Take a stroll down Serlby Place in Cobham Court on a weekday and chances are you’ll find numerous office workers, councillors, and locals enjoying a spot of dessert at Cake Society. For many seeking a coffee fix, it is simply impossible to pass up the café’s delicious brownies, cakes, cookies, and Cake Society’s specialty – mini cakes.
From small beginnings as a wholesale supplier of cakes, Cake Society has expanded its offerings from wholesale to retail, and credits Porirua’s infrastructure and business development support for fostering its expansion.
“In late 2016 we secured space in Porirua City that included a great kitchen space and sizeable commercial oven. We were able to move our business straight in. Starting a business from scratch can be onerous but Porirua City’s business development team was available straight away and made it simple. It helped that they were right around the corner and would pop over quickly if we needed help with anything,” says Cake Society owner Beryl Matete.
“We’d always talked about having a café at the front of house of our kitchen and the Cobham Court space allowed us to open one. So now we have our bakery in the back, where we produce the cakes and goods for local businesses and also bespoke wedding cakes, and a café in the front where we sell great coffee, and a range of cupcakes and of course our signature mini-cakes.”
Wellington-based Ms Matete is one of a growing number of business owners who commute to Porirua daily for work. She says the drive is “easy, as I’m against the traffic both ways” and she enjoys the community atmosphere of Porirua.
“It’s a very calm environment. People stop to chat a lot more here and you get to develop a better relationship with customers. I’ve certainly built bonds with the local community here.”