Sweet Life

Despite losing her job, one local woman still felt compelled to pursue an old – and very delicious – dream.

Dana Priestman, a Jamestown resident and former FedEx employee, was one of millions who lost her job in the Great Recession of 2007-09. Being a single mom of a 9-year-old, she decided to go back to school at Jamestown Business College, hoping new opportunities would come her way.

“When I finished school … I figured I should do something to help earn money while I was looking for a job because I didn’t know how long it was going to take to find something,” Priestman said.

What Priestman found was an old dream close to her heart, as she quickly turned her home into an order-out bakery for a wide range of sweet and delicious treats.

“Years ago, I was going to go to culinary school (to become a pastry chef),” Priestman said. “(But after getting) pregnant, I thought I probably shouldn’t get into that much debt, so I never did. I’ve always dreamed about it though.”

In 2011, Priestman’s dream finally materialized as her home bakery, Piece of Cake, opened to the public and quickly gained a reputation for its customized desserts through social media and word of mouth.

“Customizing desserts is what sets me apart,” Priestman said. “I can take almost anything and put it on a cookie.”

Priestman, who considers herself the “owner/baker/decorator” of Piece of Cake, accommodates a great variety of special orders for her desserts, from business logos and hobbies to birthdays and bridal showers. She also offers a variety of sumptuous pastries, including hand-decorated cookies, cupcakes, drop cookies, buttercream iced cakes and so-called whoopie pies.

“A lot of people don’t know what (whoopie pies) are,” Priestman said. “They’re similar to a cake sandwich. They have a different texture than regular cakes, and are two halves with the filling in the middle.”

Priestman, who now works a second job as an administrative assistant, says she would like to operate the bakery full-time.

“There’s only so many hours in a day,” said Priestman, who also delivers her orders personally. “One day I’d like to grow this business and have my own cafe-bakery with employees.”

With what she has accomplished so far, it is likely she will make this dream a reality too.

To order from Piece of Cake, call 720-4238 or email pieceofcakejtown@gmail.com. Customers can also visit Piece of Cake (Jamestown, NY) on Facebook.