My oldest son Luke was 18 months and he was not talking.

Bunnie started as a hybrid on how I could fulfill my dreams as an entrepreneur and get the sweets and treats my oldest son Luke needed for his 2nd birthday party. Luke was allergic to casein and dairy since birth. When I started searching for places to order the cake (gluten-free and dairy-free) for him, nobody at the time knew what I was talking about. This was 2009 in Miami, Florida. 

I knew there was a necessity in having a local bakery/baker that could provide this. So I called my grandmother and she gave me some cake recipes that I adapted into vegan and/or gluten-free recipes. Then I came up with the name Bunnie Cakes.

The next day  I went online and looked for a domain and www.bunniecakes.com was available (I don't know how I came up with that name but I thought it sounded cute and I dreamed about bunnies the night before).

My oldest son Luke was 18 months and he was not talking.

Bunnie started as a hybrid on how I could fulfill my dreams as an entrepreneur and get the sweets and treats my oldest son Luke needed for his 2nd birthday party. Luke was allergic to casein and dairy since birth. When I started searching for places to order the cake (gluten-free and dairy-free) for him, nobody at the time knew what I was talking about. This was 2009 in Miami, Florida. 

I knew there was a necessity in having a local bakery/baker that could provide this. So I called my grandmother and she gave me some cake recipes that I adapted into vegan and/or gluten-free recipes. Then I came up with the name Bunnie Cakes.

The next day  I went online and looked for a domain and www.bunniecakes.com was available (I don't know how I came up with that name but I thought it sounded cute and I dreamed about bunnies the night before). I created my own website on my laptop and took a couple of pictures of the cupcakes I was baking.

I created my own website on my laptop and took a couple of pictures of the cupcakes I was baking.

I had a full-time job at the time, but during lunch hours I would go to restaurants with samples of my mini vegan cupcakes to see if they were interested in selling them.  I used to bake at night after work until 2-3 in the morning. After a couple of months, I decided to quit my full-time corporate job after I found a couple of restaurants where to sell cupcakes. I started to bake full-time out of my apartment. It was really scary and challenging because I had an 18-month-old and a newborn and no experience baking. But I always believed in my product, eventually, I had more than 25 restaurants to supply weekly. 

I used to bake, decorate, deliver, answer the phones and emails, make the estimates and invoices and take care of my two sons. I got pregnant with my third child and I thought I was going to have to stop, but I never did. The same day that I delivered Amelie, my third child, I baked and decorated more than 200 cupcakes with my mom. Eventually, production grew so much that I had to hire an assistant and another person to make the deliveries. 

I had a full-time job at the time, but during lunch hours I would go to restaurants with samples of my mini vegan cupcakes to see if they were interested in selling them.  I used to bake at night after work until 2-3 in the morning. After a couple of months, I decided to quit my full-time corporate job after I found a couple of restaurants where to sell cupcakes. I started to bake full-time out of my apartment. It was really scary and challenging because I had an 18-month-old and a newborn and no experience baking. But I always believed in my product, eventually, I had more than 25 restaurants to supply weekly. 

I used to bake, decorate, deliver, answer the phones and emails, make the estimates and invoices and take care of my two sons. I got pregnant with my third child and I thought I was going to have to stop, but I never did. The same day that I delivered Amelie, my third child, I baked and decorated more than 200 cupcakes with my mom. Eventually, production grew so much that I had to hire an assistant and another person to make the deliveries. 

Online, I met another amazing business owner that offered to share her warehouse and kitchen space with me. I moved to a warehouse in Little Haiti and from there we delivered to all our retailers. But I always knew that I had to have a storefront because it was difficult to find what I was creating, and I wanted to make it accessible to everyone. 

From that point, I started looking for investors, lenders, etc. It was such a long process, but I was a pioneer in Miami for these pastries. People believed that the risk I was taking was very elevated and I was an eternal dreamer in everyone's eyes. I had so many disappointments, and so many people turning me down, so many people telling me over and over again that "I was a dreamer and dreamers don't get any loans." I never gave up though.

Online, I met another amazing business owner that offered to share her warehouse and kitchen space with me. I moved to a warehouse in Little Haiti and from there we delivered to all our retailers. But I always knew that I had to have a storefront because it was difficult to find what I was creating, and I wanted to make it accessible to everyone. 

From that point, I started looking for investors, lenders, etc. It was such a long process, but I was a pioneer in Miami for these pastries. People believed that the risk I was taking was very elevated and I was an eternal dreamer in everyone's eyes. I had so many disappointments, and so many people turning me down, so many people telling me over and over again that "I was a dreamer and dreamers don't get any loans." I never gave up though.

After looking for 2 months I found what I thought was the perfect location, it was an empty building, 4 times the size of my current production facility, in a neighborhood that was still considered dangerous, everyone advised me to look someplace else, maybe a smaller space, or to expand my product line to include dairy products, but as a true dreamer I pushed on and signed the lease, always maintaining my values as a vegan bakery. After hitting walls with several banks and investors, it was my family who believed in me and gave me the funds for the build-out and equipment, and I scheduled to open the doors on February 9th of 2013 of our first store in Wynwood. At this moment an opportunity knocked on my door and it was to cast for a TV show called "Cupcake Wars" on Food Network. After sending in the video I was selected and flew to Los Angeles to film the show in which I came in 2nd place and got great reviews for the product. The show aired in 2013 giving the company a big marketing push and nationwide recognition.

After looking for 2 months I found what I thought was the perfect location, it was an empty building, 4 times the size of my current production facility, in a neighborhood that was still considered dangerous, everyone advised me to look someplace else, maybe a smaller space, or to expand my product line to include dairy products, but as a true dreamer I pushed on and signed the lease, always maintaining my values as a vegan bakery. After hitting walls with several banks and investors, it was my family who believed in me and gave me the funds for the build-out and equipment, and I scheduled to open the doors on February 9th of 2013 of our first store in Wynwood. At this moment an opportunity knocked on my door and it was to cast for a TV show called "Cupcake Wars" on Food Network. After sending in the video I was selected and flew to Los Angeles to film the show in which I came in 2nd place and got great reviews for the product. The show aired in 2013 giving the company a big marketing push and nationwide recognition.

Opening day came and it was a huge success, leading to an amazing first year where we tripled our projected sales, and for the next three years, we increased our gross sales by 25% annually. In October 2016 we secured an incredible opportunity in which we started to sell our cupcakes in the all Whole Foods Market in Miami Dade County, and our wholesale revenues grew by 50%. 

In the year 2017, we were approached by no other than Starbucks Coffee, indicating their desire for our brand Bunnie Cakes to be their local food vendor in a new opportunity cafe concept they are developing all over the world. After completing the onboarding process, in October 2017, we started selling our mini vegan and gluten-free passion fruit cupcake in several Starbucks locations in Miami which created a huge marketing wave nationwide since it was the first time Starbucks had added a vegan and gluten-free baked good to their menu items. 

Opening day came and it was a huge success, leading to an amazing first year where we tripled our projected sales, and for the next three years, we increased our gross sales by 25% annually. In October 2016 we secured an incredible opportunity in which we started to sell our cupcakes in the all Whole Foods Market in Miami Dade County, and our wholesale revenues grew by 50%. 

In the year 2017, we were approached by no other than Starbucks Coffee, indicating their desire for our brand Bunnie Cakes to be their local food vendor in a new opportunity cafe concept they are developing all over the world. After completing the onboarding process, in October 2017, we started selling our mini vegan and gluten-free passion fruit cupcake in several Starbucks locations in Miami which created a huge marketing wave nationwide since it was the first time Starbucks had added a vegan and gluten-free baked good to their menu items. 

Along the way, Bunnie Cakes has earned several awards, among the most recognized we have: Best Vegan Bakery in Miami, Best Cupcake in Miami, #2 Best Bakery in Miami in TripAdvisor for three years in a row, Job Creation Award by Governor Rick Scott. Following our success, other businesses have also opened similar concepts to capture the growing market for dairy-free and gluten-free food market. 

I have also managed to build a team of 20 hard-working people that bake, decorate and organize our daily production daily. I had two more kids and now as a mother of 5 kids, it is imperative for me and my brand to maintain the quality and the values of our products every day in every step of the way.

Bunnie Cakes is a staple in the Miami Vegan and Gluten-Free Market with opportunities for expansion in both the retail and wholesale channels.

Right now Bunnie Cakes relocated to the beautiful community of Downtown Doral where you can find the store and the beautiful experience of our brand daily. We also deliver and ship nationwide! 

Along the way, Bunnie Cakes has earned several awards, among the most recognized we have: Best Vegan Bakery in Miami, Best Cupcake in Miami, #2 Best Bakery in Miami in TripAdvisor for three years in a row, Job Creation Award by Governor Rick Scott. Following our success, other businesses have also opened similar concepts to capture the growing market for dairy-free and gluten-free food market. 

I have also managed to build a team of 20 hard-working people that bake, decorate and organize our daily production daily. I had two more kids and now as a mother of 5 kids, it is imperative for me and my brand to maintain the quality and the values of our products every day in every step of the way.

Bunnie Cakes is a staple in the Miami Vegan and Gluten-Free Market with opportunities for expansion in both the retail and wholesale channels.

Right now Bunnie Cakes relocated to the beautiful community of Downtown Doral where you can find the store and the beautiful experience of our brand daily. We also deliver and ship nationwide! 

Thank you so much to my family and my dearest community of customers that have been following my dreams through the years. 

Many more surprises to come!

Mariana Cortez

Founder/ CEO

Thank you so much to my family and my dearest community of customers that have been following my dreams through the years. 

Many more surprises to come!

Mariana Cortez

Founder/ CEO