Ashby Confections

Ashby Confections creates custom chocolates for special occasions. They can tailor colors, designs and flavors to compliment the style of an event, and can even monogram the chocolates or do wine pairing.  They are located in the Santa Cruz area, and work with other local producers such as Driscoll’s Berries and Beauregard Winery.  We think the globes are especially elegant – pictured in this post is a banana ganache globe.

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Cupcakes at Buttercup cakes in Santa Cruz

Tony and I had the pleasure of photographing at Buttercup Cakes and Farmhouse frosting yesterday.  Easily the cutest cupcake shop I’ve  ever been in,  and the cupcakes taste like my grandmother used to make – homemade, buttery – but so much prettier!  Carren, one of the owners told us how they make the buttery frosting and it stays looking beautiful on wedding cakes even for outdoor weddings, so a couple doesn’t have to choose between a gorgeous cake and one that taste incredible.

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Laduree in Paris

We diligently tried all the best french macarons in Paris, but nothing compared to Laduree! Maybe it was the pastel colors, or the uber cute shop, or the matching ribbons and tissue paper with the Laduree insignia, but nobody does it like Laduree!

(A list of our favorite tips for traveling with a camera is included at the end of this blog)

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Richard Donnelly Chocolates

Richard Donnelly Chocolates is perhaps the most well known Chocolatier in Santa Cruz.  He has won a number of awards and is considered one of the best in the country, and it is easy to see why.  There are a number of delicious choices for a wedding but we loved the little hearts the most.  He also creates special little gift boxes which would be perfect for visiting guests’ welcome baskets or wedding favors.

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My Cupcake Corner

Beautiful Cupcakes …all dressed up for the tea party.  My Cupcake Corner makes delicious cupcakes decorated for all sorts of occasions and events.  They all have fillings that make them extra special (the Bonny Dune blackberries are fantastic!)  Kelly, the owner, told me they are very popular for weddings because everyone gets their own little cake, and the couple saves the cost of cake cutting.  She has a line of booze cakes just for such an occasion.  They are local, vegan, organic, and she sells through the internet and at a pop-up stand – doesn’t get much more Santa Cruz than that!

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Chocolate Visions

Tucked away in Scotts Valley is Chocolate Visions, a Chocolatier with a very unique and incredible product.  They add wine from some of the local wineries, and fruits and herbs from local growers when making the ganache for their chocolates.  Then they dip the chocolates on site to make innovative chocolates with the flavors of Santa Cruz.  The olive oil and lavender is from Valencia Creek Farm in Aptos, the Framboise is from Bonny Doon Vineyard, and the wine is from Equinox and Burrell School vineyards and winery. They even do personalized monogrammed chocolates for special events.

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