Why Cakes?

Why Cakes?

Cakes and baking for me as a kid, and even now has centred around birthdays! In my early years of life we didn’t have much beyond the necessities. Ingredients for baking was not on my parents top priority list of things to get from the shops but when it came to my birthday they would always go out of their way to bake me a cake even if it was only from a box cake mix. I remember at two years old sitting on the kitchen bench “helping” my mum (or more so sneaking a lick from the wooden spoon) bake cupcakes for my second birthday to go to play group and thinking that arranging cupcakes in the shape “2” was about the coolest thing I had ever seen. Little me probably would have passed out seeing what type of ornate cakes I make now. 


After moving  from Australia to New Zealand (where my mum is from) my siblings and I would spend a lot of time at my grandparents house. My grandma was definitely happiest when she was baking and up until I was in my late teens I would bake scrolls, cakes and cookies with her. She taught me a lot about baking and whenever we went over to our grandparents house me and my siblings would argue over who gets to bake with her. 

My dad is from Nara, Japan and in more traditional Japanese households they don’t have an oven but that didn’t stop my grandma from loving cake. When we would visit she would always buy cake as a celebration, in particular the fresh cream and fruit cakes and I guess that’s why cakes hold such a special place for me. They hold such strong associations of family and celebration and bringing people together.

As I grew older and became more independent me and my sisters would eventually make cakes for my parents birthdays and sometimes our own ( but most of the time we loved the edible image cakes from paknsave). I was given recipe books for my birthday and I would spend hours pouring over all the pages and begging my mum to let me bake them all. For me baking held such happy memories and pouring over books and learning as much as I could as possible played homage to the little kid I was sitting on the bench “helping” my mum make my second birthday cake.


So later on in my life when I felt like I didn’t have much of a purpose or sense of self I returned back to baking which eventually led me to start my own business with my best friend Nick. And it only felt right that my business revolved around the celebratory moments of not only birthdays but bringing people together to form and create memories. Zi sweet to me has become an extension of my childhood and a way for me to look back and be the little kid who was surrounded by such special moments which would lead me to being the person I am today. As sappy as it sounds Zi sweet and everything it represents is my little avenue of helping me hold onto everything baking and cakes meant as a kid.

- Paloma Harada, Co-founder 

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