Where it all began.
Posted by MAUREEN KEENE
I wanted to share a little of our story.
City Cake Company is 24 this year, and as anyone who has celebrated this will tell you, 24 is quite a milestone.
My mother, a dedicated baker always talked to me about her ambition to open what she then called a “home cookery”. We never realised her ambition until after her death. The year after she passed, I got to thinking about this.
We owned a café in Mt Eden called Solla Sollew and when our present premises became available just up the road, my daughter Tracy (and my business partner) said – “Why don’t we open a cake shop; you have always wanted to do that”.
Whilst Tracy was running the Café, and I a wholesale branded sportswear business, we recruited an ex-employee as a business partner and proceeded with the first small steps of The City Cake Company. It wasn’t very long before I had an opportunity to exit my sportswear business and work full time on our new baby.
The original concept of the City Cake Company business was based around the premise that I enjoyed having friends and family over for dinner, and at the same time was raising two small children on my own. I didn’t mind the planning and cooking part of a dinner party, until dessert, which was always my tipping point. If only I could buy dessert, and it was one that I would be proud to serve! On surveying the market, at that time there was nothing that fell into my requirements.
Hence the concept of The City Cake Company was born.
The fit-out was done from a concept designed by Tracy. It was a modern New York based design which has proved to be ageless and looks just as good today as it did 21 years ago.
Tracy in the meantime had twin girls and wanted to spend some time with her babies, so we sold the café. She then opened a bar at the top of Mt Eden Rd – The Corner Store, but we both found that our lifestyle precluded us from spending much time there. We eventually sold this business and Tracy came full time to City Cake Company.
I wanted to make beautiful cakes of the highest quality - not just sponge which was all that around at that time! We turned to the concept that all our cakes would be based on Maderia cake. Maderia cake is roughly equally weight of butter sugar and eggs, and the cakes we make today are still based on this.
We added a few desserts to our range of bespoke cakes, and opened our doors for business.
The basis for our cake and dessert range evolved from requests from our customers. The product range was very successful but it wasn't long before we were getting requests for custom designed cakes and cake deliveries.
We had a talented pastry chef, who had an eye for design, so she moved into the role of cake decorator. This very talented lady is still with us today and she is largely responsible for the look of our product.