Featured in The Free Press – Tampa
TAMPA, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, August 24, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — Kristina Lavallee is an entrepreneur and owner of The Cake Girl, an award-winning bakery located in Tampa, Florida. During her first year in her brick and mortar bakery, Covid-19 hit and changed her business model for future success. Now the bakery operates for walk-in traffic in addition to shipping their sweets around the nation.
The Cake Girl is a traditional walk in bakery specializing in gourmet cupcakes, custom cakes and ice cream – but now they have shifted into also selling their award winning cake nationwide. At the start of the year business was booming, but that quickly changed with mandatory shutdowns of food service establishments across the nation as the pandemic spiked earlier this year. Walk in traffic tanked, but Kristina and her husband, Kirby, didn’t sit around and wait for customers; they adapted and quickly implemented a new way for people to enjoy their sweets by selling online. “New times means adapting to a new market” said Kirby Lavallee. They began shipping their made from scratch cakes all over the USA in custom branded insulated boxes with ice. What’s commonly referred to as cake jars, also known as Crave’n Cups at The Cake Girl, are 8oz jars assembled with hand layered cake, toppings and icing are made in their bakery in Tampa and then chilled and shipped directly to your door. They even took it a step further to offer gluten free and vegan options.
The Crave’n Cups were created for both the individual and corporate client in mind. The idea was to make great gifts for friends and family, as well as great corporate gift giving. The Crave’n Cups can also be custom designed with company stickers and color schemes, which makes them very unique. Over the last few months, The Cake Girl has done several thousand custom branded Crave’n Cups for companies all over the USA and shipped them directly to their clients effortlessly .
Being in the kitchen is nothing new for Kristina. Growing up in Puerto Rico, she had great experience working alongside her mother, Margarita, who is a Chef. She took the years of hard work and dedication along with the skills she received while attending University of Central Florida Rosen School of Hospitality Management and put them into action almost 10 years ago when she founded The Cake Girl. What started as a small weekend operation working out of a tent at farmers markets grew into the addition of a food truck and then in June of 2019, a full service brick and mortar location launched.
As business continues to shift, Kristina envisions The Cake Girl continuing to not only thrive locally, but become a brand that is demanded nationwide by customers looking for the best quality sweets delivered right to their door year round. “My goal has always been to spread sweetness wherever we go, this is allowing us to touch more people outside of our market” she said.
The pandemic has also given them the ability to give their customers a look into who they really are. With the implementation of videos focusing on their transparent cleaning and sanitation processes and procedures to keep their customers safe, to virtual networking to assist other business owners with connecting with others remotely, Kristina and Kirby have found themselves busier than ever. “This is helping our customers and business partners to get to know us on a more personal level,” said Kirby.
In addition to shifting business practices, Kristina and Kirby have also helped other business owners through the struggle many are facing. Their business neighbor just a few doors down from them had their grand opening during the pandemic and struggled to get any business. Kristina and Kirby partnered with them and allowed them to do joint promotions utilizing The Cake Girls customer base to bring sales and awareness to their new store. “Giving back and helping others is what we do each and every day as part of our mission at The Cake Girl” said Kirby “It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s how we all succeed in the world.”
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