Aucklanders Killin' It: Amy's Secret Kitchen
It's barely a secret, boasting a loyal insta following and a fully loaded orders-book, boutique cakery Amy's Secret Kitchen has dominated the drool-worthy cake game since stepping on the scene in 2012. Continuing our Aucklanders Killin It series, we sit down with Amy, one half of the duo behind the beautiful baking for a chat on how she and her sister Charlotte beat their way to top.
Designated at the token birthday cake creator, Amy's high school years were defined by a series of Barbie, chocoholic and Women's Weekly cookbook cakes. This rolled into a school-holiday programme for kids, then two years, dozens of YouTube tutorials and several courses later, Amy's Secret Kitchen had established itself as the go-to cakers on Ponsonby's Brown Street.
But her sights weren't always set on buttercream. A creative soul and not really one for school, Amy tried her hand at a hospo degree before a lack of fulfilment led her to kitchen work where she got thrown into making cakes (so pls don't lose hope gals, there is more than one path to success!)
Between Pinterest and Instagram there is no shortage of ‘cakespo’, but Amy prides herself on steering clear of the sweet trends and carving her own path for her creations. It took her almost two years to settle on a definitive style, and she’s got it down pat.
"It was quite difficult to work out, but I don't want to look like everyone else's, to me it's important to have your own look and feel."
One of their business secrets is actually parked out front, in the form of a (phenomenal) pink van. Each morning begins with Amy and Charlotte hopping in and hand delivering cakes to their customers. The duo decided early on that people are the most important part of their business, and do everything they can to keep the boutique-vibes strong.
From there Amy’s day follows several hours of beating, whipping and other baking lingo before settling in for a couple of hours of creative brainstorming (check out those sketches!) and girlboss number crunching and planning.
No event is out of the question, a brief glance at their pastel-hued Insta shows the gals have created customised masterpieces for weddings, birthdays and Father's Day's alike but one takes the (pun alert!) cake.
"The best event so far was The Bastille Day spread we put on for The Department Store in Takapuna. The bief centred around the film Antoinette and it was beautiful".
"My sister’s wedding cake was also so special to make, although it took us so long to get right because she is a perfectionist!"
There is no better fan than one of the fam, and for Amy and Charlotte their parents have been the supportive backbone to their success.
"Mum and dad help us out a lot with our branding, so every week we put on a morning tea for them. We always get them to test out new flavours and styles which is great."
Q&A: The Down Low
What is your advice to young girl bosses? Be your own inspiration! You have to care about your customers, and great presentation is key.
Secret ingredient? Love!
Favourite thing on your menu right now? A combo of chocolate cake with raspberry cream cheese icing. It's full of freeze dried raspberries and almost tastes like ice cream.
Baking beats? I love beautiful music, on Spotify there is a playlist called beautiful music and I love it to be inspired. When I'm in the kitchen I kick back to upbeat indie pop.
Secret to baking great cakes? I learnt from mum, if you are using fan-bake go 20 degrees lower than the recipe suggests. And love (again!) is the key thing to fold into your cakes.
To stay up to date with all things cake-related, follow the gals beaut insta @amyssecretkitchen or treat yourself/your girl gang and order a delish masterpiece from www.amyssecretkitchen.com
Pics courtesy of Amy's Secret Kitchen.