Part French, part Japanese, Lady M Cakes are 100 percent decadent.
Sleek, creamy and unforgettable, there’s nothing like a Lady M cake. And whether you’re celebrating a birthday, special occasion or you fancy a slice of cake just because, a Lady M cake will make any occasion just a touch more glam and sweeter, but not too much sweeter.
We recently had the chance to ask Ken Romaniszyn, CEO of Lady M some questions.
ICONIC LIFE: How would you describe Lady M cakes to someone who has never tasted one?
Ken Romaniszyn: Lady M is a bakery that specializes in creating confections that are elegant and decadent but not too sweet. It marries French pastry techniques with Japanese sensibilities to create ICONIC desserts that are a touch sweet and memorable.
"I often joke that your first bite of a Mille Crêpes cake is like your first kiss – you’ll never forget it." - Ken Romaniszyn
ICONIC LIFE: What is the main concept behind it?
Ken Romaniszyn: At Lady M, we focus on producing the highest quality cakes by sourcing the best ingredients from all over the world and serving them with Omotenashi, which means “Enlightened Hospitality”.
ICONIC LIFE: Why have they become so intriguing?
Ken Romaniszyn: I believe the Mille Crêpes is intriguing because it’s recognizable but unique at the same time. Everyone knows what a crêpe is, but they’ve never heard of a crêpe cake.
Once they take their first bite of Mille Crêpes cakes they are surprised because the cake is light, elegant, airy, and luxurious. I often joke that your first bite of a Mille Crêpes cake is like your first kiss – you’ll never forget it.
ICONIC LIFE: How many layers does each cake have?
Ken Romaniszyn: Each Mille Crêpes cake has roughly 20 layers of crêpes with pastry crème between each layer.
ICONIC LIFE: Simply, tell us what is unique about the way they are made?
Ken Romaniszyn: Our Mille Crêpes cakes are an elaborate labor of love – each painstakingly built from scratch. They are built over a two-day period. The base consists of 20 paper-thin crêpes layered with a combination of pastry crème and whipped crème.
Although it sounds simple, the pastry chefs at Lady M have perfected their craft – the crepes can’t be too thick or thin nor can the pastry crème be too heavy.
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In Japan, we call that umami which means the “essence of deliciousness that deepens flavor.”
ICONIC LIFE: Your company rarely advertises Lady M cakes, is that on purpose?
Ken Romaniszyn: We’ve been fortunate that Lady M fans have helped spread the word from the Upper East Side all the way to the far corners of the globe. Once people learn about Lady M, we are fortunate to be able to stay connected with them via various social media platforms. Social media has given us a two-way platform to not only reach our customers but to learn from them as well.
ICONIC LIFE: How many cakes are sold in a day? Worldwide?
Ken Romaniszyn: Of course, it varies by the day and the season, but on average we will produce 3,000 to 4,000 cakes globally.
ICONIC LIFE: What is your favorite flavor and why?
Ken Romaniszyn: Matcha. Matcha by itself can be earthy and bitter but the Matcha we import from Japan is perfectly balanced to create a dessert that is rich in flavor with a hint of sweetness. In Japan, we call that umami which means the “essence of deliciousness that deepens flavor.”
ICONIC LIFE: Why is cake important in so many cultures?
Ken Romaniszyn: In almost every culture around the world, people celebrate their birthdays with a cake. Some of the earliest memories that people will have are their birthdays when all their loved ones are singing happy birthday to them with candles on a cake.
From an early age, people have an emotional attachment to cakes because it reminds them of all their past special occasions. At Lady M, we want to ensure that all special occasions are just a little extra special.
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In almost every culture around the world, people celebrate their birthdays with a cake.
ICONIC LIFE: Tell us about your background.
Ken Romaniszyn: I grew up in the family restaurant business. My mother owns Japanese restaurants so during the school months I would work in and around the kitchen since I was in grade school. I would spend my summers in Tokyo with my grandmother. It’s my grandmother who taught me to appreciate the delicate and precise art of desserts in Japan.
I attended the French Culinary Institute (now ICC) in New York City to learn about the art of pastries.
ICONIC LIFE: What is your first cake memory?
Ken Romaniszyn: My first cake memory would be eating strawberry shortcake with my grandmother in Japan. I can remember being amazed that something can taste so light and delicate but not too sweet.
Strawberry shortcake was the first thing I would ask to eat when I landed in Japan.
ICONIC LIFE: Did you ever think you would do this?
Ken Romaniszyn: Honestly, after working in the family restaurant business for so long, I wanted nothing to do with the food business. I worked in many other industries; however, life has a way of bringing you back to your roots.
I have the hospitality DNA running through my body and I couldn’t think of doing anything else now. I’m so grateful that the Lady M team and I get to make thousands of people happy on a daily basis.
"We are named Lady M because the letter “M” carries a lot of positive synergy for the company."
ICONIC LIFE: Where does the name Lady M come from?
Ken Romaniszyn: We are named Lady M because the letter M carries a lot of positive synergy for the company. Our goal was and always will be a cake boutique worthy of lining the streets of Madison Avenue with other luxurious boutiques.
The original boutique is on Madison Avenue and 78th Street. One of the original owner’s names is Emi which has the M sound.
ICONIC LIFE: Your stores have a very simple clean aesthetic, why is that?
Ken Romaniszyn: The cakes are the star of Lady M. Every element that you see in a Lady M Cake Boutique is designed to bring your attention to the cakes. We want to draw people in with our aesthetics and have them feel the Lady M experience through our cakes.
ICONIC LIFE: Do you deliver?
Ken Romaniszyn: Yes, we deliver throughout the continental United States through our own website: ladym.com. In addition, we deliver locally through our partnerships with Caviar and Chowbus from boutiques in New York, California, Boston, Chicago, and Washington DC. Chowbus also delivers from our Seattle location.
ICONIC LIFE: Tell us something that most people don’t know about you?
Ken Romaniszyn: My wife, Sumera Romaniszyn, and I love to travel the world to experience new local dishes. When we discover something new we like, we always ask ourselves if we can make this into a cake somehow.