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Sweet success: Teri Tarbox thinks her newest baking venture takes the cake.

Tarbox opened Simply Cakelicious in Waldorf on June 17, her birthday. For 29 years, Tarbox has been decorating cakes. The past six years have been spent, she said, doing so on a professional level. She’d travel around the country teaching anywhere from eight to 24 people at a time the basics of cake decorating and more.

The new business comes from a lifelong love of baking.

“My mother always had an open kitchen … and no matter what I made they always said it was wonderful, so that was encouraging,” Tarbox said. “It just went from there.”

As an adult, Tarbox said she used time in the kitchen as a means of escape.

“Cooking and baking seems to be my sanctuary. It’s my happy place, as they call it,” Tarbox said. “It’s the creativity and freedom to do what you want. When I make a flower, I can make it look like a real flower, but I like to make them a little different, a little more interesting than a typical flower.”

Before taking her cake decorating show on the road, Tarbox was a stay-at-home mom for a time and also worked as a substitute teacher for Charles County Public Schools and did a stint with a real estate appraisal company.

“This is nice. This is easy,” Tarbox said. “It’s calm. I’m not always rushing off to catch a plane somewhere.”

Coming home: After years on the road giving lessons, Tarbox, 53, wanted to settle down closer to home but knew she wanted to keep doing what she loves. Opening the bakery, she said, was the natural way to combine the two desires, given that local law prohibits people from running such operations from their homes.

Having lived in Waldorf for 30 years, Tarbox decided to open up shop right near home.

“The county’s done good by me, and I wanted to give back,” Tarbox said.

Tarbox’s time on the road isn’t quite up: She had planned to travel to New Mexico for a cake convention at the end of July.

Good taste: As flavors go, red velvet has been popular, along with a Snickers bar-inspired cupcake Tarbox designed. Variety, she said, is the name of the game.

“It’s a little different than just walking into a grocery store and buying a cake,” Tarbox said, adding she’s done everything from wedding cakes to other special events and can make gluten-free and vegan baked goods if requested.

While the shop was under construction, Tarbox said everything went smoothly.

“There really hasn’t been a struggle. Everything’s been smooth and has kind of fallen into place,” Tarbox said, adding that being in one place is a much simpler arrangement.

“This is much easier than decorating a cake in a hotel room,” Tarbox said with a laugh. “It’s much nicer working from a home base.”

Tarbox said she tends to try and make variations on flavor that can’t be found at other shops.

“Everything has to have a little extra kick to it,” Tarbox said. “I hope to be here for a long time. We like to say we take your cake fantasy and make it a reality.”

Lindsay Renner

Got an idea for someone to profile in on the job? Send your suggestions to Angela Breck at abreck@somdnews.Com or 7 Industrial Park Drive, Waldorf, MD 20602. Call 301-764-2847.