Ki began baking 14 years ago with a three-tier cake for her daughter’s birthday. It took over three weeks of preparation and the final product tilted slightly to one side.
Over time, though, Ki honed her craft and built a side business as a baker. However, her primary work as an ICU nurse at Cedar Park Regional Medical Center meant working long hours, particularly as COVID-19 patients descended on the hospital last year.
Then, in August 2020, Pak’s father passed away from COVID-19, an event that eventually yielded a moment of clarity for Ki. Driving home from the funeral in Houston, Ki told Pak that “life is too short to just sit on your dreams.”
Five months later, the couple opened the bakery and cafe of their dreams.
Pak admitted that the proposition of starting a business during the pandemic made him nervous. Nonetheless, he was confident that between Ki’s baking ability and his marketing acumen, they could build something special.
For the first few hours that the store opened, a slow trickle of customers visited the shop. Then Pak, who said that he typically prefers “old school” marketing tactics, posted a simple message on Facebook announcing that the cafe was open.
“I just literally put down, ‘we are open,’ on our Facebook,” Pak said. “Within 30 minutes, I’m not kidding you, there was a line out the door, like almost 25 to 30 people alone.”
While Ki began with a cake, the operation offers a range of treats, including macarons, roll cakes and lattes. However, Pak said that cupcakes are the most popular item.
“Cupcakes are made with fresh whipped cream and not buttercream icing,” Pak said “We make everything in-house using natural ingredients.”
15609 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Ste. B220, Leander
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.