Meet the Queen behind the Owl Bakery and their wonderful confections
By Joan Durbin /// Photography by Samantha Shal
The cake on Alexia Mann’s table looked so much like a football that I was tempted to pick it up and try a short pass to my companion.
What made it so realistic was the surface texturing that matched the exterior of an actual football.
“That was my husband Josh’s idea,” Mann said with a smile. “He helps me sometimes with the cakes.”
A specialty baker for the past five years, Mann turns out all manner of mouthwatering cakes and cupcakes from the Owl Cafe and Bakery located inside her Kennesaw home where she lives with her husband, son Jinn, 11, and daughter Kira, 6.
It has been only in the last two years, however, that gridiron-themed cakes have been in her repertoire.
“My son started playing football in the 4th grade, and I made a bunch of cakes for his team,” Mann said.
With her mom a Gator grad, dad an Auburn fan and a brother playing for a team in Paulding County, the game is big in Mann’s family. Kids in her neighborhood attend Kell High School and the Mann household attends the Longhorns games and is a team sponsor.
Mann soon found herself making more and more cakes built around all aspects of the pigskin sport, and soon friends and neighbors were requesting pastries that celebrated their own team alliances.
“We live in the South and the SEC is a huge deal here. Almost every guy has a team he loves,” she said.
Her creations range from fields and goalposts, jerseys, helmets and balls to cupcakes and tiered cakes with team colors and décor.
One of the creations she had most fun with was a three-tiered stack cake that on the outside appeared to be a simple chocolate confection with the University of Georgia team logo on top. But when it was sliced, layers of vanilla, red velvet and dark chocolate were revealed, proudly representing UGA colors.
Some of the most popular flavors for the cakes have been bourbon vanilla, cinnamon spice, salted caramel and an Aztec mocha, a tasty blend of coffee, cinnamon and dark chocolate. Prices start at $50 for one tier and approach $200, depending on a cake’s intricacy. Cupcakes run $2 apiece, with a quantity discount.
Ordering can be done via her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TheOwlCafeandBakery, or by phone, (404) 988-2259. With a nod to her full time job as a conservation easement consultant, Mann asks for up to two weeks’ notice if an order will have some complexity to the design.