Trailnet Champion – Ericka Frank
This month’s Trailnet Champion is Ericka Frank, owner of The Cup and The Cakery where she releases her creative outlet through an obsession she’s been mastering since she was 14–baking and decorating the most stunning cakes. If you’ve been to the Chain of Rocks Bridge Bash or our Movers & Shakers Gala, there’s a good chance you’ve tasted the desserts she’s donated. In her own way, she’s helping Trailnet connect St. Louis by bringing people together over sweet treats. Check out this quick Q&A to learn what inspires her to feed her community. Not only can you find her treats at The Cup and The Cakery, if you attend our Gala in November, you’ll get to experience the awesome cupcake tower she’s designing!
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
What makes you wake up every day inspired to bake and advance your business?
I am someone who finds great satisfaction in working with my hands and creating something beautiful. I am addicted to Instagram because I’m such a visual person. I spend way too many hours mesmerized by pictures of beautiful cakes, desserts, and fresh flowers.
How have Trailnet and The Cup and The Cakery worked together in the past?
The Cakery has been donating cake for the Chain of Rocks Bridge Bash for the past five years. The Cup donated the dessert for the Gala last year and will do so this year as well. Last year, The Cup made 29 nine-inch round cakes that were sliced and served. This year, we will be making cupcakes in a variety of flavors that will be displayed on a cupcake tower topped with a top tier cake for the 30th anniversary.
How did you discover Trailnet?
Trailnet’s director of programs Cindy Mense was actually my first boss when I was a dietitian! I came to St. Louis to do my internship in nutrition and dietetics and begin the Master’s program in Medical Dietetics at SLU. One of my community rotations during the internship was under Cindy at Family Care Health Centers. I applied and was hired by Cindy at the end of my internship. After that, I worked as a dietitian for three years, then I realized God did not create me to be a dietitian so I finished my Master’s Degree and eventually opened The Cakery in 2005 and The Cup in 2007. Later, I knew that Cindy was working at Trailnet and we re-connected. I have a strong foods background because of nutrition, but I definitely enjoy the “sweet” side of things much more. I’m not much of a “real food” chef!
What are your thoughts on our Trailnet Connecting St. Louis vision?
I am so thankful for the work that Trailnet is doing! I am particularly encouraged by the amount and types of education that Trailnet does, and I am really excited about Trailnet’s vision for the future that I learned about at the Movers & Shakers Gala last year. I believe in Trailnet’s mission and am so happy that we can play a part in supporting the organization with what we do.
What do you do for fun?
I hang out with my husband Kevin and our adopted Schnauzer Juli. I always say if I didn’t own a bakery, I would just hang out with a bunch of dogs every day. Over the last several years, we have adopted three senior dogs, all of them eight years or older and Schnauzers or Schnauzer mixes. I also keep bees! Since about age 12, I’ve been fascinated by bees and I finally decided three years ago that I could carve out the time to do it. I also enjoy being outdoors walking, mowing the yard, building a fire in the fire pit or going to art fairs, food festivals, or new restaurants.
In your opinion, what makes a city thrive?
Perpetual growth of opportunities–specifically opportunities for people to engage in culture.
Any final thoughts?
Everything in moderation, right? I might be a dietitian gone bad, but I still want to promote the health and well-being of our city!