Sweet Laura & her magical pastries
Some might hope that this article will pierce Laura’s secret recipes and ingredients. But not this time, it’s all about her! You will have the privilege to know more about the wonderful women that stands behind these fabulous and great cake’s creations and you will understand that the secret ingredient, it’s her.
When I met Laura the first time, I wanted to quit my job and get associated to her. Unfortunately, I did not have baking talents. Behind her soft face and voice, stands an amazing, strong, determined and hard worker woman. I am sure you will enjoy the reading as much as I enjoyed discovering her.
- Age and place of birth: just turned 40 🙂 Bogotá, Colombia
- Nationality: Swiss / Colombian
- Civil status: Married
- Children 2: Federica 7, Matias 2
- Studies: Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Mayor in Marketing. Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts
- Profession: Cake Designer
Who is she? Laura was born and grew up in Bogota (Columbia). Her mother is Colombian and her Father Swiss-German. She left Bogota after having obtained her Business Administration, to study cooking at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Her professional career is divided in three:
- her favorite field of work and “passion”, as she worked in two professional kitchens Relais & Châteaux and a catering company in NY
- her safety net, after her move in Geneva, where she worked 5 years for Louis Vuitton (LV)
- her ultimate love, finally starting her cake business
When she is not in her kitchen baking or looking after her family, she enjoys practicing sports mainly running, playing tennis, yoga and waterski. She also also likes to read. Despite all these changes and mainly having to leave New- York, she will tell you that“ I am grateful for what life has given me and to live in a country like Switzerland.
What do you think were your biggest life events and challenges? “On the personal side, the birth of my two children”, like most of the mothers.“On the on the professional side, to make the decision of studying BA and not going into cooking school right after graduating from high school”. (Laura, we all do what we believe are wise choices sometimes instead of following our heart and passion. And most of these choices are dictated by education or culture). Then she opens up about her move to Geneva: “It was also a challenge when we left NYC having the dream job I had at the time (working in the pastry department of a big catering company) to follow my husband to live in Geneva. I didn’t find a job that I liked in the kitchens, so I applied as a sales person in Louis Vuitton. I worked there for 2 years before joining the Swiss LVMH headquarters to be an assistant, followed by a position as CRM (Customer Relationship Manager). Then came the challenge of making the decision of leaving a good job, with a salary and benefits, as well as security to start making cakes from home, without knowing if it was going to work out or not.”
What’s the story behind Pastry & Cake Design? When did you start and what was the trigger also? Inspire us 🙂 Laura is demonstrating that despite all the obstacles that we may find on our way, nothing can stop us from doing what we really want to! We have to dare, take risks in life and work hard and then sooner or later, something good will come up out of it. Follow your inner instinct as she did: “Since I was 15, I have always been in love with cooking and food, but I didn’t know which direction to follow because of the variety and the complexity of the industry. As I started working in the kitchens, I fell in love with baking and pastry, but still I wasn’t sure if this would be what I would be doing for a living. While working for LV I saw an interview of a cake designer in NY and contacted her to see if she could teach me. I booked a flight to NYC and took a few lessons with her and did a short internship with another well-known cake designer. And that is when I discovered I was ready and prepared to go to the next step. I came back from NYC, quit my job and started Laura Moser Pastry & Cake Design in December 2008. I started making cakes for friends and trying to test the market, see what worked, and turned out, what didn’t, made a business plan and then the snow ball effect started. When I started almost 9 years go the cake designer business wasn’t yet developed at all in Geneva There were very few bakeries and I saw a big business opportunity for my career development.”
We learn from each and every experience in life. What did you learn working with Louis Vuitton? How do you apply it to your business today? “I am very grateful and proud to have had the opportunity to work with LVMH. It was an amazing knowledge gathering experience and I owe a lot to the company. I learned how to interact with high profile clients, how to provide top quality service to them and deal with their demands in the way they expect it. This is key in service oriented industries such as the one I am in. More than a product, we are offering an experience. I also learned to be a perfectionist in everything I do and to strive for the best standards as well as how to manage a team and to be a leader with confidence.” She said. And if you ask her if she regrets that move to risk it all, “Absolutely not!”
You must be working quite a lot and also during week-end. How do you cope with your family’s life? Ladies, let’s stop complaining and read her answer: “I actually work nonstop which is a big challenge when trying to find a balance between family life and work. I am lucky to have a supporting husband, a fantastic mom (she comes and gives a hand whenever she is around) and an amazing colleague in the kitchen and with both of their commitment and talent, I manage to obtain balance at home with the kids and the kitchen at the same time. Depending on the amount of orders I work at night once the kids are in bed or
I wake up at 4am to work until I can come home to wake up the kids, prepare breakfast and take them to school.
Whenever I am at home I take the time to answer an email or a phone call while playing with the kids and helping my daughter with her homework. During the weekends, I try to take time off, but when we have too many orders, I need to go back to the kitchen. My life swings by between the kitchen, a playdate, a nap, a birthday party or a dinner with my husband and friends.”
You are trying to keep up to date by attending seminars and courses in NY ? I wish I could do it more often. However, with the amount of work I have in addition my children and family it has become more difficult. Nowadays I use technology a lot. I also tend to read and buy books about cake design and practice new baking techniques and cake ideas frequently.
What are the main ingredients to become a “Chef Pâtissier”? Passion is definitely the main one. Laura explains why: “we spend so many hours standing up and running around the kitchen for long hours. Our salaries are not as high as in other industries, so if you don’t have that passion it doesn’t make sense to become a pastry chef.” And then a good dose of commitment, discipline, cleanliness with a very good sense of organisation. “Paying attention to detail is imperative and being creative is at the utmost importance” she adds.
What’s the next step for Pastry & Cake Design? Laure replied that “For the moment there are no future plans besides making better cakes, cookies and cupcakes. We always strive to make our designs taste and look better every time. Sometimes the kitchen becomes very small for the amount of orders that we receive and I ask myself if it would be better to move and find a bigger place, hire more staff, etc. I think at the end of the day I am very satisfied with what we have accomplished, how the team is doing, the kitchen location and the brand we’ve created and developed. I wouldn’t like to get bigger and setting aside my responsibilities as a mother and as a wife. I see the kitchen as my third child and I couldn’t pay more attention to it than the one I am already doing.” However, she revealed that “Maybe in the future I would consider writing a book. This has always been in the back of my mind.”… which could be very good news for us J
Which advice would you give to any women who wants to change carrier and/ or start a new one? “The first piece of advice would be to follow your dreams.” She said “Make sure it is a true passion because you will have to work hard to get wherever you want to get. You will have very hard days. The path is never easy and there will be days when you will ask yourself why you got yourself into this. Nevertheless, once you start achieving some short-term goals, you will gain more self-confidence and start to discover the meaning as to why you decided to do what you do. And this is when I remember a Dr. Seuss book my parents gave me when I graduated from high school and that has been beside me all along. My favorite quote in this book is:
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. “
Where can we reach her? Check her website www.laura-moser.com where you can find all her contact details.
More about you:
- Biggest regrets: Not being able to work longer in NYC.
- Lessons learned: You learn from your mistakes and if you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will.
- Dreams: Have a good and healthy life surrounded by love.
- Models in life: celebrities and anonymous In life: positive and happy people.
- In the field: Martha Stewart, Sylvia Weinstock, Elisa Strauss, Julia Child.
- Favorite leitmotiv, or quote or expression? (ex. never give up, etc….)
- No matter how dark it looks, the sun always ends up coming out.
- Advice to any woman or young lady
- Always be true to yourself, never try to pretend to be someone you are not.
Thank you Laura for this wonderful interview and for having been so opened!