SOMERSET— Baking, for April Adams, is a labor of love — and faith.
If you ask Adams what her plans are on any random day of the month, she's likely to be preparing to make cakes and cupcakes from scratch as part of her baking business — but don't think this is just any local baked goods operation.
Adams fills orders for around four cakes and around 15 dozen cupcakes a month, all in a variety of flavors. Her prices are tailored to the smallest of orders and to the largest of requests.
But the money she receives doesn't go into her piggy bank. The funds go straight to various mission trips and projects for Word of Faith Church in Somerset, which she attends.
Her introduction on her website says it perfectly: "I always enjoyed baking and decorating cakes for people, but also felt the pressures of the business side weighing down the fun," Adams tells visitors to her website. "After joining the most wonderful church, I gained a new perspective on baking ... why not bake for a cause?"
And thus, "Faith Cakes by April," a nonprofit baking operation, was born.
The Pulaski County native just decided to undertake her mission around three months ago, but she's already seen a surge of support from customers who not only want something sweet, but who want to contribute to a good cause as well.
"It (baking) makes me feel good," said Adams on Friday, as she worked to fill an order for five dozen cupcakes and an anniversary cake. "Not for myself, but that people are responding enough to support something like that."
Of course, Adams, 29, finds that some weeks are more difficult than others in balancing her cause with her other commitments. Adams works full-time, is about to graduate college with a business degree and was recently married, which means lots of life changes.
"Sometimes, it will be just a couple dozen (cupcakes), and sometimes it will be a day like today," said Adams recently, as she whipped up some chocolate cake batter.
Adams currently pays for all the supplies needed for the orders, so she actually loses money when she gets customers. But she's not worried.
"My needs are met," said Adams. "I have a roof over my head, food on the table."
And she has family and friends who fully support her mission. Adams said her husband Steven has always encouraged her baking — even if it means there's little time for anything except cupcakes and cakes.
"He is the biggest supporter ever," said Adams, then laughed. "He has done so many dishes."
Adams is currently working to help fund her church's next youth trip, which is coming up this month. But she also takes the time to bake extra sweets to give away to patients at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital and others in need. After allowing a reporter to taste-test an apple pie cupcake, Adams wrapped the cupcakes not going to a customer to be delivered straight to the hospital.
Adams has never taken a cooking class. Her love of baking and cooking was always there, and she said it took some studies of the Food Network and YouTube tutorials on the fine art of baking to help her gain enough confidence to start baking for her family.
But it was after she joined Word of Faith Church in February and began attending regularly — something she hadn't done in many years — that she realized she wanted to use her talents to reach out.
"If there's something I've been blessed to be good at, then I want to do something good with it," said Adams.
She just recently filled her first order for a stranger, a woman who came across her website.
"I was an absolute nervous wreck," she said, laughing.
But the woman was so impressed, she ordered another cake from Adams for December.
"Everybody has something that they can do to help," Adams said. "There's always a need and there's always somebody who can meet those needs. You just have to do it."
And someday, Adams expects she'll take the plunge and open up a full-time bakery business. It's a daunting but exciting thought.
"I would eventually like to open a bakery," said Adams. "Just take the leap and do it ... have faith."
But for now, she's perfectly content with baking cakes for a cause.