Erin McKenna Interview
(Baby Cakes NYC)
In a city (we’re talking New York City) dominated by cupcakes made with sugar, flour and butter cream, Baby Cakes NYC offers an alternative.
Their cupcakes are all natural. They’re organic.
Who came up with this idea you ask?
Owner Erin McKenna that’s who.
Is there a demand in New York for such a cupcake?
Who’s eating these cupcakes?
Well, that’s what we set out to answer.
Erin McKenna fills us in.
Q – Erin – are you a vegan? Where did you get the idea to open a Vegan bakery?
A – Although I’m not a vegan, I wanted to open a bakery for all the people who couldn’t go to normal bakeries due to dieting restrictions or food allergies. I just felt so left out of the whole bakery experience as a person with sensitivities to wheat and dairy and I decided to do something about it.
Q – Were you previously involved in the bakery business?
A – No. I had never lifted a whisk before Baby Cakes.
Q – Before the magazines and t.v. shows knew of your existence, how did you get the word out that your bakery was different from all the rest?
A – I really don’t want to flaunt that we were a different type of bakery because I know how New Yorkers are and I thought they would snub their noses at us and assume we were some wacky vegan, health conscious bakery. So, I opened as a ‘neighbourhood’ bakery with delicious cupcakes and cookies. Everyone came in and loved the product and when they read the small print on our food labels, they discovered they were actually eating something healthy. So, they told their friends. And-----the word spread very quickly.
Q – Are you able to name any celebrities that frequent your bakery?
A – There have been a ton which is surreal for me! Recently Marisa Tomei, Zooey Deschanel, Mary-Louise Parker, Natalie Portman, (The) Beastie Boys, Madonna, Adam Sandler, Alicia Silverstone and Joan Jett.
Q – You’ve written a cookbook. How is it selling so far?
A – It’s doing so well! We are on our 4th printing and it has only been out for 4 months, so I am pretty ecstatic.
Q – I see you’re opening a bakery in L.A. How do you maintain quality assurance if you’re on one coast and the bakery is on another?
A – I have a young woman, Pam Stampahar who has been working in the kitchen at the bakery intensely for over a year who will re-locate to Los Angeles to run the kitchen. I will be in L.A. a lot, but, it’s comforting to know that someone who has been through the trenches with us in New York will be running the kitchen out there. My sister Elizabeth who worked with me in New York for almost 3 years will be my front of house manager and my good friend Jennifer Frizzel who has run many, many well-known restaurants in L.A. will be on-board as my GM (General Manager). It’s going to be an outstanding team. I have no fears about quality knowing they are there.
Q – How much of a market is there in New York City for your products?
A – It’s certainly a big market that is only getting bigger.
Official website: www.babycakesnyc.com
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