Growing up in Australia, Janette fostered a love for all things tim tams and pavlova. So it does not come as a surprise that when she opened her first bakery, the motivation behind her flavor combinations stemmed from her mixed heritage of Chinese and Australian while intentionally paying homage to places she’s traveled, like Hong Kong. But the road to Janette’s Cupcakes was not as organic as her love for baking.
For many immigrant families, upon arriving in the States, some of the only available work within kitchens or our exploitative food system. For generations, these hardworking immigrant families owned and operated restaurants, cafes, and bakeries working overtime in hopes to avoid their children from following the same path. Jannette is reclaiming this narrative as a true success story. Baking for a living is tough, but she is proud for achieving this first step in her dreams and following her heart. As a kid, she found her fondness in baking through mixes, later crafting her secret specialty recipes that she swears are “perfectly soft and full-on flavor”.
Back in 2019, as a way to fulfill her dream of getting back into the kitchen while working full-time, Janette embarked on a journey that has now turned into her quaint Philadelphia online bakehouse, Jannette’s Cupcakes. What differentiates Janette from your typical bakehouse is her unique flavors. Staying true to her Chinese heritage, she uses flavors like Matcha, Boba tea, and Egg Tart in her cakes and cupcakes to inspire her customers to try them in their traditional dessert form. As a self-described ‘foodie’ Jannette enjoys savoring, understanding, and carefully layering different flavors, obvious upon your first bite. Her cuppie creations are nothing less than expected — equally dazzling and delicious.
In March, when COVID-19 impacted people across the nation, business started to slow but her spirits stayed high — there was no stopping Janette. Like most people, Janette was forced into taking a short but productive break, which she used as a time for creative thinking. “I just want people to know I’m here.. to talk about cakes, to answer questions, for customers to feel safe and comforted.” People wanted a sense of normalcy and that is what Janette was happy to provide.
If you’d like to support Janette you can visit her at Janettescupcakes and www.janettescupcakes.com. Currently, she’s accepting orders through her online website but has big dreams to one day own a brick and mortar where she can make cupcakes for friends and family, all day long.