The assignment in Barry Kudrowitz’s design and food course in the University of Minnesota’s College of Design was straightforward: Create a wooden serving utensil. Student Jamey Berg was seeking inspiration online when she found a cardboard cake stand made for a dollhouse. “I decided to do something different than a spoon or cutting board,” she says. “We always have pie at Thanksgiving. Why not elevate the beautiful pie with a beautiful piece it can sit on?”
She translated the dollhouse image into a life-size demountable cake stand constructed from a recycled-wood composite. It consists of three pieces—two bottom components that slide together to form an X and a plate for the top—that flat-pack for easy storage.
She received a grade of 100 percent—and a royalty agreement. Karl Benson of Cooks of Crocus Hill was helping critique projects in class that day. He put Berg in touch with Epicurean in Duluth, which licensed and is manufacturing the cake stand. Currently available at Cooks of Crocus Hill, Berg’s cake stand also will be featured in Epicurean’s catalog and on its website.
Berg would love Williams-Sonoma to pick up her product. She’d also like to market the cake stand to Starbucks to use for in-store pastries. Currently, however, she’s busy in her new position as an interior designer at Perkins + Will. “I’m very happy with what I’m doing now,” she says, “but I’m grateful for the opportunity to experience what it’s like to have a product on the market.” epicureancs.com
By Camille LeFevre
Photo courtesy of Jamey Berg