Sunday, March 9, 2003

'Naughty' baker whips up new name

By Chuck Martin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

It's been an eventful month since we heard from pastry chef Teri Scheff. The week of Valentine's Day, we told you how Scheff, owner of Just Desserts in Silverton, is gaining a reputation for making "naughty cakes" featuring nude male and female body parts (Feb. 10 story). Customers order the risque cakes for parties and other occasions.

Teri Scheff's bakery is now ArtRageous.
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
After the story was published, Scheff received more than 30 orders for naughty cakes and one nasty letter, which actually had nothing to do with her playful pastries. The letter came from an attorney working for an Oakland, Calif., company that is also named Just Desserts.

"Basically, he told me they had a trademark for the name Just Desserts, and that I was living on borrowed time," says Scheff, who opened her shop in 1999.

She thought she owned the rights to the name - at least in Ohio.

"I never would have used it otherwise," Scheff says. "The only reason I came up with the name was, people used to ask me: `What do you sell?' I'd say: `Just desserts.' "

Scheff's attorney told her she had to quickly come up with a new business name or risk a lawsuit. But every name she thought of - Sweet Dreams, Delectable Desserts, Extraordinary Desserts and others - was taken.

After e-mailing customers for help, a friend of her brother-in-law suggested "Artrageous."

"I wasn't sure about it at first," Scheff says. "But it kind of grew on me. I think it says I'm not your average, run-of-the-mill bakery, but I sell brownies. I'm not snooty, but I'm different."

Her attorney found that no one owns the rights to ArtRageous Bakery.

So now, Scheff is busy changing her business cards and putting up new signs. And she will trademark the name.

Name game aside, Scheff is pleased with her growing naughty cake business. Someone ordered naughty cupcakes sent to Fort Campbell for Army personnel being deployed to the Middle East. A woman ordered a nude male torso for her aunt's 80th birthday.

"I found out there are so many people out there looking for someone like me," Scheff says.

ArtRageous Bakery, 6964 Plainfield Road, Silverton; 793-6627.

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