Most people wouldn't be able to blame an awkward situation on cake... but Stacey Williams can.

The Whanganui woman was researching bondage when a friend walked into her kitchen, "did a complete 180", and walked out again.

It's all in a day's work for Ms Williams, who runs a cake-making business, which she recently relocated to Aramoho from Palmerston North.

She had been researching handcuffs and drawing pictures of them for a Fifty Shades of Grey themed cake when her friend showed up.


A man ordered the cake for his wife for a party.

"He wanted anything that looked like cuffs or whips or feathers or masks. I was able to bring it all together," she said.

Making a cake is a big job for Ms Williams, who can spend weeks or even months researching a cake before putting it together.

"You really want to please that person because this is their idea, this is their dream. This was something they were thinking about for months and months on end.

"My first cake, it was so stressful. I think I researched for months and months and months."

While Ms Williams had been making cakes for a almost 20 years, it was the first cake someone had paid her for, and she even attended courses in Palmerston North to prepare for it.

She said the woman who ordered the cake, which was Frozen-themed for a birthday party, cried when she first saw it.

"I didn't expect that reaction but... it was at that moment when you know this is what you're supposed to do, when you get that impact from providing that kind of service."

That was two years ago. Since then Ms Williams' business has taken off, and her grand opening of Stacey's Cakes last month kept her busy.

Despite the opening being scheduled for 2pm, people began showing up at 9.30am, she said.

For the next three days, Ms Williams said she was constantly on the phone with customers.

She got her catering certificates while serving in the Army with her fiance, Richard Tidbury.

The pair plan to marry in spring, and while Ms Williams will bake the wedding cake, her children will be decorating it for her.

She has a 4-year-old daughter, two 5-year-old twin sons, and two more sons aged 19 and 20.

Ms Williams first tried her hand at cake-making for her oldest son's first birthday. Before that she was always interested in art.

"I was a child that would draw outside the lines. Back then we had school certificate and I always pushed the boundaries with how far I could get away with but still stay within the criteria. [In art] I pushed the boundaries as far as I could by literally drawing outside the lines. When I was questioned about why I would do that, I questioned why couldn't they see?"

In cake-making, Ms Williams spends time talking to her clients to get a full understanding of what they want.

"I don't know who the person is so I don't know what they think is amazing compared to what I think is amazing," she said.

Ms Williams' favourite flavour cake is deep chocolate mixed with red velvet. She was once asked to make a bubblegum flavoured cake.

She prides herself on the "home baking" taste to her food.

"The moment it tastes like it's processed is when I will end up giving it up."

She said her baking needed to taste like "something that grandma would have made back in the day".

Ms Williams, who grew up in Whanganui but left as a teenager, said she was "just amazed how wonderful Whanganui is".

"Everyone's been open armed and information sharing.

"I'm just happy to be home."

Rising reputation

Stacey's Cakes can be found at 6 Gibson St, Aramoho, and the old Cherry Cottage property. Stacey's Cakes can also be found on Facebook.