iN VIDEO: Kelowna bakery to make its Food Network Canada debut
Whisk Cake Company has been a delicious staple in Kelowna for a decade, offering up some of the city’s sweetest and fanciful cakes to a faithful clientele.
Baker and owner Tanya Garratt has won numerous accolades and awards, and business was so strong, Whisk even doubled its footprint three years ago to make room for a cafe.
She seemed to be riding a sweet wave of success but just like everyone else, she and her team took a turn for the worse when COVID-19 hit.
“It really annihilated us,” Garratt said.
“We used to do 12 to 18 wedding cakes a weekend.”
When the restrictions came in, they were lucky if they would have had that for the year.
“We were weeks from closing the bakery in July,” she said.
That’s when Garratt got an unexpected email from producers at the Food Network.
“They had asked us if we would like to part of new series that they are going to start,” Garratt said.
The show is called "Project Bakeover" and it follows pastry chef Steve Hodge and designer Tiffany Pratt as they help bakeries across North America turn their businesses around.
“Tiffany renovates the front of the bakery and Steve works with the bakers to reinvigorate the business,” Garratt said.
They arrived on her doorstep in September, stayed for 10 days and really helped turn things around.
“We opened the cafe a few years ago but nobody knew they could get coffee,” she said.
“I found out the cafe wasn’t super inviting... so the Food Network rebranded us Whisk Bakery and Cafe, they redid front of the building and the cafe side and we introduced more items.”
The menu now offers breakfast and lunch, croissants and cinnamon knots and a whole lot of stuff in between.
“Everything is made from scratch every morning,” she said.
The delicious silver lining is that the changes have made way for her to have a bit of a breather.
Being a highly sought-after wedding cake baker is an all-consuming line of work, and until the cafe took off Garratt was working around the clock, burnt out and barely able to make time for her toddler.
Now the future is looking brighter and the business is stronger than ever.
“This January was our busiest January we have ever had,” she said. “The walk by traffic has been terrific right from the time we have been reopened."
And if it keeps going, she’s pretty sure she’ll start to get weekends off. For a little while, anyway.
To watch Garratt, check out Project Bake Thursday, March 4 at 7 p.m. on the Food Network Canada.
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