NOW TO LOVE INTERVIEW FOR WOMAN'S DAY
While in London recently I sat myself down on the curb outside a pub to have a chat to Marilynn from Woman’s Day who was all the way back home in New Zealand. We talked about how the Caker got started and my plans for global domination.
The Caker's Jordan Rondel shares her recipe for success and global expansion plans
“She may have just turned 30, but Jordan Rondel – better known as The Caker – is already preparing the recipe for her dream life.
"I want my cake kits spread all across the world and sold in all the big department stores," she declares.
"It would be good to have a Caker store in LA and then New York. Then I'd probably go to Europe, do London and Paris, and maybe Asia after that. I want to take it global!"
These are big goals for a woman who started a "small blog" nine years ago. Jordan has an online shop as well as a store on Auckland's bustling Karangahape Road, selling gorgeous cakes, baking mix kits and offering classes as well. She is also the author of three cookbooks and has just under 45,000 followers on Instagram.
And while Jordan admits her success is "one of those cheesy stories," she doesn't take it for granted.
"Baking was something that I loved doing so much that I managed to turn it into a career, but I still have to pinch myself every day," she admits.
As a young girl growing up in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn, she would come home after school and bake cakes. Jordan was inspired by her grandparents, who lived in Paris and are amazing cooks.
She was in university studying a commerce degree when her father said, "These cakes are really good. Why don't you do something about it?"
That was all the encouragement the 21-year-old needed. It was 2010 and the internet was an opportunity waiting to happen for many young and talented creatives. What she didn't expect was whirlwind success.
She started her blog called The Caker to share recipes, but seemingly overnight people were asking if they could buy them, and her business was born.
"I started baking cakes in my mum's kitchen and it was only two months later that I realised I needed to find a commercial kitchen," explains Jordan.
"That's how quickly it turned into a thing."
But being an entrepreneur wasn't an easy mind shift.
"The pressure of being my own boss is something my personality doesn't cope that well with," she admits.
"I have good days and bad days where the pressure just accumulates so much and there's too much to do and I can't do any of it."
And now she doesn't have to, with younger sister Anouk, 27, quitting her job as a lawyer to join the venture. Two years ago, she became a co-owner and the business skyrocketed even further.
"Before she came on, I was doing every single aspect of the business myself. I was paying bills, cleaning and baking all of the cakes and ordering all the ingredients," Jordan recalls.
"She was like, 'OK, we need systems.' She walked in and fixed things."
When Woman's Day chats with Jordan, she's sipping on a glass of rosé outside a pub in London. She's just spent six weeks holidaying in Los Angeles with her boyfriend Stefan "Spider" Sinclair, 41, before travelling to the French coastal town of Brittany, where her grandparents have recently moved, then it's on to Berlin.
She's due back home to give two talks at the Auckland Food Show from July 25-28 and continue work on her new recipe book.
Her nomadic lifestyle has been fairly normal since her tattoo artist beau Stefan left Auckland to pursue his inking dreams in LA three years ago. The talented artist, who only does black and grey fine line tattoos, recently gave Jordan a permanent picture of his own design – some hearts on her arm.
Jordan explains, "We've been together nine years. But he's been too nervous this whole time!"
With either of the pair travelling thousands of miles to see each other every two months or so, Jordan hasn't stayed in one place for "a very, very long time".
Though things might be about to change with her two-year dream of being a permanent California girl finally coming true, but it hasn't been an easy ride for Jordan.
She admits that her petite figure is not just through genetics but "running around like a headless chicken all the time" and "being constantly stressed!"
Jordan continues, "It's come to our attention that LA's one of the hardest places to set up a food establishment in America – and potentially the world!"
Right now, things are looking positive – but she wants to be careful not tojinx it – with The Caker finding a shared space in LA's desirable Arts District.
"It's a bunch of private kitchens inside a building, and businesses like mine can go and set up for a year and start building it up," tells Jordan.
"Hopefully, that's what we're going to do. At least that's my 12-month plan!"
Originally published in Woman’s Day, July 25th 2019.