- Camille Kaldahl, Alumni columnist
While living in the small city of Chanute, Kansas, Lexi Varndell decided she wanted to attend Midland for her sophomore year of high school. Packing her bags, she left home and moved in with relatives that lived in Shawnee, eager to see what the new year could bring.
In the short amount of time she was there, Lexi quickly became close friends with her classmates and sought out opportunities to get involved on campus. She participated in choir, Diversity, volleyball and even served as SA Spiritual Activities Director where she coordinated events and led out in song service. Her favorite memories of Midland include decorating and performing for the Senior Night Live benefit and watching her classmate, Kristi Tucker, cry in the rain while eating a bagel at Senior Survival (I was there, and it was a hilarious moment…sorry Kristi).
When I asked Lexi what advice she would give to her high school self, she explained that she would have told her to do all the things she thought she was too cool to do. “Not to worry about what people thought so much and to get more involved in after school activities,” Lexi said. “I wish I would have gone to more basketball games and focused on being present with my friends and classmates.”
But when it came down to it, she believed that her time at Midland instilled in her a firm foundation with God and pushed her to do better and be better every day. “I wouldn’t have been able to get that experience anywhere else.”
Inspired by her time baking with her grandma, Lexi realized that she had a passion for bringing joy to others through baked goods. After graduating from Midland, she enrolled at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska, in the Culinary/Hospitality Program and will finish in December 2018. Her favorite experience in the program was competing in the Skills USA Pastry Competition and placing second against over 100 contestants. Once finished at Southeast, Lexi will have an Associates of Science degree and will be a certified pastry and culinary chef.
In 2017, Lexi pushed herself to follow her dream of starting her own cake and pastry business called Lexi Cakes. Since then, she has made hundreds of cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and pies for birthdays, weddings, quinceaneras and other special events. She has baked so many cakes that she can frost one in just seven minutes!
“I pride myself in being able to take our customer’s dreams and transform them into reality,” she said, “I love that they give me the chance to be creative and to better my skills as a baker.” A great example of this was when she completed an order of nine individual tiered cakes for one wedding and pulled it off without a hitch. “It was then that I knew I could accomplish anything.”
Once graduated, her goal is to someday own her own bakery here in the Kansas City area and to make the world a better place through her store. “Whether it’s bringing new job opportunities to the community or simply donating treats to those less fortunate, I want to bring happiness to others.”
You can follow Lexi Cakes on Instagram @LexiCakesLincoln and on Facebook @LexiCakes. If you happen to live in the Lincoln area and this article has given you a sweet tooth, you can place an order by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.