Student creates start-up solo baking business

Junior spends weekends working long hours to fulfill numerous baking orders


Photo of vanilla cupcakes with cherry frosting, some of Alyssa Wong’s creative work (photo courtesy of Wong).

Emmerson McLean, Managing Editor

Allyssa Wong ‘23 has always had a talent for baking; yet with her busy schedule, she never had the time to make this talent into something more. It wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic hit that she was finally able to take some time away from her rigorous academic and extracurricular schedule, to focus on perfecting the art of baking: learning different flavor combinations and decorating techniques. 

Finally, almost two years later, in February of 2022, Allyssa was able to truly compound her hobby into a business after she tore her ACL while playing soccer. Soon after that, she started selling cakes for profit on her website, “CakesbyAllyssa.” 

“I bake because I really do love the finished product,” Wong said. “Having something so delicious that tastes good, not necessarily healthy, but looks appealing. Just the fact that others like my food keeps me going.” 

Wong makes an assortment of cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. Through contact information listed on her website, clients are able to email and call Wong to talk about what they are looking for in their order, she said. 

“Although I’ve only had a couple orders so far, for the most part, we get on a call to talk about the flavor profiles they are looking for,” Wong said. “And when decorating, I like to decorate the outside of the cake based on what the inside will taste like.”  

Being in the kitchen is not something foreign to Allyssa. She’s been involved with LT’s summer cooking programs ever since middle and elementary school. 

“As a family, we were always in the kitchen together cooking and baking,” Allyssa’s mother, Adriane Wong said. “Allyssa started baking with me at a very young age. She would stand on a chair that I would push up to the kitchen counter. As a bonus, it was a great way to teach her fractions and multiplication when doubling and tripling recipes.” 

Every week since she has opened her website, she has been busy with new customers, Wong said. To make the projects more approachable, instead of baking all of the products in one sitting, she paces it out through the weekend. One day she may bake the goods and the next she will decorate and fill them. 

“[Allyssa] definitely takes over the kitchen, but she is very organized and even cleans up afterwards,” Adriane said. “Some weeks she is baking everyday. We stay out of her way but get to be her official taste testers.” 

Aside from her website, her main source of outreach is through Snapchat and bringing stuff she bakes to places she goes, including soccer practice and hangouts with friends.

“[Allyssa’s] food has so much creativity in it,” friend Molly Burke ‘23 said. “You never know what she’ll make next and she always brings delicious treats to games or randomly whenever she comes over.” 

Currently, she is in the process of making a sticker/logo for her brand. 

“My parents always tell me to get rid of stuff before I make something new,” Wong said. “Usually I would just take like a dozen cupcakes to my friends and tell them that I was going to make something else. That definitely incentivises me to keep baking since it’s nice to have some in the house, but also be able to give a majority of it away.”

As a junior in highschool, it is also important for her to look towards the future. 

“I know the lifestyle and hours in the food industry is hard to manage at times, so I think for now this is something that I can keep as a good hobby and side gig,” Wong said. “I would love to keep doing this if I could.” 

For each order, sometimes the recipe doesn’t make exactly the amount customers want, she typically bakes extras to have on hand. For the past month she has been open, she has had an order every weekend. Pricing for her products can vary due to the work required for each order. For insight into some of her products: 6-inch cakes start at $70, cupcakes at $40/dozen, and dipped chocolate sandwich cookies at $20/dozen. She sells all of these products on her website.

“I’m so proud of her,” Adriane said. “[Baking] is something she is passionate about and she loves sharing her talent to bring joy to others.”