Lisa Mansour is an award-winning expert in cake decoration, and is co-founder and co-owner of NY Cake & Baking Supply, located in New York City. In addition to managing her business, which includes retail, online and wholesale components, she is also head of NY Cake Academy, where she frequently teaches classes, and provides content for instructional videos on websites like About.com.
Growing up, Lisa was surrounded by baking, cake decorating and candy making. Her grandmother, Anne Taylor, was a chocolatier, and her mother, Joan, is one of the pioneers of cake decorating in New York City. Her passion and enthusiasm for cake decorating became apparent in grade school, always delighting her peers with creative confections for school events, including a six-tier cake for her high school prom.
In 1980, when Lisa’s mother opened her first shop, The Chocolate Gallery, in the back of her husband’s cosmetic store, Lisa worked there almost every weekend and assisted with the classes her mother taught. Then together, in 1989, Lisa and Joan expanded The Chocolate Gallery to become the first store and school of its kind in the tri-state area, dedicated solely to the art of cake decorating and candy creation. In 1992, they moved to a bigger storefront, and NY Cake & Baking Supply was born.
Lisa has won several awards from the Société Culinaire Philanthropique, and she was recently invited by the French Culinary Institute to judge students’ final exams, grading each on appearance, design and taste. She has also been inducted into The Wilton Method Instructor Hall of Fame. Martha Stewart Radio, NY1, American Cake, and The Bravo Network have all recognized and featured Lisa, her store and its latest products, and most recently she was on Not My Mama’s Cooking Show with Bobby Deen on The Cooking Channel.
• Represented USA in the First World Cake Design Championship 2015 in Milano Italy
• Developed her own Annual Cake show starting in 2013 to today
• Has been a judge at multiple cake shows globally
• Produced an edible dress for the Satin Ice Fashion show
• Satin Ice Artist of Excellence
• Inducted into the Wilton Method Instructor Hall of Fame
• Named top 10 Cake artist of 2015
• Has been entering competitions since the 1991, winning several gold medals as well as Best in show
• Has done multiple articles and tutorials for Cake Decorating Magazine and Edible Artist Network
• Guest star on Cooking Channels; Bobby Deen’s Not My Momma’s Meals
• Teaches at and runs her own Cake Decorating Academy
• Has sold multiple high end Custom cakes
• Created, developed, and produced her own line of products and molds
• Has done consulting, promotion and tutorials for multiple companies such as Satin Ice and Ateco
Brief history of your business and how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in the cake business and ever since I can remember, I was by my mom’s side while she took classes herself. As a chiId, I assisted my mom when she started teaching classes, and now I am teaching my own classes. I didn’t have play dates like children do today – instead I went to work with my parents where I learned the techniques of cake decorating from my mom and how to run a business from my dad. I didn’t have to go to culinary school; all I had to do was come to my Mom, (Joan Mansour – who is a cake decorating legend and pioneer in NYC), to learn.
The Business: It all started in the back of my Dad’s cosmetic store – Ultra Cosmetics (similar to a Duane Reade today). My mom took a tiny space in the back where she taught her classes and sold her supplies. Over time she slowly grew into the aisles of my dad’s store. My dad eventually lost the lease and decided to retire – which put an end to my moms business. When her clients heard the news they begged her to open up her own store. So in 1989 we opened the Chocolate Gallery, and that is when I began working full time in the business. My mom ran the cake school and I took responsibility for the store.