Quincy woman makes debut television appearance
Quincy resident Traci Downey, owner of Traci’s Sweet Surprises, chats with Julissa Ortiz, one of the hosts of CW 31’s GoodDay.
By the time television viewers saw Traci Downey make her 9:45 a.m. debut on CW 31’s GoodDay, she had already been at work since 1 a.m.
That’s when the Quincy baker took over the kitchen of the Hampton Suites in Sacramento to make her signature cinnamon rolls and a white chocolate ganache cake for the cast and crew of the morning television show Feb. 11.
Traci, accompanied by her husband, Mark, had been invited to appear on the morning show after producers saw a photo of one of her cakes and accompanying sculpture.
While Traci mixed and baked in the hotel kitchen, seven of her uniquely decorated cakes waited in a nearby conference room to be transferred to the studio, a short five-minute drive away.
“They made the 171-mile trip from Quincy with just one little bit of damage,” Traci said. But she came prepared and all of the cakes were picture perfect for their onscreen debut.
“I was so impressed by the hospitality of the hotel,” she said. “They were amazing; they gave me complete use of their commercial kitchen.”
As a thank-you, Traci left behind a dozen warm cinnamon rolls.
| “The television hosts were so down to earth and so warm. It all felt very natural.”
Owner, Traci’s Sweet Surprises
Traci and Mark arrived at the television studio at 8:20 a.m. and began setting up the cakes.
“Mark Allen and one of the other news people came over and introduced themselves,” Traci said. “They were so nice, so warm, that I didn’t feel nervous at all.”
Traci’s only pangs of nerves came the Sunday before the event, when she realized how much she had to do before she could leave Quincy.
While Traci put the finishing touches on her display table, the television hosts continued with the show and at one point panned to her.
“I wasn’t expecting it and my apron had turned, but it was all part of the experience,” Traci said.
What surprised her was the lack of pre-preparation. “They didn’t tell me what would happen; there were no prompts, no suggestions,” Traci said. “They never gave me interview questions, so I had to quickly gather my thoughts.”
Host Julissa Ortiz stood on set with Traci and pointed out some of the intricate designs on the cakes, in particular the petals on a tiered wedding cake.
Ortiz was particularly pleased with the sculpture of herself that Traci had placed atop one of the cakes. Traci explained to Ortiz how she created her sculptures from clay, fondant or modeling chocolate, depending on whether her customers wanted them to be edible.
While Traci worked, Mark roamed the studio taking photos.
“Mark was thrilled. He was having so much fun seeing the inside the studio,” she said.
Her appearance was over within three minutes, but Traci and her husband stayed at the studio until 11 a.m. As instructed, she had brought a cake to finish decorating on set, and when it was complete, she sliced it for the crew.
“The whole experience was so amazing,” she said. “The television hosts were so down to earth and so warm. It all felt very natural.”
For those who missed the segment, Traci’s Sweet Surprises’ Facebook page is filled with photos, as well as a video of her morning appearance.
Despite her morning of fame, the following morning found Traci back in her East Quincy kitchen baking. Traci operates a cottage business out of her home and doesn’t have a storefront.
The baker produces pies, cookies, cupcakes and, of course, cakes for every occasion. The latter is her passion.
To see some of her decadent concoctions visit her Facebook page or go to tracissweetsurprises.com.