When Jordan Rondel first opened the doors to The Caker in 2010, she never could have imagined the cult-like following the global brand would gain over the next decade. Being a self-taught baker allowed Rondel to develop a unique style of cake that celebrated the beauty and deliciousness of home baking.
Born in New Zealand to a French father and Irish mother, Rondel developed her love of food from her grandparents. She speaks fondly of holidays spent in Paris, watching as her grandparents carefully sourced ingredients and spent the day cooking for family and friends. “I just fell in love with the whole process. Food is extremely important to my grandparents, it's how they express love, and it's the exact same for me.”
Rondel’s approach to baking is to just go for it. Being self-taught has allowed her a unique freedom in the kitchen to explore novel ideas. As all of her baking experience comes from trial and error, Rondel isn’t daunted by potential baking mishaps when developing new recipes. It’s this approach that led her to create The Caker’s famed Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake, her personal favourite and one of the original cake kit offerings.
“I always held the recipe very close to my chest but one day I realised more people in the world had to try it than just the Aucklanders who frequented my bakery, so I decided to turn it into a cake kit. In the cake kit I provide a sheet of edible 24k gold leaf to decorate it with so it can be enjoyed in its 100% unadulterated original form - it's so decadent, it doesn't need an icing at all,” expressed Rondel.
The Caker’s cake kits are replicas of the original recipes and allow customers to create a true Caker style cake in their own kitchen. Rondel recommends the cake kits to bakers who are nervous to bake from scratch but still wish to enjoy a high quality and delicious cake of their own making.
These days, The Caker is much more than just a bakery, the brand has grown beyond the confines of the hospitality industry. Built around food, fashion, art and beauty, the authentic approach Rondel takes to communicating with her audience has amassed a global following and allowed for an opportunity to expand into beauty products, with a range of eyeliners in the works.
Also in the works for Rondel is a special project with New Zealand Food Network, a not-for-profit foundation that redistributes excess stock and products from growers, producers and wholesalers to people struggling with food insecurity.
As someone who turned her love of home baking into a successful career, Rondel is excited by the growing number of home bakers on social media, describing the increasing popularity of baking as heartwarming and offering up some words of advice for any aspiring baking business owners.
“Find your unique point of difference, be it with your recipes using innovative ingredients or your particular decorating style or something that sets you apart from the other cakes available in your area is the most important thing when starting a baking business in my opinion.”