Just Jess Cake Co.
We discovered Jess on Instagram a while back and fell in love with her amazing hustle. Her to do lists for work, the gym and her home was a daily inspiration for this wee side hustle at the time. Her instagram is a deliciously pink feast and we can personally vouch that her donuts are both beautiful and delicious!
Please tell us a bit about you and how you started your amazing small business.
Hi lovely people! I'm Jess and I'm 25 years old. I'm an organised creative who loves making beautiful things with food. I own Just Jess Cake Co, we do custom cakes, cookies, donuts and a few other treats. I started Just Jess about 5 years ago as a hobby, my social pages were just for me to share my creations and document my progress. Eventually I started to get asked by friends and family to bake cakes and cupcakes for their parties and started it up as a side-hustle business about 3 years ago, and took the leap into full time October 2018. I've never looked back!
What wedding services do you offer?
We create a few beautiful wedding products in the Just Jess Kitchen. Firstly, of course, gorgeous wedding cakes. I have 2 ranges - the first is a standard cake rage, which is more basic (but still delicious!) flavours and a beautifully simple design. I created the standard range after the last wedding season I noticed simple cakes were trending big time, they're quicker to make and I wanted to make a big beautiful cake affordable for all couples. I then have a bespoke range, which allows us to design your dream cake together, and they are unique to every couple. These ones can have all the add ons, the boujee gold leaf, different gourmet flavoured tiers and multiple icing techniques on one cake. Secondly - donuts! A huge wedding trend last season which seems to be continuing. Not every couple wants a wedding cake, or they want the best of both worlds with a small cake to cut on top and a tiered stand filled with delish donuts for their guests to devour. I've also done a few wedding where the couple have done donut favours - so each guest sits down at their seat to find an individually bagged donut waiting for them. These can be a range of colours, marbled, gold leaf, sprinkles, fresh flowers on them - the options are endless! And I LOVE getting creative with these. Lastly - custom stamped cookies. A beautiful, unique and yummy way to send a message, name your guests place/seats or have at the door for people to grab on their way out with your initials and wedding date stamped in. We also make these cookies a lot for bridesmaid/groomsmen proposals!
Describe your style and aesthetics in 3 words.
Simple, beautiful, sassy and PINK!
Where are you based and are you available nationwide?
I am based in Hobsonville, Auckland. I deliver wedding cakes locally to Kumeu venues for free, or further afield at a per km charge - I am not opposed to a roadie either! Cookies can be couriered nationwide.
Advice for couples when choosing wedding vendors to work with?
Do your research - make sure the cake you have in mind gels with the cake vendors style, this way you will get the absolute best result from your chosen cake maker. Make sure your cake maker is registered and licensed to sell food legally - this is super important to protect yourself and your guests from sickness! It's also important to support legit businesses, they have tight terms and conditions which can help if anything were to happen to protect both parties. Find someone with a voice and style you love! I personally love connecting with my brides and some have become friends over the years.
What is your most commonly asked question from wedding couples?
Do you do cake tasting? I think as a couple planning their wedding the cake tasting is a super fun part of the journey! I do a cake tasting box once a year (between seasons) so that brides and grooms for the upcoming season can taste my most popular wedding flavours and make their decision while making it into a wee occassion. The next round of cake tasting boxes is in July, and are available to purchase now on my website.
How can couples get started on setting priorities and budgets for their wedding day?
What are the 3 most important things to you as a couple? Those are the things it's worth splurging on, is it location, videography, cake? For me personally it was my wedding dress (of course!), photography and videography and location. See what you can DIY without putting too much stress on yourselves and your family/friends - decide if it's better to outsource/pay or worth the time required to DIY. Think outside the box and be realistic about your wedding budget - people can create some amazing weddings with budgets of all sizes so don't spend above your means. It's the most amazing day and worth every cent as long as you aren't struggling for years after it - you want to enjoy your time as newlyweds without too much money stress!
Tips for how a wedding couple can inject their personalities into their big day?
All the aesthetics - let your style come through in things like signage, clothing, colours, venue and flowers. Me and my husband are very chilled people who just wanted our day to be fun with a huge party! We are avid skiiers/snowboarders so we had a snowy winter wedding at Mt Ruapehu and instead of a structured sit down dinner we served up a whole lot of pizzas to our guests and had couches and a few tables around, with one huge dance floor! Oh and I couldn't decide what type of wedding cake I wanted - so I made three!
What is your favourite part of your job and being in the New Zealand wedding industry?
My favourite part is the freedom, being my own boss allows me to experiment, set my own hours and create beautiful things on the daily. It scratches my creative itch and I get a huge sense of pride in my work. It's very fulfilling! I love the New Zealand wedding industry because we have SO. MUCH. TALENT! We truly have some amazing wedding vendors and have a wonderful supportive community. We also have the most stunning country in the world and it's pretty amazing some of the beautiful places I deliver wedding cakes to.
Your favourite wedding trend at the moment?
NEUTRALS! I looooove neutral colours and I'm loving the brides wearing softer lace gowns, all the wood and toe toe coming through. I love seeing a bride in a boho dress with a hat and a customised leather wedding jacket. I'm dreaming of the day a couple asks me to make a neutral cake instead of the usual white! Give me ALL the nudes.
Best wedding song to kickstart the dance floor?
Wild Thoughts - Rhianna Pony - Genuine And I can't wait to hear some Tik Tok songs/dances hitting wedding dance floors this year - anyone up for a group Savage routine on the d floor?
When you are not working, you are.......?
At the snow or the beach! Seeing my family and friends, eating pasta and drinking wine!
Any last words of advice for wedding couples?
My number one tip for couples who can afford it or make room in their budget - GET VIDEO for your wedding!!!!! My biggest piece of advice, it captures voices, emotions and little moments that photo's don't always get. It's so special to watch back and to eventually show children and grandchildren in hears to come.
You can also find Jess on the below social media platforms.