I’m the baker and dessert enthusiast behind Sweet Bake Shop. Over about nine years, I grew my company from a blog, to baking for customers from my downtown Vancouver apartment, to a bakery, to pop-up shops, to brand partnerships and a baking book – which you can now find in all major bookstores and online.
In my early twenties, I graduated from broadcasting school and landed a job as a morning radio co-host. I was thrilled to be getting paid to talk, but the shiny newness of my job eventually wore off and I became increasingly unhappy and bored – so I left. I went back to my job as a waitress and additionally, picked up some part-time work at a bakery. It was there, surrounded by bowls of buttercream, covered in flour and working long, unglamorous hours, that something clicked: This was my happy place. Watching customers eyes light up when talking about or eating their favourite dessert was magical – good food has such a way of doing that – and that was something that I knew I wanted to be part of.
A few years later, I attended the Peggy Porschen Academy in London, UK – a dream of mine for years – to really hone my skills in cookie decorating and specialty cake design. In 2014, I opened Sweet Bake Shop, a boutique bakery just a few blocks from my apartment, and I couldn’t have been more excited. The first few months were a blur of cake crumbs and little sleep. On more than one occasion, I found myself spending the night in my shop, napping on a piece of flattened cardboard, so that I could keep an eye on cake layers baking in the oven. Oh, the glamorous life of a new business owner!
Just shy of my shop’s first birthday, I was contacted by my now-editor at Penguin Random House about a potential baking book deal and I knew I had to make a decision – keep my new business open or take the opportunity to write the baking book I had always wanted to write (there was no way I could juggle both). I really wanted to write a book but I’d heard from friends who had recently published their books that the writing process consumes your life. The trouble was, my life was currently consumed by my business. It was an incredibly tough decision to have to make. That summer, I closed the pink doors to my shop and said farewell to our beloved customers…and hello to the publishing world.
Since the release of my book in 2018, a lot has happened. I started regularly hosting baking and decorating workshops and began baking desserts for clients again, but this time, out of a private kitchen. During this time, I contemplated reopening a storefront bakery hundreds of times, even going to look at multiple available spaces for lease, but they just never felt right. Then one morning in March of 2019, I woke up so sick – stress, poor diet and lack of sleep had caught up with me and I was forced to take some time off to heal my body. This meant overhauling my diet and lifestyle completely, so on many a rainy night, while staying home and watching everything on Netflix, I was allowed the time and space to reflect on everything that I had been avoiding. I started going back to the gym and fell in love with exercise. I read endlessly about food and health and found it truly fascinating…and slowly, I got better. What I realized most during this time was that I had been purposely keeping super busy so that I wouldn’t have to think about what was in the back of my mind: my company and where I wanted to take it…and then realizing that I wanted it to stop there. So at the end of 2019, I said goodbye to my company – and hello to new opportunities and passions.
To all of our customers and friends, thank you. Your support over the years has meant absolutely everything. To everyone who purchased the book, thank you for spending your hard-earned money on my recipes. The book will continue to be available in major bookstores and online.
Thanks for stopping by!