Cakes on the Rock, an overnight suc­cess

New busi­ness in Grand Falls-Wind­sor a crowd pleaser

The Pilot - - The Pilot Sports - Jm­cleod@thetele­gram.com BY SAMAN­THA GAR­DINER Saman­tha.gar­diner@ad­ver­tis­ernl.ca

A ma­jor­ity of in­ter­est groups want the gov­ern­ment to sell cannabis through a Crown cor­po­ra­tion like the NL Liquor Corp., whereas most mem­bers of the pub­lic want to see stan­dalone stores sell­ing marijuana once it’s le­gal­ized.

The is­sue of how le­gal­ized marijuana will be sold is shap­ing up to be one of the most thorny is­sues for the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to ad­dress, based on a re­port on pub­lic sen­ti­ment around le­gal­iza­tion.

On Aug. 24 gov­ern­ment re­leased a doc­u­ment sum­ming up what peo­ple said in con­sul­ta­tions about marijuana le­gal­iza­tion, as the prov­ince gets ready for full le­gal­iza­tion next year.

On some top­ics, there’s plenty of con­sen­sus.

Most peo­ple want to see the le­gal age for buy­ing marijuana set at 19, and re­stric­tions when it comes to where peo­ple can smoke weed, sim­i­lar to to­bacco. Most peo­ple also think there should be ad­di­tional con­se­quences for drugim­paired driv­ing.

But on the thorny ques­tion of where cannabis should be sold, it’s more com­pli­cated. Nearly half of re­spon­dents to the gov­ern­ment’s on­line ques­tion­naire said they think it’s fine to sell marijuana in places that also sell al­co­hol, but nearly as many peo­ple — 43 per cent — were op­posed to that idea.

And while pub­lic in­ter­est groups like med­i­cal as­so­ci­a­tions, first re­spon­ders and com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions and such say the NLC should sell cannabis, reg­u­lar mem­bers of the pub­lic had a far lower ap­petite for that.

The gov­ern­ment needs to straighten all this out be­fore July 2018, when the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has said it will fully le­gal­ize marijuana for recre­ational pur­poses.

Jus­tice Min­is­ter An­drew Par­sons said on all these is­sues, the gov­ern­ment will need to fig­ure out what will work best for the prov­ince, and pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion is only one piece of the equa­tion.

“This is just a piece of what we’re go­ing to do as we move for­ward in de­vel­op­ing pol­icy, leg­is­la­tion and reg­u­la­tion,” he said. “I don’t think for a sec­ond that you can look at just what the pub­lic says and mak­ing all your de­ci­sions based solely on pub­lic opinion.”

Par­sons said that peo­ple should read the doc­u­ment and think about these is­sues, be­cause peo­ple need to be aware of the is­sues around marijuana le­gal­iza­tion.

“Across just about ev­ery part of this sur­vey, peo­ple iden­ti­fied ed­u­ca­tion as cru­cial,” he said.

Par­sons also stressed that marijuana won’t be the an­swer to the prov­ince’s bud­get woes.

“This is not a cash cow in the early go­ing, and I don’t know if it’s go­ing to be a cash cow at any time,” he said. “This is not some­thing that we can tax heav­ily, or it’ll go right back to the crim­i­nal mar­ket, which is what we’re try­ing to avoid.”

Cakes on the Rock is a new busi­ness in Grand Falls-Wind­sor that is turning heads and rock­ing the taste buds of any­one for­tu­nate enough to have tried the tasty cre­ations.

Amanda Mercer is a stay-ath­ome mom who came on the bak­ing scene just five months ago.

Mercer de­cided to turn her passion and cre­ativ­ity into a busi­ness af­ter her friends, fam­ily and so­cial me­dia fol­low­ers went wild for a cake she made in March for her old­est daugh­ter’s birth­day.

“Ev­ery­body went crazy over it, so then I de­cided I would put some up for sale,” and things snow­balled from there, Mercer told The Ad­ver­tiser.

Be­fore her cake busi­ness took flight with more than 2,000 fol­low­ers on her Face­book page and more or­ders com­ing in than she can keep up with, Mercer was plan­ning to go back to work as a hair­styl­ist.

Mercer went into hairstyling be­cause of the cre­ativ­ity it in­volves, but found she couldn’t ex­press her cre­ativ­ity as well through hairstyling as she can through her cakes, “be­cause (the hairstyling clients) kind of have a vi­sion of what they wanted (and) it’s not my vi­sion.”

“(With Cakes on the Rock) they have vi­sions for a (cake) and they give it to me and want me to put my spin on it,” she said.

In July, she re­ceived a re­quest for a Tim Hor­tons cake and was given a pic­ture of a cake as an idea. Mercer took her vi­sion to the next level, cre­at­ing a cake that gen­er­ated over 1.5 mil­lion views on so­cial me­dia and over 7,000 shares.

The im­me­di­ate suc­cess of Cakes on the Rock came as a

“I don’t think for a sec­ond that you can look at just what the pub­lic says and mak­ing all your de­ci­sions based solely on pub­lic opinion.”

shock to Mercer.

“If you had to (tell) me on Ri­ley’s birth­day (in March) that I would be sell­ing cakes and ev­ery­body would want my cakes. I would have been like, ‘You’re hilarious,’” she said.

From the cake it­self to the ic­ing, Mercer makes ev­ery­thing from scratch. Be­ing at home with two kids, she is cur­rently mak­ing three to four cakes a week.

She is not as busy as she could be, ac­cord­ing to Mercer. At the mo­ment, she does not have the space to make big wed­ding cakes, although she has re­ceived many re­quests for them.

“I want to give it a year, stick with it for a year at home and if it is still go­ing as busy as it is now, then I am go­ing to be in­vest­ing into the busi­ness,” she added.

Mercer’s cre­ativ­ity and passion is shown through her cakes, each one be­ing unique from the rest. She can be reached through her Face­book page called Cakes on the Rock.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Tim Hor­tons cake made by Cakes on the Rock went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia.

FILE PHOTO/THE TELEGRAM

Jus­tice Min­is­ter An­drew Par­sons.

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