native Smith worked in restaurants, including a European-style patisserie and cafe specializing in pastries and cakes.
“I fell in love with the baking, and doing cakes and cookies,” she said. “I was dabbling in both things — design and food.”
After operating her own cafe for three years, Smith earned a degree in graphic design from Southern Illinois University in 2007.
She and her husband, Loughton Smith, moved to Cedar Rapids in 2011 and she began working at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center, operated by Kirkwood Community College’s hospitality management program, in 2013.
“They wanted me to work with edible flowers, and I’d never worked with the stuff before,”