Cakeface is the brainchild of the Ballymaloe trained pastry chef duo Laura and Rory Gannon. After meeting and training at the renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School in Cork, the young couple headed to Europe and honed their skills and refined their craft with some of the best pastry teams and kitchens in France and London namely The Savoy and Café Royal.
After many years working abroad the pair decided to return home to realise a dream to create their own unique brand in Ireland.
Some might remember their first ever venture in the Farmers Market in Butlerstown, going on to attend regular Farmers Market and Food Festivals in Dungarvan, Kilkenny and nationwide before finally finding their permanent home in Irishtown in the heart of Kilkenny.
Cakeface has become a Kilkenny institution over the last five years, with Laura and her daughter Riley opening the 2022 Savour Kilkenny Main stage with a live cookery demonstration for families. Cakeface has been nominated in the shortlist of ‘Best Pastry Chef’ Award 2022 by the Food and Wine Magazine.
The Cakeface brand has gathered momentum and has grown over the five years since opening their doors.
Sits next door to the patisserie in Irishtown, where all the desserts are designed and created and passersby can watch the pair at work.
The little sister of Cakeface, is centrally located in the heart of Kilkenny on St. Kieran’s Street and is a purveyor of premium specialty coffee. It has become a mecca for coffee lovers everywhere, its shelves teaming with over sixty different Irish roasted coffees for customers to enjoy at home. With two grinders on the go, customers can choose from the in house Cakeface specialty roast or other mindfully sourced Irish roasters on the guest grinder.
The hospitality industry is a hard landscape in which to thrive let alone survive, and this has never been so true then in the last two years. The global pandemic has tested the financial fragility of many small businesses with many breaking under the pressure. It was during this time that Laura and Rory realised that they needed to diversify and expand their offering in order to protect their business future and that of their staff and family. From the dark days of the pandemic the Cookery School and Coffee Roastery was born.
The art of roasting coffee was always something Rory wanted to learn more about. When he found out friends at Stone Valley Roasters (Clonakilty) had outgrown their first roaster, Rory jumped at the chance to buy it from them and begin the process of learning how to roast. Roasting your own beans gives you a far better understanding and appreciation of where your beans have come from, how they have been treated on their journey and what it takes to make them taste incredible in the customers cup. Roasting also makes financial sense to the business, with coffee sales making up over of third of the turnover in the cafes. It has the potential of cutting the coffee bill in half for the cafes every year, something that could well turn out to be the saving of the business over the next year with inflation where it’s at. Beans are roasted for use in the cafes as well as for customers to take home.
The newest venture, is a state of the art culinary school offering a wide range of classes for all levels with a focus on cakes, pastries and desserts. Classes suit both home bakers or budding professional pastry chefs alike. Kids camps and workshops rapidly becoming popular catering for budding chefs ranging in age from 11-17 years old. Booking guest chefs to use the school is also something that is in the pipeline. Mezze from Tramore, recently ran two Middle Eastern classes over the Savour Kilkenny weekend.
Bringing people together to work side by side to create and make in the kitchen is a unique team building exercise.
Individual cookery courses or group cookery courses are also available, celebrate a birthday with a group of friends, or organise an alternative hen/stage to bring people together to create delicious food in a relaxed and convivial environment.
Nurturing a passion for cooking in young budding chefs, the cookery school host kids cookery camps during the school holidays where both kids and teens benefit from hands on involvement in the kitchen. The idea is to start to encourage kids to learn how to cook earlier in life, making it a core part of their education. Understanding where ingredients come from, how they should be treated and how to make them delicious in a fun, hands on environment is key. During the camps the kids do a mixture of sweet and savory dishes each day, cooking their own lunch and bringing items home to share with their families. This is something Cakeface plan to expand on in the years to come, helping to encourage the food champions of tomorrow.
As the roastery and cookery school share the same space, the plan in the future is to run some cross over courses. Learning about roasting and brewing coffee along with some cookery lessons in the cookery school. Something that would be ideal for anyone thinking of starting out in the food industry or the even public that have an interest in both.