For Whipped Bakery & Cafe owners, life’s too short to wait on dreams

The cake pictured is a custom raspberry cake. Prices for customized cakes start at $75. (Courtesy Whipped Bakery & Cafe)
The cake pictured is a custom raspberry cake. Prices for customized cakes start at $75. (Courtesy Whipped Bakery & Cafe)

The cake pictured is a custom raspberry cake. Prices for customized cakes start at $75. (Courtesy Whipped Bakery & Cafe)

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Dawn Ki had been baking for 14 years before deciding to pursue it as a full-time career. (Courtesy Whipped Bakery & Cafe)
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Whipped has over 30 macaron flavors ($3.25). (Courtesy Whipped Bakery & Cafe)
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Cupcakes ($3.75-4.25) are one the most popular items on the Whipped menu. (Courtesy Whipped Bakery & Cafe)
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The canelé ($3) is a French dessert, made with carmelized beeswax and a copper mold. (Courtesy Whipped Bakery & Cafe)
Few companies have the imprint of COVID-19 baked into their origin story like Whipped Bakery & Cafe in Leander. The cafe, which opened in January, is run by married couple Dawn Ki and Jason Pak.

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.”
Whipped Bakery & Cafe

15609 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Ste. B220, Leander

512-986-7988

Hours: Tue.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

http://whippedatx.com

By Benton Graham

Metro Reporter, Austin

Benton joined Community Impact Newspaper as a metro reporter covering transportation in Central Texas in June 2021. Benton's writing has appeared in Vox, The Austin Chronicle, Austonia and Reporting Texas. Originally from Minneapolis, Benton graduated from William & Mary and eventually moved to Austin in 2018.



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