Ending this female-filled, inspiring week on a sweet note: please meet Judith Kennedy of cupCAKE! Whether you walk into her one of her two bakeries or order a custom piece, you will experience a truly decadent treat! All of cupCAKE’s desserts are made with the finest ingredients which include but are not limited to: pure Madagascar vanilla, rich European chocolate, fresh eggs and real butter. CupCAKE will work closely with you and transform your dream dessert into reality!
Judith Kennedy, Owner and Founder of cupCAKE.
What got you interested in working in your industry? What was your trajectory to get to where you are today?
I actually have a degree in Kinesiology and Health Science so this is way out of my element! My Gramma was an avid baker so I’m sure I got the gene from her! My mom told me when I was little I would say I’d one day make wedding cakes for people and voila! I started small at home and did that as well as work full time for almost 12 years! Six years ago I thought I’d take the plunge and try it out in a storefront and the rest is history!
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your career? What has been the most frustrating?
It’s definitely difficult owning a business. A lot of people think we have it easy but the truth is it’s really hard work! The best part of my job is seeing someone’s face light up when they open a cake box and see what we’ve created for them! Building something from the ground up is very satisfying and all business owners should be very proud in what they have done!
The most frustrating part is having to deal with all of the rules and regulations the Government implements! They make it very difficult for a small business owner to do well! What is the biggest challenge you have overcome in your career?
What advice do you have for other women (or men) who would like to get into a career like yours?
Be prepared to work long and hard! Love what you do! I still love spending hours creating cakes. If you truly enjoy what you do it won’t seem like work! If you are starting a business from scratch be prepared financially as many things arise that you may not be prepared for!
What piece of advice, or tip from a mentor, do you think about often that has helped you make decisions about your professional life?
My parents have always been my biggest supporters and they have encouraged me to always work toward my goals! They are still so involved and help out at cupCAKE whenever they can! They taught me to never give up! Give it your all and you will succeed!
Can you walk me through a typical day?
I now have staff that bakes and decorates but typically that would be the first thing that is done each morning. We have 2 locations so we get product ready for both stores by 10:00am. From there I hibernate in my office for an hour or so answering emails, pricing out orders and dealing with the day to day office stuff! During the week I meet with couples who are getting married and we create the perfect cake or cupcake order for them during their consultation! I then spend a few hours in the kitchen decorating cakes and getting orders ready for the week! We have to prepare certain things early in the week so they are dry and ready to place on cakes later in the week so we spend the days earlier in the week doing such. I am constantly checking emails throughout the day and sometimes travelling between our 2 stores making sure everything is going as planned! When I get home my brain still goes! I often wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea 😊
If you could spend a year studying something, what would it be?
I’d have to go back to my Kinesiology roots and say something to do with Medicine!
What hobbies or passions outside of work currently occupy your time? Or what project(s) are you currently working on?
I always enjoy going home to my 5 year old son and 2 step daughters! Although I work a lot of hours I want to make sure I have time to spend with them! I love travelling! Even if it’s just a quick weekend to Niagara I’ll be the first to jump on it! My fiancé is a builder and I enjoy helping him choose accessories for homes he is working on! We are always brainstorming together which is fun!
What advice would you give your fourteen-year-old self?
Believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams! Even if people think you’re crazy for wanting to do something…do it and love every moment of it!!
Thank you too all of the ladies who participated in our International Women’s Day celebrations! We hope you can take the time to go visit their business and meet these amazing women in person.