We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Tam & Andres Fuentes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy & Andres, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In 2010, Andy & I started Cake Girl in my tiny home kitchen in El Sereno, we only did pop-up events and custom orders while we both worked our day jobs. As Cake Girl grew, we thought of expanding our kitchen to a larger commercial one. We were not thinking of having a storefront. In 2015, Andy came about a space in Boyle Heights, the neighborhood he grew up in. It was vacant old school soda fountain counter inside of St Louis Drug Company. This space felt perfect and that was when we took the biggest chance of our lives to open a storefront for Cake Girl. We spent the next 2 1/2 years working on bringing this space up to Los Angeles city code.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Cake Girl is a locally owned small bake shop that specializes in cakes, cupcakes, baked donuts, cookies and more. Where everything 100% vegan, gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free. No need to drive all the way to the Westside in LA traffic for alternative baked goods. Andy & I are proud of the space we have built. All of our hard work and challenges through the 2 1/2 years that took us to open Cake Girl was worth it. Every step was a learning experience.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
A little itinerary for our best friend that is visiting a week would be definitely visiting a few of our favorite eateries: Mellie’s Cafe, Happy Family Restaurant, Little Sheep Hot Pot, Vinh Loi Tofu, Golden Dragon Restaurant, Shojin, Street Taco & Grill, India Sweets and Spices and Xtiosu. Some places to visit would be Elysian Park, a Dodger game, a LA Kings game and Saigon Plaza. A few places to hang out for drinks would be Muddy Paw Coffee and Hinterhof. There are many more great eateries and fun places visit in and around Los Angeles.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Cake Girl could not have happened without the help of our architect Daniel Ziese of Ziese Architecture. When Andy & I started working on our storefront, we were on our own. We did not have major construction or redesign to the original soda fountain space but the LA city departments made it a very difficult proceed and did little to help answer our questions. In all, bringing our tiny store front up to LA city code took around 2 1/2 years. Daniel guided us every step of the way. We simply can not thank him enough! Other people I would like to thank would be my mother and father. Both of my parents were very supportive of my journey. My father was a huge influence on my culinary and baking passion. He always encouraged me to work hard, stay positive and take chances. Months prior to our business opening my father had passed away.