About this idea
Our dessert plays on the word "sandwich" which is typically meat and vegetable between two pieces of bread. Our dessert being a cakewich is an assortment of either fruits, nuts, ice-cream, sandwiched between two pieces of warm, moist cake. Our tagline has been “Just savory cakes, fruits and nuts, no meats or veggies”. We have been experimenting with various flavors at local farmer’s markets and fairs, and our most popular cakewiches are: Berry Summer, Nutella Crunch and Ice cream Butter. At the farmer’s market we sold this snack made-to-order for customers who stopped by our stall. However, we have developed packaging for this product to allow it to be sold prepacked at grocery stores, and vending machines. The Berry Summer is a layer of vanilla or lemon cake, with a layer of whipped cream, to which we add fresh cut strawberries, blackberries and blueberries; this is topped with another layer of whipped cream and a second piece of cake. The Nutella Crunch also starts with a layer of vanilla cake and whipped cream with a Nutella, coconut shavings and pecans drizzled on top the first layer of whipped cream; this is then finished with a second layer of whipped cream and a second piece of cake. For the Ice cream butter, this is two scoops of ice cream sandwiched between two pieces of cake.
This product is made for dessert lovers who want to eat a single portion of good quality cake that cannot be matched by what is offered in big-name grocery stores. Our customers will benefit from our product because it offers a unique experience. It also offers them the opportunity to try nontraditional combinations in a cake, but with fillings and toppings that are familiar to them.
My wife and I love to eat delicious cakes as a dessert, and we often buy them by the slice. But one main problem we encountered was the cakes were not always fresh because bakeries have to make their cakes with filling in advance and depending on when we visited the bakery, the cake slices may have been made two to three days prior. After months of experimenting, the cakewich was birth. We have been selling this product at our local farmer’s market and fairs. At the farmer’s market, the cakewiches are made to order by assembling the cake and filling. By making the cakewiches to order, we can ensure that the fillings stay separate and therefore can be stored optimally until when assembled. The beauty of this product is it gives the customers a lot more options to add or take off items. For instance, we developed the Nutella Crunch without fruit, but on our last sales outing at the farmer’s market, we had a few customers add fruit, and when I asked, they said that’s what they do at home. A few other selling points of this snack are: it is single serving, affordable ($7 - $8), and it is a simple product that with a picture and a brief description customers are able to instantly understand the concept. Our product also leads to reduced food wastage because whatever is not sold can be properly stored and reused without sacrificing final quality. We have packaged this dessert with similar qualities as customers get if we made this to order for them: the cakewiches are packaged with the cake and fillings separate. So even if this dessert has to be stored cold, once purchased, the cake can be warmed up in a microwave before assembling it. Thus, allowing our customers to have the best experience of a warm cake with a cool filling.
What I'll do with $5,000
We have a unique product that is new but at the same time relies on flavors that people are familiar with and can imagine. If we get this grant, two places we intend to invest in are: (1) develop more efficient packagings. (2) Invest in marketing campaigns that will help drive demand that will allows us to scale our production. We hope to work with MSU Product Center to leverage their product packaging expertise. The goal of our marketing efforts is to introduce this product to people in as many mediums as possible (pop-up events, fairs, social media campaigns, TV and radio) to increase awareness.
About Anwelli Okpue
I am an engineer by training and I love to bake cakes. I love to share my love of baking with everyone I meet. Everyone knows that homemade cakes made from scratch are the most delicious, I am driving to find a way to give people that homemade experience, but on a mass-produced scale, using simple, natural and locally sourced ingredients.