The Story of the Agbay Cake Leveler
People often ask us what AGBAY stands for. It’s our name—I’m Maureen Agbay. My husband Tony and I founded Agbay Products with one goal: to provide customers with the very best cake cutting tools they’ll ever use. Agbay Products is a family-owned and operated company, so when you order online, we pack and ship your order individually. If you have questions, call us at 508-753-5169. We’ll answer the phone personally to help you. (That’s me in the demonstration videos, too, by the way.)
People also ask us why we developed the Agbay Cake Leveler. Our response was because we had to. Like other bakers, I struggled with the poorly designed, flimsy cake saws that didn’t do the job and left me frustrated—and left my cakes uneven or in ruins.
Here’s a bit of our history.
The Problem: A Cake Leveler that Didn’t Level
In the mid-90’s, I was working with a prominent wedding cake designer in Worcester, Massachusetts; we created gorgeous, multi-tiered cakes, many quite large. Because each tier could be as much as 20 inches in diameter and 6 inches high—and split into many layers—I often found myself struggling to split large cakes with a less-than-reliable cake knife.
Though it was the best on the market at the time, the cake cutter would often break, or its height-adjustment knobs would strip and fail to clamp, leaving the blade loose and the unit unstable. Inevitably, I’d wind up with a lopsided cake and a lot of wasted time.
Eventually I turned to my husband, Tony, a product design engineer. Tony repaired the cake cutter a number of times and made improvements to it before finally deciding it just wasn’t worth fixing any longer. When he learned that there were limited options on the market for better, professional-grade levelers, Tony decided to make me my own.
The Solution: A Professional-quality Cake Leveler
Tony is an insightful and skilled engineer with 30+ years of experience in solving mechanical problems. He wanted to design a tool that would be of the highest professional quality, durable, easy to use, and accurate every time no matter what size or type of cake was being cut.
After spending hours and hours watching me work in the cake shop to evaluate the challenges bakers face in leveling cakes, Tony compiled a list of design criteria. He decided the new cake leveler must:
· be strong, of professional quality, and built to last
· be easy to adjust for different size cakes
· have a wide foot base and stand on its own
· have easy-to-read scales for quick and accurate height adjustments
· have enough room above the blade to accommodate extra-tall cakes
· have a blade able to cut through all types of cakes, even cakes with fruit and nuts
· have ample tension to prevent the blade from climbing and digging into the cake
· have a clamp design that that would not damage the adjustment rod
· include a blade cover for safety when not in use
Tony worked in his shop for several weeks, creating a frame of just the right size and identifying the best materials for the product. He developed the height adjustment system, blade tension and stability, and all other features of the prototype.
The First Agbay Cake Leveler is Born
After a number of tweaks—and dozens of cake-sized Styrofoam dummies and countless real cakes sliced up in trial runs—the first Agbay Cake Leveler was completed. Both my boss and I were delighted with how sturdy this new cake cutting tool felt in our hands, the ease with which it slid across our work surface and how precise our cuts were.
We wanted feedback from other cake decorators, so we asked members of the Massachusetts and Connecticut chapters of the International Cake Exploration Societe’ (ICES) and the Connecticut Icing Artists Club to demonstrate the leveler at their upcoming meetings.
The response was overwhelming and enthusiastic: Club members wanted to order their own cake cutters right then and there. Some of the comments we heard—and continue to hear today—made it clear that we had found a solution to a common and vexing problem plaguing cake decorators and bakers everywhere:
· “I love it!”
· “I don’t know how I got along without it.”
· “I use it on every cake.”
· “I was able to do a seven-layer cake, something I would never have attempted to do before!”
· “You’ve got to take this to the ICES convention.”
The rest, as they say, is history. We applied for a patent, founded the Agbay Products, Inc., and officially introduced the Agbay Cake Leveler at the1999 ICES convention in Kansas City, Missouri, to rave reviews. Since then, thousands of bakers and cake decorators have used our leveler to save time and avoid hassle while creating their masterpieces.
The Cake Leveler Professionals Rely On
Three years later, at the 2002 Retail Bakers of America Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, we were approached by bakers with small or mid-sized operations who wanted a tool that would split and level cakes all in one motion. Before long, Tony had created a “deluxe” double-blade version of the original Agbay, allowing for two cuts at once. The new model included a lower blade that could be adjusted to just 1/8 inch above the work surface.
With that, we entered the retail and commercial baking industry and have been supplying Agbay Levelers to bakery and grocery store chains across the country.
Today, we continue to enhance Agbay Products in response to feedback from our customers. We now have a full line of cake cutting tools and have created add-ons and accessories designed to save time and effort. Search cake-related message boards and chat rooms, and you’ll see that once someone uses an Agbay Cake Leveler, there’s just no going back to flimsy, inferior levelers.
The Agbay Cake Leveler has been used by many high-profile bakers and cake decorators. We are proud to provide such useful and indispensable tools to the worldwide community of bakers and cake decorators, both hobbyists and professionals, who are dedicated to their craft. Whether you make an occasional cake or run a full scale bakery, the Agbay Cake Leveler is a professional tool you’ll come to rely on again and again.
As more cake decorators discovered our Levelers, beginners, hobbyists, and home bakers also wished for an “Agbay” as it had now become known in the cake world.
They didn’t plan on doing large Wedding cakes or “big” cakes – so at the ICES Convention in Charlotte, NC in 2010 we introduced the Agbay Jr. It was made every bit as well as its big brother. The Agbay Jr. was designed to cut cakes up to 12” across and 4 1/2” high. It was perfect for a whole group of cake decorators now planning on doing those large cakes.
It turned out that bakeries doing large volumes of the 8”, 10” & 12” cakes everyday found the Agbay Jr. to be the perfect addition to their full size Leveler. And the Jr. Double Blade Leveler made fast work of the cakes needing to be leveled and split saving a lot of valuable time in those bakeries.
With four versions of the Agbay Levelers now available, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your needs.
Browse our online catalog of products and order online anytime. Please feel free to contact us with questions, comments or success stories—we’d love to hear from you. Email me at email@example.com.
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