“I always wanted my own business and I knew if I didn’t do it now, I wouldn’t do it at all,” said the White Plains High School graduate of 2003, married and the mother of one. She graduated from Jacksonville State University in 2009 with a degree in marketing.
Oswalt said she originally wanted to be a wedding planner. Then, after taking a class on decorating cakes at Hobby Lobby, she realized she liked the culinary side of weddings best.
Not surprisingly, then, the major portion of each workday is devoted to Oswalt applying her decorating skills to creations such as birthday cakes, wedding cakes, retirement cakes and even bereavement cakes.
“I found my artistic outlet” in cakes, she said. “I can’t draw a stick-man but I can make pretty cakes.”
In the short time she’s been in business, she’s decorated a great variety of cakes. That’s because “especially with weddings,” she said, “tradition is completely out the window.”
In fact, she has yet to build a standard white-on-white cake with little bride-and-groom figures on top.
It’s a time-consuming line of work. Too Nice to Slice opens every day, most mornings at 7. That puts Oswalt in front of her four convection ovens at 5, getting ready to make the morning’s batch of cookies, cupcakes, brownies, fudge, cinnamon rolls and fried pies.
She goes through 60 dozen eggs a week, at least. That’s because instead of relying on commercial mixes for her products, she uses old family recipes.
“The two most popular things we have are my great-grandmother’s recipes,” she said, referring to a cream cheese icing applied to cupcakes and a style of yellow brownie known as “brownie bliss.”
The fact that brownie bliss tastes almost like pure butter rolled in pure sugar might explain the name.
On the other hand, Oswalt also offers a pie suitable for diabetics.
“It doesn’t taste diabetic at all,” she said.
The only drawback to the constant cooking and daily orders for decorated cakes is that those tasks take Oswalt away from her walk-in crowd. She’s assisted a lot by her parents, Buford and Teresa Crosson, and by two paid employees, but it’s not the same as seeing for herself the daily transactions with hungry customers.
“I really like being up front and seeing what the customers are buying,” she said.
When they do come in, they find a clean pink-and-brown — think strawberry-and-chocolate — shop area that some locals might better remember as an ice cream store. The Grace Street address was empty for some two years before Oswalt bought it in October last year.
But a little more than a week ago, it was packed.
“I know next year to hire extra staff for Valentine’s,” she said.
If you know of anyone who’ll talk about what he or she does for a living, or if you are such a person yourself, drop a line to email@example.com for a possible write-up in “Off to Work.”