Ron James of Sugarbuzz Dezert Company has the honor of being my very first featured vendor…And I didn’t just choose him because of my love for his incredible snickerdoodles, but I admit that that was one small factor in my decision. 🙂 My birthday cake this year came from Sugarbuzz. I had a vision of a birthday cake to beat all other birthday cakes I’d had, combining three of my favorite things — cheesecake, banana, and cinnamon. When I approached Ron with my vision, he was willing to take on the challenge, even though he had never made a banana cheesecake before. The day I picked up my gorgeous banana cinnamon cheesecake creation, I had to make all of my friends hold the box and feel the weight. The weight, of course, is how you know it’s a good cheesecake. Then I proceeded to eat approximately half the cake myself, and I begrudingly shared the other half with my family and friends. When I die and go to Heaven, Heaven will be made of Ron’s stupendous cheesecake, and I will get to eat it for all of eternity without gaining a single pound. 🙂
Seriously, though, if you have somehow overlooked Sugarbuzz, you must run — not walk — to their booth this Saturday before Ron sells out of everything, which usually happens somewhere between Noon and 1PM. But if you’re held up and can’t make it first thing, conveniently, Ron will let you post your cookie, cake, or buzzy layaway request on Facebook or text him a layaway request, and he’ll have it packaged and waiting for you when you arrive!
Swan City Market Life: Where is Sugarbuzz’s headquarters?
Ron: Sugarbuzz is from Orlando, Florida.
SCML: How did the Sugarbuzz business come to be?
Ron: I started baking as a stress relief from my job. Baking was something that I really enjoyed doing. So I started studying up on the subject, reading cookbooks like novels and traveling to San Francisco Baking Institute to take a few baking courses. I was originally going to start a cupcake business, but every Farmers Market I tried to get into had a cupcake vendor, so I started making cheesecakes, formed the Company in July 2011 and opened up at Celebration Farmers Market.
SCML: How did you become a vendor at the Lakeland Market?
Ron: We were doing Celebration Farmers Market, and one day a new vendor came to that market selling beignets (The Poor Porker). Jarrid and Robyn became very good friends, told us about Lakeland, and suggested we check it out. One Saturday we ventured over to Lakeland, talked to a few of the Poor Porkers customers, met Jim Luna [Market manager and ceramics extraordinare], and made the decision to try it. A decision that we will never regret!
SCML: What is your favorite kind of dezert to make?
Ron: I can’t really say I have a favorite kind to make — some are easier than others, but ironically I dreaded making cookies and avoided it whenever I could. Now I make A LOT of cookies and love it!
SCML: What is your favorite kind of dezert to consume?
Ron: ANYTHING lemon and Key Lime Pie. I am a citrus person, I was born and raised in Winter Haven, and my dad always worked in the citrus industry. Don’t know if that is the reason why I love citrus but always will order citrus dezerts over anything else.
SCML: When you’re not baking dezerts, how else do you like to spend your time?
Ron: (Laughs) Baking is what I DO in my spare time. My full time job is still at Walt Disney World, where I have been employed for 24 years. Sunday is my day off. Like to chill with my Partner Walt [a Licensed Massage Therapist who provides chair massages at the Lakeland Market] and/or friends by their pool.
SCML: What is the best thing about being a vendor at the Lakeland Market?
Ron: The community and their support for the small businesses! After working two other markets — Celebration and Orlando –I can say the support from the people and the Lakeland Market management is AWESOME. Plus, Jim lets me bring any kind of dezert I want. This gives me the creative freedom to try new flavors and new offerings. Other markets I have done restricted our product mix.
SCML: Where else can people find Sugarbuzz?
Ron: We are currently in the process of opening a storefront in College Park, FL (Orlando) and hope to do so by Fall of 2013. We will continue to do the Downtown Lakeland Farmers Curb Market every Saturday though even with our Orlando location. Other than that you can find our dezerts at Caffe Positano in College Park. Who knows, maybe a location in Lakeland one day. Our customers keep asking me to!
If you’re wondering why “dezerts” is spelled wrong throughout this interview, then I direct you to Sugarbuzz’s website and the FAQ section, which points out that it’s not misspelled — it’s just buzzed! 🙂
And while you’re clicking around the internet, don’t forget to “like” Sugarbuzz on Facebook. You’ll get the inside scoop on each weekend’s flavors and the ability to post your dezert layaway needs!
H & SCML.