All in the family
Baking, cake decorating business spans three generations of McCaslins

LAWRENCEVILLE - Lorne and Malinda McCaslin and their daughters are all in the family business - baking and cake decorating.

Tiffany, 25, is a baker in Illinois, while 20-year-old Caley and 13-year-old Lexi work in their parents Sugar Hill bakery decorating cakes.

Even the McCaslin's 8-year-old daughter, Summer, said she would like to one day bake bread and decorate birthday cakes.

Runs in the family

Lorne's father began baking at 13.

"We have pictures (in our bakery) on the walls of him with his hand stuck down in a bowl of dough that our customers really get a kick out of," Lorne said.

"I started working for my dad when I was 10," he added. "I was a pan washer. My two older brothers also worked for Dad."

Lorne's father also had three brothers who owned and operated bakeries in Illinois, where the McCaslins are from originally.

"I always loved to bake," Lorne continued, "and at 18 I was pretty much running my dad's place, as far as production."

Lorne's wife, Malinda, started working in his parents' bakery when she was still in high school.

"Started out just working in the store front, worked helping decorate cookies, small things, cupcakes, that kind of thing," Malinda said, "and over the next couple years went into birthday cakes and eventually into wedding cakes."

When the McCaslins left Illinois to venture to Georgia - "I always wanted to live in the south, away from the bitter cold winters," Lorne said - Lorne was hired by Publix as a bakery manager.

"I learned a lot there," he said. "My wife started doing wedding cakes at home. It just snowballed, and in 2005 we opened two doors down from our current location as a full line bakery."

The McCaslins own and operate Coffee Cakes Bakery on Cumming Highway in Sugar Hill.

"I know it makes my dad proud that his kids are in the bakery business," Lorne said. "It is a heritage that he can be proud of. He taught us how to work hard, be honest, treat people like family and enjoy what we do."

Family ties

"It's the greatest joy in life, great fun," Malinda said of working with her family each day.

"It's a lot less stressful, I think," Caley added.

She doesn't know if she would like to open her own bakery, but as long as her dad owns one, Caley said she would work there.

"We don't make a ton of money," Lorne said, "but we are so blessed to be able to see our kids at work every day, watch them grow into good, responsible girls that can interact with the customers that have become friends."

Lorne said it can be a little hard on his children, having their parents, who expect more from them than other employees, as their bosses.

"I went through that as a child working in my dad's bakery as well," Lorne said. "Then I grew up, and realized he only wanted the best for me, and am thankful he raised me in the family business."