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    Posted January 24, 2014 by
    parrish, Florida
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Who taught you to love food?

    Daddy’s Little Girl Bakes!

    Alla Levin didn’t always want to be a baker! As a kid, the very idea of getting up to work in the wee hours of the morning and going to bed late at night made her cringe. Spending time kneading dough and preparing pastries was never her idea of fun. Nevertheless, she did it.

    "My Dad made me and I hated every minute of it. You see, my dad was a baker, and a very good one I might add. Learning the business was mandatory in my household. I wasn’t allowed to say no. If I wasn’t at school, I was helping my dad with one of his bakery creations. That’s just the way it was," quipped Alla.

    In her late teens, she embraced rebellion and escaped the once-boring world of flour and sugar, eventually working her way into the exciting world of fashion design. "I broke away from my home in Eastern Europe, moved to Manhattan, studied at FIT and made a pretty solid living as a hat designer. My life became runway shows, storefront displays, model fittings and more! I was finally living my passion…or so I thought."

    Years went by and her elation turned to frustration. Something seemed to be missing. Although she was finally the designer she had dreamed of being, her career path seemed empty and no longer brought the joy it once had. She called her Dad to vent.

    "He told me to bake a cake and I would feel better. I listened to what he had to say, but I had my doubts. How in the world would baking a cake make me feel better?"

    Weeks passed before Alla gave in and when she finally did, she decorated the cake, admired it and ate it…yes all of it. It felt good and she felt different. Maybe it was due, in part, to the sugar high or the bloat from eating the entire thing, but at that moment she knew her dad was right.

    "The 'grown-up-me' now knows what the 'kid-me' never saw. Baking is in my blood. For years my Dad taught me life lessons but I was too young and too stubborn to understand. When I baked that cake I realized that what really mattered most to me was creating happiness."

    Putting all of your effort into something and watching others appreciate and devour your work is a feeling like no other. As a hat designer, Alla never really saw the fruits of her labor and she certainly never tasted the rewards like she does now.

    Alla's passion for design and her innate ability to bake have collided into a business that brings so much joy to others. She now owns her very own bakery called The Cake Zone!

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