When Joyelle Scavone of Duncansville goes on the air on QVC Sunday afternoon, her biggest worry will be over. Instead of being nervous about being live on TV, Scavone has been more concerned about baking her ScRUMptious gourmet rum cakes to fill the orders that are sure to come.
She's had to prepare hundreds of packages of rum cakes to be sold, including a brand-new flavor specifically requested by QVC. Her cakes will be featured during an eight-minute segment on the Gourmet Holiday show starting at 4 p.m., part of QVC's Christmas in July celebration.
"I'm not nervous about being on live TV," Scavone, 33, said. "It's so miniscule in comparison to my fear about the production, making sure the cakes are ready and made well and enjoyed and everyone is happy."
Mirror file photo
Joyelle Scavone will present her rum cakes on QVC at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Scavone has come a long way in the past few years from creating her gourmet rum cakes with a combination of unique flavors, spiced rum and liquors. She got a big break when Bobby and Jamie Deen of Food Network fame tasted her cake at a Taste of the Alleghenies event. They put her in touch with their mother, famed cook Paula Deen, who has ordered cakes from her, Scavone said.
Her next big break came when internationally known Chef Curtis Stone met Scavone at the Taste of the Alleghenies in 2010 and tried one of her Butterfinger rum cakes.
She was surprised when Food Network producers contacted her last summer about appearing in an episode of the "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" show featuring seasonal foods where Stone talked about her cake.
That same episode led her to the notice of QVC. Scavone said a friend of a QVC agent bought some cakes after seeing them featured on Food Network and insisted the agent try some. After eating it, the agent contacted Scavone and started the process of working with QVC's buyers to get ScRUMptious sold on the shopping network.
"QVC has been great," Scavone said, crediting the agent for all the hard work. "There have been a lot of hoops to go through. It is overwhelming, but it's exciting at the same time. There's been a lot involved."
ScRUMptious rum cakes will be sold on QVC much the same as they are on Scavone's Web site, in a box of four assorted flavors, with the new flavor QVC chose for its exclusive spiced eggnog.
"QVC worked closely with the vendor to create a strong value for our customer, and we are excited to offer a set of four ScRUMptious rum cakes for $37," said Ken O'Brien, director of merchandising for QVC. "The assortment is great for holiday entertaining and features one of the season's most popular flavors."
Baking enough cakes for QVC was just the beginning. Scavone also had to take training sessions that QVC requires before anyone can present items on the air.
"You have to be certified by them," she said. The training included working with a QVC host and doing rehearsals of a presentation. If she had not been able to complete the training, Scavone said she would have had to get a paid actor to appear in her place.
Scavone said she isn't nervous about appearing on television, thanks to her previous experience with the Food Network and her appearances in Mrs. America pageants. She won't know which of the two scheduled hosts Mary Beth Roe or Dan Wheeler she's been paired with until Sunday.
She'll be taking along her husband, Anthony Scavone, who will watch the broadcast from the green room.
Scavone said she will have her hair and makeup done at the network salon - a requirement for anyone on air. And QVC specified what colors she should wear.
Scavone said none of the presentation is planned. "It's not scripted whatsoever. It's all me following the lead of the host."
QVC also will be offering advance ordering for two shipping dates in November and December.
"Most of the orders that will be placed are for the later dates. They want thousands of boxes for November and December," Scavone said.
The rum cakes are always available for order through the ScRUMptious Web site, www.scrumptiousrumcakes.com. And after many requests from customers who wanted a local supplier, Scavone started selling the cakes at LaJo Italian Specialty Store, 1101 Eighth Ave., where people come into the store looking specifically for the cakes.
"I've been selling a ton of them," said store owner Julia Laura. "We've got every flavor you can think of."
Store employee Amber Ingram said they have all six flavors, but the most popular seems to be the original, followed by the coconut then lemon.
"I'm very fortunate and thankful for the success it's brought me and the different avenues and opportunities it's opened for me," Scavone said. "To take something you love and want to do and make a living at it, it's the American dream."