How did you get started in the baking and business world? What was it that lit the spark?
We got our start in the baking world as little kids with our mom, baba and granny. We’ve been surrounded by women who love to bake our whole lives, and they definitely ignited that spark in us at an early age, especially with holiday baking.
We never imagined it would become our career! Ashley was set on becoming a creative director, and Jenna was set on becoming a dentist. But one day in 2009, Jenna watched an episode of Cake Boss, and with a simple thought of “I can do that”, she unknowingly set us off on a whole new path!
How did JRC get started?
Jenna had a knack for cake decorating from the very first fondant cake she ever made. She was instantly hooked! It started out as a creative hobby, which quickly snowballed into friends of friends placing orders for custom cakes, and then complete strangers began reaching out.
She was juggling her budding cake business side hustle with her schoolwork and serving job, and was struggling to find time to sleep. She was getting severely burnt out. She knew she had to either give up on her cake dreams or give up her dental career, and she chose to quit school (one credit away from a diploma, sorry mom!) and jump fully into the cake world including beginning the process of opening her own cake shop.
Ashley was always close by in the early days, helping Jenna get her feet off the ground with a proper brand, logo, photos and a website. When Jenna signed her lease for what is now our flagship location, Ashley came on board to help Jenna out at the shop. We assumed that Jenna could get her design work done in between customers.
When Jenna Rae Cakes opened our popularity took off— lines formed on weekends, daily sell outs made it so hard to keep up with demand, and our curated instagram page’s audience was climbing. We quickly realised that we could build this business together; Jenna with her cake skills and Ashley with her design and marketing skills, and the rest is history!
What’s your favourite thing about working as JRC?
Working side by side everyday! We’re best friends and it’s been a dream come true to work together! It’s truly become a family business; Ashley’s husband, Trevor, is our COO, and our dad, Jeff, is our Supply and Office Manager. Running a business can be so hard, and it’s filled with highs and lows every day, so being surrounded by family who loves and supports you is so priceless.
Ashley has had so much fun designing the brand and building it over the last 10 years with packaging, JRC products, interior design, book design, and more… it’s every designers dream to build a brand from scratch!
Jenna’s dream of focusing on cake design and teaching has started to take off as well. She’s been loving sharing her knowledge of starting as a self-taught cake designer and baker through workshops and plans to do a lot more in the future!