Baking business launches N.L.’s first cake vending machine

Baking business launches N.L.’s first cake vending machine

A baking couple in the St. John’s area says they’ve cooked up the first cake vending machine in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Anna Paytyan and Suren Margaryan, the couple behind CakeyHand, turned the vending machine on last month at the Village Mall in St. John’s. They believe it’s the first in Newfoundland and Labrador, and perhaps the first in all of Atlantic Canada.

“We are very proud having this thing, being the first one,” Margaryan said. “We got the idea even before we started the business.”

The machine stands in the mall’s food court — its treats start at just under $4, and the selection ranges from cupcakes, to macaroons, to cheesecake slices.

They’re all kept in a refrigerated glass display case, but the couple said the desserts are selling just as fast as they can fill the machine.

“It’s a little difficult to keep up with the demand, but we are doing our best,” Margaryan said.

It’s been a busy winter for the couple, who also opened a second storefront in the Stavanger Drive area of St. John’s in February.

Baking business launches N.L.’s first cake vending machineAnna Paytyan and Suren Margaryan pose for a photo near their new cake vending machine in St. John’s. (Courtesy: Suren Margaryan)

The business, led by Anna Paytyan, went from part-time hobby to farmer’s market hit — and finally, to local store success.

“It was a hard road, I would say,” Paytyan recalled. “Sleepless nights, a lot of work. We had a lot of work, always, to do.”

Their baking brings a hint of Armenian flavour to Canada’s East Coast. Margaryan arrived in Newfoundland in 2017, looking for schooling for a computer science degree. His partner, Paytyan, arrived the next year.

“I remember the first day when we went out for a walk, everyone was saying ‘hi’ to Suren and ‘hi’ to me, and every time I would ask Suren ‘do you know them?, do you know them?’“ Paytyan said with a laugh.

Anna Paytyan and Suren Margaryan pose for a photo with the staff of the first store in Paradise, N.L. (Courtesy: Suren Margaryan)

Paytyan said her partner was always encouraging her to start taking her baking hobby further, but an opportunity really presented itself when she arrived in Canada with no other commitments.

“We were trying to find cakes that we used to eat, back in Armenia,” Margaryan added. “Cakes here were either too sweet, or the texture wasn’t what we were used to.”

So, the pair decided to make it themselves. Paytyan said her baking tends to be lighter, and a bit less sweet than what can be found at big grocery stores.

“The quality of ingredients is very important,” she said. “I always said that in our bakery we don’t use anything that I wouldn’t give my kid.”

The couple moved out of the St. John’s Farmer’s Market in 2022, and opened their second store less than two years later.

So far, their aggressive growth has paid off.

“Having a store is a different story because now it’s up to you to bring your own customers,” Margaryan said. “We were a little nervous about this, but our customers turned out to be the best customers and they followed us.”