Welcome to Day 2 of Feature Week, where we are introducing you to our top 5 most-nominated bakers from The Golden Poppies.  Today’s baker is Chrystal!

Name: Chrystal Monte
Business: Chrystal’s Cake Pop Shop
Location: Lodi, Ca

Background: My name is Chrystal. I am from Lodi, a small town in Central California. It is an hour and a half away from the mountains in one direction and an hour and a half away from the ocean in the other! I am happily married to my husband Jason and we have 3 wonderfully energetic kids; two boys ages 5 & 7 & our daughter is 2. My hobbies include anything crafty!! I love knitting, crochet, painting, baking, of course, & so much more!! As a family we love to watch the kids’ sporting events, go camping, ride atv’s & lounge on lazy days.

When & how did you become a cake pop maker?
I became a cake pop baker just last year.  My parents pre-ordered Bakerella’s book for my birthday when it was published in 2010. I started with the basic pop and went on from there!

Do you bake as your full-time jobIf yes, how do you enjoy
Baking is not my full time job, although I do aspire for it to be one day.

What inspires you in your bakingHow do you come up with your original ideas?
Everything inspires me in my baking!! Cake pops are such a versatile treat; you can do amazing things with them! A lot of my original ideas come from requests. I’m not one who likes to say “no” so I do my very best to transform ideas into reality.

What would you consider to be your cake pop specialty?
Hmm, my cake pop specialty… I’m not sure on this one. I’ll say the creative aspect is my specialty, I like to really mull over an idea before I go for it! I want to always give 100% and have nothing but the best go out the door.

What is your favorite thing about cake pops?
My favorite thing about cake pops is the ease in which one can be enjoyed! All the yummy cuteness that can be packed on top of a little stick is amazing at times!

What was your reaction to finding out that you were one of the Top 5 most-nominated cake pop makers?
I was super surprised to see my name among the top 5!! I hadn’t expected it at all! I was up against some amazing ladies who create amazing things… definitely blessed to be included!

Do you have any baking goals for 2012?
I have a few different baking goals for this year, nothing to specific, just want to broaden my skill level & be more versatile in the baker’s world.

What advice do you have for new cake pop makers?
Do not give up!! It takes practice and patience to get great results. My first batch of cake pops was a disastrous failure. I burnt my chocolate, my cake had too much frosting & I was so frustrated! But I was rushing myself and didn’t plan ahead for my “first try” errors. I’m glad I gave it another go-round even though my results were less than stellar!

Anything else you’d like to include?
Thank you, Thank you & Thank you again!!! I really do find tons of joy in making cake pops and to be able to spread that joy is amazing!!

What are some of your favorite cake pops that you’ve made?

Where can you find Chrystal’s Cake Pop Shop?

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/chrystalscakepopshop
What area do you serve/sell to? California’s Central Valley & surrounding areas
Do you ship your cake pops? Some items, yes
What’s the best way for people to order from you? Email, chrystalscakepopshop@gmail.com