By Arus Karapetyan, Toronto, Ontario, 20 June 2021
Interview with Sona Karapetyan, founder of Lima Cakes
The statement on the front page of limacakes.com “Art comes in many shapes and forms, choose yours from Lima Cakes” describes perfectly the creations of Sona Karapetyan. A native of Armenia, for the past several years Sona has re-defined what can be expected from a cake artist. From traditional wedding cakes to abstract forms and shapes one wonders whether they are sculptures, art pieces or soon-to-be-consumed cakes.
Through her work, Sona seems to tell a story that leaves a lasting impression on the observer. Her cake art earned her the Wedding Cake Award of Cake Masters Magazine Awards in 2019. She has held master classes in Paris, Toronto, London, and Los Angeles. Lima Cakes has also been featured in various renowned online and print publications such as Wedluxe, Wedded Wonderland, Food Network, TLC and others.
Keghart: Tell us what inspired you to start Lima Cakes, and the journey that brought you here today.
SK: About five or six years ago, when my older daughter turned 6, I was ready to start a new career. Jewellery design was the initial plan when going to Armenia to learn a craft at that time. But upon learning about the toxic materials involved, it would not have been a safe choice in launching a home business. Instead, I tried an internship at a famous bakery in Armenia. After working three 12-hour days the master baker entrusted me with cake decoration and from the beginning I fell in love with this craft. It was rewarding to work with different materials. Upon my return to Canada my friends and family began ordering cakes to give me the opportunity to practice. I spent many sleepless nights trying to execute different ideas and visions. After a month of making cakes for friends and family Lima Cakes was launched.
Keghart: One can often see natural elements in your creations and decorations such as flowers, plants and trees, all handmade. You also utilize complex elements to balance different shapes and forms. Please tell us about the process from design to completion.
SK: Designs and approach to creating the cake are according to the customer’s preferences. I approach customers individually and treat them according to their character. Some people have more organic, more natural tastes. Others have architectural/structural taste. Some are more feminine or masculine. The process starts by asking lots of questions to the customers. I also send them designs from my portfolio and they send their desired flower designs and color palette. This information gives me an idea of where and how to start. After receiving all the information, I start to work on the design sometimes offering the client three sketches to choose from. On other occasions, they grant me total artistic freedom. It also may happen that the design idea gets completed towards the end and that may necessitate making changes on a shorter due date closer to the event. In other instances it is the cake or the occasion that leads me in the right direction.
Keghart: Tell us about the transformation from cake-making to creating art.
SK: Since I was a child it was my dream to become an artist. That is why the cake has become a “canvas” for me. I still do not consider myself an artist, but my drive and determination have been the sources for success in a short period of time.
Keghart: Through your master classes you enable many other cake artists to learn how to achieve creative freedom and design beautiful cakes. Please tell us about the cities you have held such classes and about your experience in that endeavour?
SK: To enable the creative side of the participants is most important. Through the classes participants are encouraged to push boundaries to create what they imagine, the color coordination, where to place them, and the texture. It is important to exemplify courage, to take risk in creating what they imagine and in new ways. For example, creating cakes with designs that involve structural challenges and which present a great risk in achieving a vision. People are visual and to gain trust it is important to have a strong portfolio. The classes are inspiring because one meets many new people, learns about how others think, how they act, how they move, how they create. Many ideas come through the class experience. It is also fun to work with different types of people and cultures. It is an inspiring process and fulfilling. It also encourages me to move forward. I have taught in France, Malaysia, Singapore, Kuwait, Dubai, the United States, Britain, and other places.
Keghart: Where does the name Lima Cakes come from.
SK: Lima comes from the names of my children Lily and Maya.
Keghart: Do you have a website, what is the best way to find you.
SK: I can be reached through www.limacakes.com.