How two baking-lovers turned a passion into a dream during COVID-19

Two friends took a chance on something they both loved, with a delicious result.
Two friends took a chance on something they both loved, with a delicious result. Photo credit: Whipped Cakery / Instagram.

It's no secret that 2020 hasn't gone to plan for most people.

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant much financial stress and job uncertainty, but there has been a light at the end of a long, challenging tunnel for some.

Auckland cakery owners Jay Mackie and Alyssa Cox were some of the lucky few who managed to make the best of an unfortunate situation. The pair first met back in 2013 when Cox's brother started dating Mackie and they both discovered their shared love for baking.

One night in January 2019, with the help of a few wines, Cox gathered the courage to create an Instagram account for their shared hobby. Whipped Cakery was born. 

The boutique cakery, based on Instagram, is known for its novelty cakes, cupcakes and sweet treats. Their mouth-watering goodies were enough to leave a lasting impression on social media alone, but the one thing missing was a physical store.

Fast forward to this year's coronavirus pandemic, which saw Cox made redundant from her full-time job as an international flight attendant. Mackie still had her accounting job but Cox saw an opportunity. 

"I toyed with the idea of getting another full time job to kill some time before we were ready to open a shop, but decided to bite the bullet!" she told Newshub. 

Turning a dream into a reality is never an easy journey, especially given the lockdown restrictions faced by the hospitality industry during level 4. But Cox and Mackie took a chance. 

"We were fortunate enough to be operating from my registered home kitchen and as soon as we were able to, we started doing local, contactless deliveries around the community to make sure we got the business back on track," said Cox.

Soon their home kitchen premises was too small for the demand, and the pair started looking for something bigger. 

"We hunted around for weeks to find the perfect space, meeting with real estate agents and attending viewings. Once we found a space we fell in love with, we signed the lease and got the ball rolling."

After years of hard work and the speedbump of a pandemic, Whipped Cakery finally opened to the public on July 18, to "roaring success". Although Mackie and Cox still have a long road ahead of them, "everything is fun at the moment".

The pair love "being a part of peoples special days, and feel so honored that they choose us to share big milestones with" and have been "overwhelmed by the support of locals". 

The country's push to support local couldn't have come at a more perfect time for Whipped Cakery.