OWNER OF MERAKI CUSTOM CAKES
Meraki Custom Cakes officially opened its doors in 2016, and Mark Hill is the creative behind this delicious edible art. It all started in 2012 when Mark was in a bind and needed a birthday cake for his mother at the last minute; he couldn’t manage to order a custom cake in time, so he decided to try to bake and decorate one himself. Turns out he was pretty decent and started tinkering with baking as a hobby, which eventually turned into a side hustle over the course of that year.
Mark found that he really enjoyed baking and learning how to compose different flavor profiles while using sugar art to create some of the most elaborate cake designs we’ve ever seen. He is able to create such distinct-looking cakes that are truly a work of art. He said it was something he has practiced, and part of his niche is not being afraid of a challenge. He is also gifted in the ability to take a customer’s vision and interpret it into exactly what they want. “I’ve never considered myself an artist, and now that’s what I do: edible art.”
Mark worked in sales and as an HR business consultant during the years he was baking as a side project. He never really thought the cake business could support him but it made him happy. Up to this point, he had been baking for friends and family and had managed to get into a farmers market on the weekends but it wasn’t something he saw as sustainable until he established the niche of sugar art. “There are a million people in this market who will make you a cake, but not everyone is willing to take on the task of some of these designs. I am not afraid of a challenge ,and that has helped me design some pretty intricate cakes.” He was miserable at his day job, and the excitement and support he received from his customers helped him make the decision to go at it full time.
Mark joined RMMFI’s Business Launch Boot Camp class #24 and received his first loan upon completion of the program. “I couldn’t have made this business work without the support of RMMFI; I had no idea how to run the administrative side of a business and really needed the guidance. I’m forever grateful for the program and what it’s done for me.”
Most recently, Mark closed on his second loan with RMMFI and was able to purchase a van that will help him accommodate many of his business needs, including the ability to pack larger cakes and complete multiple deliveries in one trip. He was forced to get rid of his car last year and that put him in a bind when it came to getting deliveries out. Even without a car, he managed to make it work regardless, which shows the amount of dedication he has to his business and his clients. “I’ve been on the verge of giving up so many times but I somehow manage to always take it a step further if I stick to it.”
Mark explained that working with RMMFI’s Capital team has been one of the most comfortable experiences because they know him and recognize that his needs and understanding of capital are different from the next person. “I trust them because they know who I am, and I’ve been connected to the program for so long. Ryan and John met with me and let me know exactly what was expected; they provided me with a level of hand holding that I need because that part of my brain works completely differently.”
Meraki means to do something with soul, and it’s safe to say that Mark Hill lives up to that meaning. You can check out Mark’s website for orders or his Instagram page to see all of his creative cake designs. Don’t know what you want, but know you want a cool cake? Give him a call and we’re confident he’ll help you come up with the perfect cake for your occasion!