• TheDMonline.com Staff Member?
  • Log In
Share |

Behind the scenes with Emileigh’s Bakery

The scent of comfort food fills the front of the bakery as you enter off the Oxford Square, home to a few mixers, some cake racks and a ton of buttercream icing.

Oxford’s very own Emiliegh’s Bakery has been around for about 10 years. Its catering business started one Christmas when owner Linda Fleming and a friend decided to make gift baskets.

“I was working for the university at the time, and me and my best friend thought we could do those packages like Williams and Sonoma does,” Fleming said. “She’s very artistic, so she put on those real cutesy bows and ribbons. We put together these packages. That’s really how we got into the catering business. “

As the catering side became their emphasis, they purchased the actual bakery from Laura Cabot, who bought it from Diana Denie, who owned a very popular catering business and bakery called Diana’s Deli. The building had been around for almost 30 years, and they acquired a lot of the supplies to begin baking cakes from Denie. The bakers still use Denie’s baking pans, cookie cutters and original cake recipe.

“I honestly liked the catering side of the business, but we started baking the cakes when we bought the bakery from Laura in 2002,” Fleming said. “It’s really not much different from what you do in your own home. We use a Kitchen Aid mixer, we scrape the sides down, and pour the mixture into some pans.”

While the baking seems like an easy task, Fleming said the shaping and decorating require a little more expertise.

“It can take some work, but putting the whole cake together is a conglomeration of multiple skills,” she said. “We take in a lot of college students who already have experience making cakes and have speed because we are making a lot of cakes. We try to have at least a day’s notice, but the quickest I’ve ever done a cake is in two hours.”

At Emileigh’s Bakery, decorators use buttercream icing and squeeze gels to make each unique cake. 

“People who generally paint seem to catch on to the decorating a lot quicker than people who can draw,” Fleming said.

 Emileigh’s Bakery employs creative students around the area. As with any job, students learn some parts of the bakery business are easier than others.

 “Learning to ice cakes, I would say, has definitely been the hardest thing to learn while working here, but I enjoy coming to work everyday,” Northwest Community College student and Emleigh’s Bakery employee Katie Mitchell said. “Getting to be creative and decorating the cakes are definitely my favorite part about working here.”

“White on white cakes I would have to say are the easiest,” University of Mississippi student and Emileigh’s Bakery employee Meredith Braybeck said. “It’s more than just decorating cakes here though, we’re all really close which makes for a fun working environment, and I think that shows in our cakes.”