cakelava owners Rick and Sasha Reichart are partners in life and love, and co-authors of the crafty cake decorating book Extreme Cakeovers. The couple’s ambitious spirit and Rick’s innovative approach to cake design has helped earn cakelava an international reputation for excellence and artistry.
Rick is the cake designer and creative force behind cakelava. Sasha is the “Go To Girl”, who runs the business side and works with clients to make their cake dreams a reality!
Rick Reichart is originally from New Jersey but loves the laid-back lifestyle of the West Coast. Rick is classically trained in pastry and began his cake career over 25 years ago when he received a degree from a culinary college in Baltimore. He started in pastry and became a restaurant Pastry Chef. Rick has a big sweet tooth and loves working with sweets, but didn’t love the high-production demands of a restaurant. While living in Los Angeles, Rick looked for a way to integrate his pastry and fine art backgrounds. He became inspired to pursue cake decorating after seeing a magazine spread of amazing cakes by talented cake designers. One of those designers was Elin Katz, a celebrity cake designer and owner of Rosebud Cakes in Beverly Hills. Rick was later hired to work at Rosebud Cakes and is proud to call Elin one of his mentors, along with Joan Spitler of Joanie and Leigh’s Cakes (formerly Cake Divas) in Los Angeles and Annie Welch in Seattle. Rick spent many years working as a cake designer at high end cake shops in L.A. and Seattle before opening cakelava in Hawaii with Sasha.
Sasha Reichart was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and lived there until moving to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend college. After graduating college, she worked in the corporate world in marketing and public relations before pursuing a culinary career cooking savory. Cooking is immensely satisfying to Sasha and she spent almost a decade cooking a wide variety of cuisines including Meditteranean, Japanese, East Indian, Cajun, and farm to table American food. Unlike Rick, Sasha preferred the fast pace, high stress environment of savory cooking over pastry. At cakelava, the kitchen is Rick’s domain, but at home, Sasha cooks all the meals for her and Rick. Sasha also learned her craft from very talented mentors, who included Chef Jan Birnbaum and Chef Johnathan Sundstrom, among others. Shortly before cakelava opened in Hawaii, Sasha decided not to pursue a position as a Sous Chef to be able to assist Rick full time with the business. Sasha runs the business side of cakelava and is in charge of customer and media relations and marketing for the company.
Rick and Sasha opened cakelava in 2005 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Rick’s eye-catching designs and delicious scratch-made cake, coupled with Sasha’s dedication to their clients earned cakelava an international reputation for cake artistry and a loyal fan base. In 2007, cakelava opened their first retail storefront custom cake studio in the popular beach town of Kailua, Oahu, where they remained until moving to Las Vegas. cakelava opened for business in Las Vegas in 2016 at The Montage Shopping Center, located near Summerlin.
cakelava has been blessed with national and international media attention in magazines, on the internet, and on TV. Rick also enjoyed an international teaching career for a number of years and his “Discover Your Inner Artist” cake decorating classes were very popular. Rick’s first cake made by cakelava was his and Sasha’s towering Hawaiian-themed wedding cake and can be seen on TLC’s TV show “A Wedding Story: Sasha and Rick”. In 2007, cakelava’s all-bamboo design called “Theresa” was awarded the best cake in Hawaii by People Magazine. Rick competed on Food Network’s TV show “Challenge: Spongebob Birthday Cakes,” which aired in 2010. Future invitations from Food Network, TLC, and other networks followed. In 2010 Rick and Saha joined the TLC Cake Crew, a hand-picked group of baking enthusiasts and cake experts. cakelava has been on “The BRIDES 100” top cake designers chosen by BRIDES magazine list, Style Me Pretty’s “Little Black Book”, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style’s “Platinum List” and The Cake Blog’s “Top Tier” of cake vendors.
One of Rick and Sasha’s proudest accomplishments was publishing a cake cookbook in 2013 with NYC Publisher Clarkson Potter (Penguin Random House) for Extreme Cakeovers: Make Showstopping Desserts from Store-Bought Ingredients.
The cakelava name
We are often asked the origin of the cakelava name. The name combines the words “cake” and “lava” and was chosen by Rick. He wanted a single name word based on something Hawaiian – lava – that was beautiful and organic and expressed his love of art without restrictions.