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A one-woman home-based bakery is ready to expand & bring her colorful sweets to the Tampa Bay community
248 backers pledged $21,891 to help bring this project to life.
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Hi! I'm Jen Jacobs, the woman behind the whisk. I was born and raised in sunny Florida. Wandering Whisk blends together the two things I'm most passionate about - baking & traveling. For the last 4 years I have been baking out of my home as a cottage food business while working full-time as a TV producer by day. I am now focused on growing my part time business to full time and I'm thrilled to be expanding into my first brick & mortar location! (Check out the video at the top of this page to hear my story & get a tour of the new bakery).

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Hi, it's me! Just posing with some of my favorite colorful desserts & trying not to eat them all.
Hi, it's me! Just posing with some of my favorite colorful desserts & trying not to eat them all.

Wandering Whisk's new space is very centrally located in the heart of Pinellas County- only a short drive to downtown St. Pete, Tampa, Clearwater and the beaches. This space will be referred to as a 'boutique bakery studio' where I will create all of my custom orders for weddings, birthdays, showers, corporate events and pretty much any party under the sun.

The big announcement of our new shop opening in the Tampa Bay Times
The big announcement of our new shop opening in the Tampa Bay Times

Wandering Whisk Bakeshop will be opening up to the public on specific days as a "pop up" with a case full of desserts for purchase. We will be focusing on lots of holiday and seasonal treats because who doesn't want pumpkin spice macarons or Christmas cream puffs?! We will also be offering a variety of private classes for all ages and skill levels such as macaron making, decorating colorful buttercream cakes and lots of seasonally-themed classes! Our goal is to be up & running by August with our first pop up at Halloween and classes starting around the holidays.

Since we will not be a retail storefront on a daily basis, we will be wholesaling our sweets to local businesses so you will be able to get your dessert fix any day of the week! Supporting local is a big initiative for our business.

Photos of the shop right after signing the lease - no renovations had been done yet!
Photos of the shop right after signing the lease - no renovations had been done yet!

What Sets Wandering Whisk Apart

Wandering Whisk specializes in modern, whimsical sweets. I love to incorporate bright colors and unique designs into every dessert. The main focus of the business is cakes - everything from small vibrant party cakes to towering, elaborately designed wedding cakes. I'm extremely passionate about all different types of pastry, not just cakes. French Macarons are a big part of Wandering Whisk and we've been told ours are just as good, if not better than the ones you would get in Paris. Other popular items are cookie sandwiches, dessert bars, tarts, cupcakes and cream puffs.

Our dessert philosophy is pretty basic. Everything should TASTE as good as it LOOKS. The world is full of a lot of mediocre desserts but ours is not one of them. You eat because you have to but you enjoy dessert because it is an indulgence, a reward and something that should make you incredibly happy. We pride ourselves on really unique flavors with some of our most popular being Banana Nutella Cake, Chocolate Sea Salt Cookie Sandwiches, Lavender Macarons and Passion Fruit Tarts. We also offer a variety of gluten-friendly items.

Wandering Whisk specializes in colorful buttercream designs (no fondant over here) because we believe that EVERY dessert should taste as good as it looks!
Wandering Whisk specializes in colorful buttercream designs (no fondant over here) because we believe that EVERY dessert should taste as good as it looks!

How I Got Started

I've been baking since I was old enough to climb up to the counter. My mom and I spent much of my time growing up in our kitchen, especially around the holidays. My mom is pretty famous for her Christmas cookies, especially her Dream Bars (buttery brown sugar walnut bars that are slightly addicting). I now proudly make my mom's cookies and sell them around the holidays. I love incorporating my family recipes into my menu.

In 2014 while working overnights at my then TV job, I would spend my days baking and trying any new recipe that came my way. I brought Red Velvet Cookie Sandwiches into work around Valentine's Day and before I knew it, people were asking if they could buy them from me. These cookie sandwiches were talked about all over the office and suddenly everyone was coming to me to order desserts for their parties.

Left: Baby Jen doing some baking / Right: The Red Velvet Cookie Sandwiches that started it all
Left: Baby Jen doing some baking / Right: The Red Velvet Cookie Sandwiches that started it all

I entered the Morean Arts Center 'Great St. Pete Cupcake Contest' in 2015 and to my surprise, won 1st place Peoples' Choice Award beating out 70 other local bakers with my Banana Nutella Cupcakes. In 2016, I entered my Chai Latte Cupcakes and won 1st Place Peoples' Choice yet again! The judges also came up with a spontaneous 'Best Buttercream' award, noting that my buttercream was the best they had ever had. Over the last 2 years, I have now become a judge for the annual competition.

Showing off my cupcake competition awards in 2015 (left) & 2016 (right)
Showing off my cupcake competition awards in 2015 (left) & 2016 (right)

I'm primarily self-taught and although I have taken classes at the San Francisco Baking Institute and Le Cordon Bleu Paris, most of what I've learned is from reading. In the early days, I would check out culinary textbooks at the library and immerse myself into the world of pastry. Over the years, I have been featured on several local morning shows doing baking segments and in The Penny Hoarder, Cherry Bombe Magazine, Tampa Bay Times, Best Friends for Frosting and on various wedding blogs (1, 2, 3). My most exciting accomplishment is airing on July 8 - I'm a competitor on the Food Network show Holiday Baking Championship: Christmas in July!

Left: Very proud of this Le Fraisier I made at the San Francisco Baking Institute in 2015 / Middle: Taking a French Macaron class at Le Cordon Bleu Paris in 2018 / Right: Filiming Holiday Baking Championship for the Food Network in 2019
Left: Very proud of this Le Fraisier I made at the San Francisco Baking Institute in 2015 / Middle: Taking a French Macaron class at Le Cordon Bleu Paris in 2018 / Right: Filiming Holiday Baking Championship for the Food Network in 2019

The Next Chapter

Wandering Whisk has completely outgrown my home kitchen. When you're working out of a home kitchen, there is a limited amount of orders you can take on with only a standard size oven, a single mixer, and a residential fridge. I spent the early part of 2019 looking for the perfect new home for Wandering Whisk. I kept in mind my monthly budget as well as finding an easily accessible location for people coming from various parts of the community. Having my own brick & mortar space will allow me to increase the number of orders I take on a weekly basis along with supplying us with retail and classroom space. 

Wandering Whisk has grown into a vibrant business and it couldn't have been done without the help of a loyal community that truly believes in supporting local business. We are growing to meet the demand of our customers and want to make our desserts even more accessible to people in our area. As with the expansion of any business, money is needed to make the dream a reality. 

Wedding Cakes are a huge part of the business. The new shop will allow us to take on even more weddings each week!
Wedding Cakes are a huge part of the business. The new shop will allow us to take on even more weddings each week!

Where Will the Money Go?

Starting a business isn't cheap, let alone a food business that requires expensive equipment and specific building requirements. We will be using the Kickstarter funds in a variety of ways. 

Where will the $20,000 go?

  • Kitchen equipment: Convection oven, commercial fridge and freezer, Hobart mixer, sinks, prep tables, shelving, furniture
  • Renovations: Flooring, painting, electrical work, plumbing, lighting, signage
  • Architect, contractors, permits, insurance
  • Help with overhead costs for the first year

Kickstarter is a great medium to raise funds but, in case you were unaware, it is an all or nothing campaign. So this means if I don't meet my $20,000 goal in 30 days, then I don't get a single dime and the donations are returned to the donors. You can see how important it is that I reach my goal! That's where you come in. In exchange for a donation, you have the option to receive a really awesome reward. No donation is too small! By making a contribution to my campaign, you've now become a part of the Wandering Whisk family and we can't wait to welcome you into our new bakery!

Frosting a Banana Cake in my tiny downtown St. Pete apartment where I first started my business.
Frosting a Banana Cake in my tiny downtown St. Pete apartment where I first started my business.

Rewards!

Now we get to the good stuff. Every time you contribute to the Wandering Whisk Campaign, you have the opportunity to claim one of our rewards in exchange for your donation. Keep in mind, some of the rewards like our private classes, will only have a limited amount available so don't wait until the last minute. Whether you're in Tampa Bay or on the other side of the country, there is a reward for you. For the first time ever, we will be shipping our desserts as a reward option! Do you love to bake but want to see first-hand what it's like to decorate a Wandering Whisk signature cake? Then come be our 'Baker for a Day!' You can wear our beautiful new logo on a tee or whisk around town with our tote bag. Want to make someone's day by surprising them with a cake? We have a 'PA(str)Y it Forward' option which we will personally deliver to the person of your choice! Want to spend the day in Paris without buying an expensive plane ticket? We are thrilled to be offering gift boxes of macarons or our hands-on Macaron Class as rewards! P.S. Many of these rewards will be fulfilled around the holidays so any of them can be used as a holiday or hostess gift!

Some of our SWEET rewards! Cookie sandwiches, a branded Wandering Whisk tote and a box of French macarons (or learn to make them in our hands-on class).
Some of our SWEET rewards! Cookie sandwiches, a branded Wandering Whisk tote and a box of French macarons (or learn to make them in our hands-on class).

On a daily basis, I get to transform eggs, flour and sugar into wild, colorful pieces of artwork. Baking is truly magical. Opening a bakery has been my dream. I have worked incredibly hard to build a solid foundation for Wandering Whisk and I know that the time is right. I walk into the kitchen every day excited to see what's next, knowing that I get to spend my days being creative and putting everything I have into making this dream a reality. 

Risks and challenges

When I first started my business, I set a plan for myself. I wouldn't open a shop until I had been in business for at least several years with a steady customer base and an understanding of how to run a successful business. Most small businesses that fail don't take the time to build up their business before making a huge jump into a brick & mortar. I know that there are risks associated with every big move but I am a planner and have made every attempt to set myself up for success!

Video Credit: Jeremy Boguslaw
Audio Credit in Video:
Daily Beetle Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Song 1 / Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Cheery Monday Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Song 2 / Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Music Title: Happy and Joyful Children Song 3 / youtu.be/lv1YPeP1O8k / Released by: Free Music www.youtube.com/channel/UCqpifMUDQ-HQNO12t7wKBmw

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    THANK YOU!!

    No donation is too small! We will send you a personal heartfelt thank you email.

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    Limited Edition Sticker & THANK YOU!

    We have beautiful new branding created by a local St. Pete designer and we can't wait to show it off! Get one of our limited edition stickers (printed locally, of course) and a personal thank you note! Put that sticker on your binder, mirror, car...the choice is yours.

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    Pop By for Dessert!

    If you're a local, come visit us at one of our future pop ups and pick out two individual items from the bakery case - how about an oatmeal cream pie or lavender macaron? Stay tuned to our social media for updates on pop up dates!

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    • Voucher for TWO Free Desserts at a Future Pop Up
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    Whisk Around Town with Our New Tote Bag

    We have beautiful new branding created by a local St. Pete designer and we can't wait to show it off! Get one of our tote bags (printed locally, of course) and a personal thank you note!

    Includes:
    • Wandering Whisk Tote Bag
    • Thank You Card
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Locally Printed Wandering Whisk Tee

    We have beautiful new branding created by a local St. Pete designer and we can't wait to show it off! Our unisex tee will make all of your buttercream dreams come true. Available in sizes S-XL. We'll also throw in our new sticker!

    Includes:
    • Wandering Whisk T-Shirt
    • Limited Edition Sticker
    • Thank You Card
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Oui! Oui! French Macarons!

    One dozen French macarons in a flavor of the baker's choosing, beautifully packaged to give either as a gift or enjoy for yourself. (Local pickup only)

    Includes:
    • One Dozen French Macarons in Gift Box
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Award Winning Cupcakes

    Did you know Jen is the two-time winner of the Morean Arts Center Great St. Pete Cupcake Competition? In honor of our favorite annual event, we're offering you a box of one dozen cupcakes - we can guarantee you'll give our cupcakes the blue ribbon. (Local pickup only)

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    $25 Dessert Credit

    Thinking about ordering one of our custom cakes for an upcoming holiday? Want to celebrate the weekend with a bunch of colorful macarons? Pledge $100 or more and you'll get a $25 credit to use towards any future custom dessert order! (Local pickup only)

    Includes:
    • $25 Custom Dessert Credit
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    Mystery Dessert Box

    *BRAND NEW REWARD*
    This is for the locals! We want to surprise you with a box full of our favorite desserts. The box may include cookies, macarons, cupcakes, cookie sandwiches, bars...it will be a mystery until you pick it up! We're pretty sure you won't want to share this one either. (Local pickup only)

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    Signature Painted Buttercream Cake

    *SUPER LIMITED REWARD*
    You've seen our signature painted buttercream cakes...now it's time to get one custom made for you! Not only will it taste amazing but they also double as a piece of art. You choose the color palette & flavor and we'll create some buttercream magic! (Local pickup only)

    Includes:
    • 6" Round Cake
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    Baker's Favorite Cookie Box

    A baker's dozen with an assortment of our favorite cookies. Some of the cookies you may find in your box are Brown Butter Chocolate Chip, Confetti, Oatmeal, Peanut Butter Pretzel, Gingerbread...it will be a mystery until they arrive!

    Includes:
    • Baker's Dozen Assortment of Cookies
    • Thank You Card
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    Hands-On Macaron Class & Tote Bag

    Want to take a trip to Paris for the afternoon? Receive one ticket to a group hands-on macaron class. Learn to create the colorful shells and buttercream filling - take home what you make! You'll also receive a Wandering Whisk tote bag at the class. This class can be gifted to someone local if you are an out of town contributor. (Local pickup only)

    Includes:
    • One Ticket to a Hands-On French Macaron Class
    • Wandering Whisk Tote Bag
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    $50 Dessert Credit

    Thinking about ordering one of our custom cakes for an upcoming holiday? Want to celebrate the weekend with a bunch of colorful macarons? Pledge $200 or more and you'll get a $50 credit to use towards any future custom dessert order! (Local pickup only)

    Includes:
    • $50 Custom Dessert Credit
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Cookie Monster

    We'll have a box of 18 Cookie Sandwiches with your name on it! You may select any one flavor off of our menu. Share with friends or eat them all yourself, we don't judge.
    (Local pickup only)

    Includes:
    • 18 Cookie Sandwiches in the Flavor of Your Choice
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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    CAKE! CAKE! CAKE!

    Pick out an 8" cake for a holiday or celebration in any flavor off of our menu. Let us know what design and colors you want and we will create the cake of your dreams! Also throwing in our new tote bag.
    (Minimum of 2 weeks notice required, local pickup only)

    Includes:
    • 8" Cake
    • Wandering Whisk Tote Bag
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Dessert at Your Doorstep

    Medium-sized box of cookies & other handmade desserts, along with a Wandering Whisk tote bag. Some of the amazing desserts you may see in the box are Cookie Sandwiches, Brownies, Meringues, Dessert Bars, Cookies...it will be a mystery until it arrives!

    Includes:
    • Medium Sized Box of Desserts
    • Wandering Whisk Tote Bag
    • Thank You Card
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    Limited 2 backers
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    Baker for a Day

    Have you ever wondered what it was like to work in a bakery? Choose what you want to learn - cakes, cream puffs, macarons, cookies or cupcakes. One-on-one class with the Buttercream Queen herself, Jen - pick her brain to get questions answered in the area of your choice! Class is approximately 3 hours in length. Take home what you make along with a Wandering Whisk tote bag. This class can be gifted to someone local if you are an out of town contributor.

    Includes:
    • 3 Hour Private Baking Class
    • Wandering Whisk Tote Bag
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    THE QUEEN DESSERT BOX

    We are sending you the QUEEN BOX OF DESSERTS! You will receive a variety of our favorite cookies and other handmade desserts shipped directly to you. Go to your door, pick up the box, pop a bottle of champagne and live life like a queen (or king). We're also sending along one of our new tote bags and stickers.

    Includes:
    • Large Box of Desserts
    • Wandering Whisk Tote Bag
    • Limited Edition Sticker
    • Thank You Card
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    Limited 1 backer
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    Private BAKING PARTY for 5 People

    Come PARTY at the new bakery and bring along four of your best friends (or your mom, I promise she will have a blast). We're going to put on some jams, break out the snacks and teach you how to make our signature colorful buttercream cakes! Each guest will make their own cake & will get to take it home at the end of the class. As the contributor, we're hooking you up with a tote & tee as well! This class can be gifted to someone local if you are an out of town contributor.

    Includes:
    • Private Baking Class for 5 People
    • Wandering Whisk Tote Bag
    • Wandering Whisk T-Shirt
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    The Ultimate Dessert Experience

    Let Wandering Whisk take care of your sweet tooth at an upcoming event- birthday soiree, office party, church potluck, family game night, little league party or whatever your heart desires. You can surprise your friends with "your" baking ability (we'll let you take the credit) with one of our signature dessert tables. The selection of desserts for 75 guests may include macarons, cookies, brownies, mini cupcakes, cookie bars, cream puffs and mini cookie sandwiches. We will take care of the set up and delivery.
    (Local delivery only)

    Includes:
    • Desserts for 75 guests
    • Local Set Up & Delivery
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Funding period

- (30 days)