In addition to Austin Appetite, I also write a bimonthly series, Faces of Austin, for the University of Texas‘ newspaper, The Daily Texan. Faces of Austin aims to introduce interesting members of the UT community to Austin. This week, I spoke with UT alum Adam Avramescu about his recently launched baked good delivery company Say It With Cookie Cake.

Cakes Make Sour Message Sweeter

Adam Avramescu, Photo Courtesy of Danielle Villasana of The Daily Texan

By Amber Genuske, Daily Texan Staff
Published: Thursday, April 1, 2010

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a bimonthly series looking into the lives of students who help shape the city of Austin.

Adam Avramescu is wandering around the lobby of the Union in neon-striped Adidas sneakers that heavily contrast his ensemble of blue clothing — navy blue cotton blazer, light blue oxford top and blue jeans. He is holding a silver tray full of cookie cake decorated with blue and white icing. Written on the cake is a phrase not often iced onto confectionery treats — “Bite me.”

The rectangular chocolate-chip-cookie cake is a product of Adam’s make-shift baked-goods delivery company, Say It With Cookie Cake.

“We have all had our moments in life where we just want to lash out and say the things that we couldn’t say — and, of course, if you say that to someone’s face, that gets you slapped or fired or … ” he trails off, thinking as he scratches his neck, “Dumped. I just thought, why not just say it with cookie cake? Why not have a venue to say the things you can’t say yourself in this really absurd and delicious way?”

Whether it is ironic, sarcastic or absurd, any message can be iced onto the cakes — with the exceptions of hate speech, because they will not bake a hate crime. The $20 cakes are baked on a made-to-order-basis out of various commercial kitchens and hand delivered by Adam himself. Though he frequently ices the classic “eat me” or typical “I love you,” Adam says his favorite delivery was for a couple.

“My favorite by far was a couple who, without knowing it, both ordered cookies cakes for each other for Valentine’s Day,” he says. “His said, ‘You’re okay I guess’ and hers said, ‘Who farted?’ I said, ‘You are a very lucky couple to have such exquisite tastes in cookie cakes.’”

The interview moves outside to the patio chairs of the Starbucks in the West Mall on a humid but breezy spring night. Adam assumes his position in his chair and barely moves, with the exception of the occasional nose, head or neck scratch. He seems timid, almost rigid, thinking about every single word he says, picking them carefully to reflect his English and rhetoric with English honors and liberal arts honors — a Plan I degree from UT.

He starts talking about the music scene in Denton, a place he often visited with his Colleyville band, Fish Boy. On top of Cookie Cake, which launched a month ago, and Fish Boy, Adam also plays with local band Minorcan and works full time at educational company BancVue as an instructional designer
developing curriculum.

Before BancVue, Adam worked at Enspire Learning — he notes that he has never been able to hold a job with a company that could spell its name right — where he met his cookie-cake co-pilots, Kristin Kahlich and Alex Kasavin. He says they are “two of the most,” again choosing his words, “fiercely — I don’t even know what adjective I want to put on that — but very fierce.”

It is obvious that these are the people with whom Adam associates most. They share a liking for mockery, often of one another, which is how the company got its start.

After a night of his usual “drunk-and-bitch sessions” with Kristin, they discussed the idea of snide cookie cakes. She showed up the next morning at work with a cake that said, “Suck it.” Instead of taking offense, Adam says he remembers how happy it made him to see an insulting cookie cake delivered to him.

“I think that Say It With Cookie Cake definitely speaks to part of Adam’s personality,” Kahlich says. “He’s oftentimes disarmingly witty, where it takes you a few seconds to even understand the joke. So while you’re uncontrollably laughing, you’re also trying to figure out how he came up with it so quickly.”

Oddly enough, once he starts self-analzying and talking about his lack of sleep, he seems to relax, crossing his feet into a more comfortable position.

When asked if he is sarcastic like the comments on the cake, he questions himself before jumping into a discussion on absurdity and irony.

“I think there are enough people that are in on the joke to see that no matter what you are writing on a hateful cookie cake, that is an act of love. It’s a total love-hate thing, and that is what strikes me as this really absurd thing that I love. It’s ironic more than it is sarcastic, and I think I am ironic more than I am sarcastic … ” he says. After a long pause, he adds, “I don’t know where I am going with this.”

As the interview winds down, he relaxes, allowing himself to laugh. His speech speeds up, and there is less of a thought process about word choice, allowing his bizarre wit to come through.

“We want people to think of us as the go-to place for the birthday when ‘Happy birthday, old chum’ won’t do,” he says, “and for the anniversary where ‘I love you’ isn’t going to cut it.”