Emily Upham

i. I work as a cake artist/pastry chef.

I own “When Pigs Fly Pastries” – a specialty cake and pastry business with everything made custom for each client. With the exception of the fondant, all aspects of my cakes are completely made from scratch. All decorations used are 100% edible and crafted by hand. As a detail oriented artist, I strive to make creations that taste as good as they look.

I’m also regularly hired as a Food Stylist for local film & TV productions which is a lot of fun!

ii. I do this creative work because I love it! I can express myself creatively and let my imagination run wild. I never have to do the same thing twice and I create something unique for each order. I get to be a part of my clients’ best days and celebrations, and bring smiles to their faces – it’s the greatest feeling!

iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are being creative, artistic and a perfectionist.
Photo: Ken Tan Photo (@kentanphoto)
Photo: Justin Holt (@justinmholt)
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
• Working extremely long hours.
• All food related businesses in this city legally need to operate from a Coastal Health approved kitchen – not from home – and that means a lot of extra overhead and work.
• Being creative when you don’t feel like it – it’s hard to express yourself artistically when you’re not in the mood

v. Creative childhood hobbies
Painting, drawing, writing stories, music,etc. I was a pretty artsy kid!

vi. Other creators who inspire you
I find inspiration from many different creators – from my fellow cake artists to painters, to jewellery designers to photographers. I love being able to draw inspiration from all types of mediums!
Photo: Koyo Photography (@koyophotography)

Photo: Emily Upham

vii. Training that has helped me succeed in this career:
The Baking & Pastry Arts and Business Management programs at VCC and working hands-on in bakeries and restaurants.

viii. The biggest myth about this type of work is:
That it’s always fun and easy. Most people wouldn’t believe the amount of labour that goes into a custom cake! Each order requires countless hours, lots of hard work and tons of love. Once something is finished I’m so proud, but also usually mentally and physically exhausted and ready for a nap!

ix. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Practice, practice, practice!! Test recipes, keep piping, hone your sculpting skills, keep pushing yourself and stretch to be more creative. Find your own unique style instead of trying to mimic someone else’s and you’ll be surprised at the outcome!

Photo: Simply Sweet Photography (@Nomo.simplysweetphotography)

Photo: Butter Studios (@butterstudios)
x. A professional goal I have for the future:
My constant goal is to keep pushing myself and keep improving. I’d also like to try my hand at teaching classes.

xi. If you want to see my work, go to:
Instagram: @whenpigsflypastries
PigsFlyPastries on Facebook
Twitter @pigsflypastries

Header Photo: Emily Upham


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