Angel Buckland, a 2012 graduate of Valencia, started out in Culinary Arts planning to become a chef. Once she completed her culinary degree, she pursued baking and pastry management as a secondary degree. “I also joined the Valencia competition team with Chef Ken Bourgoin and discovered I had a passion for baking and pastry.”
And that was the start. “I am a cake artist and bake a lot of cakes and create custom cake designs; however, I also bake many other sweet and savory treats using a lot of my training in French techniques that I learned from the Valencia Culinary program.”
She loves playing with flavor fusions—her favorite (right now) is chocolate salted caramel. Her favorite class at Valencia was Garde Manger, which is a class that focuses on things like reception foods, a’la carte appetizers, and grand-buffet arrangements, because it was so creative; and Restaurant Production, where students were able to create desserts from their own ideas. “I also loved competition class where we were able to compete for Florida at the ACF competitions. Best experience of my life.”
She got her start right out of Valencia, in 2012, which is not to say she got her start right out of college—she had one of those winding paths to a degree, starting out in computer science and moving on to marketing management. But once she got her degree at Valencia, she started Dreamy Cakes Bakery, and the rest, as they say, is history.
She started out by renting a commissary kitchen and began baking. It took her a while at first, building a clientele, but now, three years later, she’s opened her first bakery in historic downtown Sanford, at 114 W. 2nd Street (you can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DreamyCakesBakeryFL)
You can also find her website at http://dreamycakes.net/store/ with dozens of pictures to drool over.
“I just want to say that it has been a life-long dream to graduate from college. I was determined to get my degree before I turned 50. I was 48 years old when I graduated, so I would like to inspire those who have a dream, to never give up. Pursue your dream and passion in life. I never wanted to look back at my life and say, I wish I could have. Now I can look back and say, I did it. To chase after my dream, accomplish something in my life and achieve my goal–that is the best feeli ng in the world.
“Valencia College gave me that chance to pursue my dream, and it was the best years and experience in my life.”