Ron started out in this business rolling all of his fondant by hand – he actually did this for 10 years. Then his friend Buddy Valastro (yep – the Cake Boss himself!) got a new machine at his bakery. A new fondant “sheeter” from a company called Somerset. Ron would visit Buddy over at the bakery in New Jersey and play with his new fondant sheeter. (He was very envious of Buddy’s new “toy”.) Then Ron started doing demos for the RBA Conferences and met “Mr. Somerset” himself, Nick Meimaris. Whenever Ron did a demo at the conference, he called up Nick and asked if he could use a sheeter to do his demonstrations. In the fall of 2006, (and after saving a few thousand dollars) Ron bought his own sheeter for his bakery. And a very strenuous part of his production process changed forever.
The results were instantaneous. Ron was able to roll the fondant to 1/16th of an inch. (We still use this standard today. No need to have thick fondant on a cake when this machine can handle the workload for you.) Also, Injuries weren’t as prevalent, workman’s comp claims went down and the work got much faster. The other perks of having these machines, they are very easy to clean and have great safety features.
We now have three Somerset sheeters in three different sizes. A small and medium sheeter in our production room that we use to roll out sugar paste for flower production and the large one we use in the kitchen to cover the cakes in fondant.
Because of the investment Ron made in his equipment, his bakery runs more productively. Before, to cover a 9-inch round tier, rolling out the fondant and covering the cake, took about 10 minutes. With our Somerset machine, our head chef said it takes about 30 seconds to roll out to 1/16th of an inch and about another minute and a half to cover the 9 inch tier. So let’s do a little math – if you were covering ten, 9-inch tiers, the old way would have taken us approximately 90 minutes. Now it takes about 18-20 minutes. With the saving in time, our staff can now spend more time decorating and perfecting techniques.
Please keep in mind that I am not “plugging/endorsing” a particular product – I am coming at this from a business perspective. We need the tools to able to do our jobs – efficiently , effectively and safely. It’s amazing that one machine can accomplish so much in productivity. In order to achieve a good product, you need to the tools to do so. This is a great investment and one that has paid for itself. So, thank you “Saint Nick”, for putting a product out there that meets the high standards of many baking professionals. I know that these are machines are used everyday and my staff really appreciates them.