Police Chief Turned Cake Boss

THE STORYLINE OF A formidable cop who has a sensitive side is often the stuff of television scripts. Yet in neighborhoods across America, many of us have known such a police officer. Such is the case of Ocean Beach with Ocean Beach Police Chief George Hesse. A fixture in this village for decades, Chief Hesse can be all business on a hectic Saturday night in the height of a summer season. He can also be calm and soft spoken when you are the person in that police office with a problem. And with Ocean Beach being the big small town on Fire Island, there are no secrets. Yet Hesse has managed to surprise us all in an unexpected way.About a year and a half ago at various functions that dot the Fire Island calendar, cupcakes started making an appearance at dessert tables that were works of art in themselves. They almost looked too good to eat – almost being the key word, for they tasted as good as they looked. We here at Fire Island News had to investigate of course.

“Well a couple of years ago my kids asked me to make a cake,” explained Hesse. “So I pulled a box of cake mix out of the cupboard, and made it for them. While it was baking I read the ingredients and thought to myself ‘who eats this crap?’ It was all chemicals!”So began his quest for recipes, and learning to bake from scratch.“Some [recipes] I liked, others I didn’t. I started taking ideas from the ones I liked and came up with my own recipes.”Yes, a talented baker is a good thing. Folks talk about his rainbow cake, which is supposed to be amazing. However as the saying goes, it’s all in the presentation, and these confections were sublime little creations: High peaks of green frosting with red accents to make a forest of Christmas tree cupcakes; an understated wedding cake composed of simple white rosettes; a baptismal cake in muted pastel colors accented with paper butterflies and baby’s breath flowers. Certainly someone has been taking catering classes on the side to make this happen? But it turns out our baking police chief is self-taught.“If I want to learn something, I YouTube it,” said Hesse modestly.

Nevertheless, George’s cakes are becoming quite popular, and very much in demand. In fact Chief Hesse now has a Facebook page dedicated to this enterprise: “Copcakes Arresting Appetites.” (@ copcakesarrestingappetites) Martha Stewart had better watch her back! So is this little cottage industry part of Hesse’s retirement plan? The Chief insists that this is a hobby, but his reputation is gaining traction, and who knows where that might lead?“I love to do it,” said Hesse. “Every baking job I do is a story. It really makes me feel good when someone enjoys what I make, and that’s what its really about.”OBPD Chief George Hesse serving up his cupcakes.