LenJo Bakes Does Movember – The Back Story

2020 update: I wrote this blog post in November 2015. I was living and working in London, England when I received the worst news of my life – my dad had cancer. I moved home in September (for good, I thought) after his surgery wasn’t the cure we’d hoped for. After enduring a horrible course of radiotherapy requiring a 6 month wait to see if it worked, my incredible father insisted I get back on a plane to continue pursing my dreams. Fortunately my father is nearing remission (2 more years) but I know there are many for whom this is not their reality. More research is needed. More men need to be tested more frequently. More awareness needs to be raised. If you’re keen to help, we’ll be selling mo’carons in the shop for the entire month of November! You can also make a donation directly to The Movember Foundation here.


For those of you that don’t know, it’s November! But really, November means Movember.

What’s Movember you ask?

Movember started in Australia back in 2003. Thirty guys grew mustaches in the month of November, just to see if they could get the faded fashion trend to come back. After seeing the attention they could garner from the previous year, in 2004 they raised money and donated it to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. Fast forward and in the last 12 years Movember has grown to 21 participating countries, almost 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas, $677 million CDN raised, and 832 men’s health projects funded. The Movember Foundation was ranked 72nd out of the top 500 non-government organizations in the world. (Source.)

That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you go about making a positive change in the world.

So what does this have to do with LenJo Bakes? (more…)

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Pay It Forward

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: LenJo Bakes has the *best* customers!

A while ago we had a customer who wanted to do something lovely for…well, whoever needed it! They were in a good place, but recognized that a lot of people weren’t.

They prepaid for a bunch of sweet treats and bevvies and gave us the pleasure of handing out the sweet surprises to someone whose day needed a bit of a lift. (Which was really just as lovely for us – giving gifts is the best!)

One of the customers who received a gifted treat, came back the week after (in a better place) and felt compelled to continue paying the generosity forward.

Another customer did the same.

And then another.

And then another…

It’s been months and we’re at the point where we’ve created a dedicated email and customer profile to organize all of the Pay It Forward gift cards we’ve received. This is to ensure that we’re doing our part in stewarding the gifts well and keeping track of each donation.

So how does one access some of the Pay It Forward funds?

Most often our staff will just do it based on our interaction! Maybe you seem a little down or it seems like you could use some kindness. Perhaps you’re getting ready to pay and realize you don’t have your wallet! (The worst!)

Sometimes we pick up on it, but sometimes we don’t. You might need to let us know. And trust us, there is no shame in that game! This isn’t charity or a handout – it’s a blessing; one that can be enjoyed guilt-free.

Additionally, if you know someone who is struggling and they can’t make it out to the shop themselves, please come in on their behalf! We are more than happy to have kindness delivered far and wide.

How can you contribute?

You can purchase an electronic gift card on our website. Put “payitforward” @lenjobakes.com as the recipient email address and “Pay It Forward” as the recipient name.

You can also add an electronic gift card to your purchase in-store and specify it’s for the Pay It Forward account.

We didn’t start this generous venture, but we are more than happy to facilitate it and ensure the reach is as wide as possible.

We love you, KW!! Thank you for being an incredible place with incredible people for LenJo Bakes to call home.

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What’s Your Flavour?

Let’s explore one of elements that will make up your spectacular, completely bespoke custom cake: the flavour!

As a standard, each cake tier will have 4 layers of cake and 3 layers of filling.

Our extra tall tiers have 6 layers of cake and 4 layers of filling (split into two cakes of 3 layers of cake, two layers of filling divided by a cake board).

Although we have curated a small list of options available below, the sky is the limit! Tell us what your favourite flavours are and we’ll figure out a way to deliver.

We’re happy to provide both gluten-friendly and dairy-free alternatives for nearly all of our cakes and fillings!

We are a peanut-free facility, but we do make products with tree nuts and other common allergens.

Cake Flavour Options

Each tier can be a different flavour of cake.

  • vanilla (add sprinkles for funfetti!)
  • lemon (or any other citrus)
  • Earl Grey (or any other tea)
  • banana
  • chocolate
  • mocha
  • toasted coconut
  • carrot

Cake Filling Options

These fillings can be combined or alternated for each layer of filling. Why choose just one!?

  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream
    • vanilla
    • chocolate
    • lemon
    • roasted hazelnut
    • roasted almond
  • Curd
    • lemon
    • lime
    • passion fruit
    • mango
  • Fresh berries (seasonal)
  • Ganache
    • dark chocolate
    • mocha
    • raspberry
  • Salted Caramel
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Let’s Put ‘Em Together!

Here are some flavour combinations we’ve done in the past for some inspo!

  • vanilla cake with raspberry buttercream and lemon curd
  • vanilla cake with cassis (blackcurrant) buttercream
  • vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream and passionfruit curd
  • vanilla cake with strawberry buttercream and champagne gel
  • funfetti!! a.k.a. vanilla cake with sprinkles and vanilla buttercream
  • chocolate cake with roasted hazelnut buttercream
  • chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream and dark cherry compote
  • chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream and salted caramel
  • lemon cake with lemon curd and fresh berries
  • toasted coconut cake with mango buttercream
  • carrot cake with cream cheese buttercream
  • banana cake with dark chocolate ganache

Now that you’ve worked out what you want your cake to taste like, check out our post on cake sizes to determine just how much cake you’ll need for you special event!

Ready to schedule a consult with us? Check out our availability calendar to get started!

Availability Calendar

The calendar below depicts our upcoming availability for bespoke orders (cakes and sweet treats).

From something “small and simple” to weddings, birthdays, and everything in between.

The calendar reads like a stop light!

Green means go! We are freely booking this day.

Yellow means proceed with caution. We have other orders booked on this date and may be able to accommodate depending on what you’d like to order.

Red means uh oh! We’re fully booked for that date and won’t be able to accommodate any other orders.

Once you’ve confirmed our availability, you can schedule a consultation with us below to discuss your bespoke order!

MTWTFSS
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We require at least 7 days’ notice from the date of your consultation for a bespoke cake order.

We’ll do our best to accommodate your request, but there will be times that we cannot.

Requesting a consultation does not guarantee that we will be able to fulfill your order.

If your date is popular (hello wedding season (May to October) and holidays (Christmas!) we might be booked by the time your consultation comes around so schedule early to avoid disappointment!

Does Size Really Matter?

You hear the question all the time – does size really matter?

In relation to choosing a cake which will be the centrepiece of your special event the answer is: sometimes.

Size *does* matter when: there is a budget, there are other desserts/sweet treats at the event, your guests aren’t really cake people.

Size does not matter when: you want something to “look big” in photos, you want a 2-tier cake that feeds 8 people, or your venue/event does not allow for sufficient storage of a larger cake.

We always recommend catering for about 80% of your guests to have cake. Unless you know that your guests are really into cake (or really not) cake fans, that percentage tends to provide the ideal number of servings.

Using your guest count and our cake cutting and stacking guides below, you can figure out the size and style of cake you’d like!

There are a few general “rules” to abide by for the stacking guide to ensure that you have a cake that is aesthetically pleasing.

For single tier cakes, an 8″ is the largest we’d prefer to make. If you need more servings, head on up to a double tier!

For a standard double, triple, or quad tier cake: the difference between tiers is 2″. Example: a 4″ and 6″ stack.

For a wide double or triple tier cake: the difference between tiers is 4″. Example: a 4″ and 8″ stack.

For a tall triple tier cake: one of the tiers is extra tall – meaning there are 2 cakes separated by a cake board in one of the tiers (typically the middle tier). This will yield approximately 1.5 times the servings of our standard cake.

Take note on the style you like the best and head on over to schedule a consultation with us to book your bespoke cake!

I Wish I Was A Little Bit Taller…

When a little height makes a *big* difference!

If you’re displaying your cake as a centrepiece at your special event, then it needs to take on the look of a centrepiece.

Your cake needs to be easily spotted across the room, draw attention to itself, and announce, “Here I am! Come look at me!” if that’s the vibe you want!

The easiest way to achieve this is by placing your beautiful cake on a stand.

You’re providing height, adding drama (depends on how ostentatious your stand is), and allowing your cake to take centre stage with authority!

We have a few options of cake and cupcake stands available to rent here at LenJo Bakes and we hope to grow our collection as time goes along.

If you’re having a dessert table, we may have platters available for you to rent as well!

If you choose to rent from us, there is a clause in our terms and conditions that pertain specifically to stand rentals, so be sure to take a look.

LenJo Bakes Merch

You’ve asked. We’ve waited. (For nearly a year!) But we’re finally answering!

We were waiting for the right time and right people to come on board to help us release merch that we’d be proud to carry from now until forever.

This first merch release features work from our friends at Function Creative Co. who created our brand for us in 2014 (their first year of operation). Navy is our brand’s main colour and this little “collection” is an all navy party – flattering for everyone (we think!)

We also have pieces with an illustration from our pal Jon Johnson from BRFC who also brought our logo to life with an enamel pin.

Our merch is all in “men’s” sizes, but there are size charts in the galleries for each item on the website.

If you place your order before August 31st, our goal is to have your merch to you by mid-September! You can pick up in store (if you’re local) or we can arrange shipping for you if you’re not local. Just let us know you’re keen to have your order shipped in the “notes” section of your order and we’ll connect with you via email re: shipping costs.

Head to our online shop to place your order now! Check out what we have on offer below!

  • Side by side front and back view of v neck t shirt
  • Navy blue crewneck sweater with small circular LenJo Bakes logo on left chest.
  • Side by side navy hoodie with full front logo
  • Navy enamel pin with white LenJo Bakes logo. White background.
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How to Choose Your Cake Designer

Sometimes having too many options can be overwhelming!

Competition in the cake world (wedding, birthday, anniversary, any celebration) is fierce.

How do you choose the right cake designer for your special event?

Use the 5 tips below as a guide to making the best decision for you. (Click on the + to show more!)

1. Research. Research. Research.

Before you initiate a conversation with a potential cake designer, you need to find them first!

Although social media (primarily Instagram and Facebook) is a very popular medium to find designers, you can still find many vendors at wedding shows. But if you wanted to find a designer without time or location restraints then Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and business websites are perfect resources.

The benefit of using social media is that you can save photos of cakes and ideas you like for future reference. Having one place (like a Pinterest board) helps keep everything streamlined.

2. Consider your aesthetic.

Make a prioritized list of the adjectives you want to describe your bespoke cake.

These can include words like: simple, modern, extravagant, delicious, understated.

What do you value more? Flavour or appearance? Fondant or buttercream?

Answering these questions will lead you to your ideal criteria. Next, you’ll need to ensure that your potential designer has related experience.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but verified customer reviews (think Google or Facebook) is a great place to start too!

3. Seek advice from professionals and peers.

You’ve heard this before: Network! Network! Network!

If you’re using an event planner to help organize your special event, they likely have a list of cake designers they’ve worked with before.

If you have other vendors (think florists, venues, caterers, photographers – heck, even the DJ!), they may also have made industry contacts.

And guess what? If someone is willing to give a personal recommendation, it likely means they trust that particular person/service enough not to embarrass them by stuffing it up!

Ask friends and family to tap into their networks too! It’s all about who you know.

4. Consider the cost.

At the end of the day not every designer will be within your budget.

Most cake designers have pricing guidelines on their website based on the quality of ingredients they use, the previous experience they have, and (sometimes) their current availability. Look for these guidelines to have a general idea of how much the cake you’re looking for might cost.

As beautiful and delicious as a bespoke cake may be, don’t forget it’s only one aspect of your event. Set a budget and stick to it unless you’re willing to compromise somewhere else.


But wait! What if you don’t like cake?!

Think of an alternative!

“Traditional” does not necessarily mean “traditional for you”. Start a new tradition with something you really love!

Pies, donuts, cheese, waffles, cinnamon rolls, squares – it’s all being done these days! Choose your own adventure and enjoy!

But wait! What if you really like cake and you like all of the other things?!

Oh hi! *waves*

You’re just like me! I can never choose between desserts. A little of everything always makes me much happier than a lot of one thing.

Dessert tables are a great option for those who want variety or for those who just can’t decide! Find a designer who can provide a variety of sweets as well as your cake to streamline the number of vendors you’ll need to coordinate.


And last, but certainly not least:

5. Trust your gut.

Sometimes choosing a cake designer is not solely limited to cake-related abilities, but also what the experience will be like working with them.

After making initial contact were they reasonably attentive? Did they catch your vision? Maybe they helped you create the vision you didn’t know you had? What’s your gut feeling?

The event planning process can be overwhelming. Having someone who you can trust and feel like they’re on your team can alleviate a lot of stress.

So there you go! Some tips on how to choose your cake designer. If you have any other tips, feel free to include them in the comments below!