Mara Mari Cristiani

Mara Mari Cristiani

Co-Owner and Founder

As a seven year old little girl, the smell of goodies baking in her Italian aunt’s kitchen filled Mara with wonderment and excitement, starting a lifelong passion and pursuit of baking perfection. Standing on a step-stool she learned to grate carrots and fold them into the cake batter and since then it has become her most requested cake. “I remember as a little girl, the thrill of not just baking the cake, but decorating it with nuts and candies and hearing all the ‘oohs’ and “ahhs” from my family. I guess I was always seeking the spotlight and approval of an audience.”

Mara is no stranger to the spotlight. A former professional ballet dancer/choreographer and daredevil trapeze artist, she has toured the world for over 30 years entertaining countless audiences. However, baking was never far behind and at every chance she studied and perfected techniques and recipes. Mara gets very enthusiastic when she talks about show business and baking and says, her passion for performing has always paralleled her great passion for baking artistic cakes. “Creating and delivering one of our specialty cakes is equivalent to an opening night performance, because we stage-craft your cake using miniature stage-set backdrops and lighting to create a one-of-a-kind show-stopper.

       

Being a master baker and a dancer/trapeze artist both require great dedication and discipline without compromise. Fortunately, she achieved these attributes from years of rigorous ballet training and precise no-room-for-error trapeze practices. Just as she would practice hanging by her heels from the trapeze over and over, she would make and remake a recipe until she achieved perfection. Over the last 20 years she has built an impeccable reputation and become just as famous for her specialty cakes as she is for her trapeze skills, making countless cakes for many high profile clients in the entertainment industry & corporate world alike.

Always searching high-quality ingredients, Mara refuses to use anything containing preservatives. "I was always into fitness and healthy eating and I won't put anything in my cakes I wouldn't eat myself. I won't sacrifice flavor or texture, either. Let's face it, if you’re going to eat a cake, make every bite count! I use only real butter, sugar, the freshest eggs dairy and best-quality chocolate."

Recently, Mara traded her dance shoes and trapeze tights for baking pans and spatulas to take a position as Head Pastry Chef of Laurel Oak Country Club and realized the culmination of a life-long dream of creating her very own cake studio, called Center Ring Cakes here in Sarasota, FL.

Mara say's she still considers herself an entertainer; she just choreographs with sugar, eggs and flour now!