Bakery Biz Tips: How To Expand Your Menu

When you first decide to expand your menu, the idea of it all is so exciting! Having your team be creative in the kitchen to dream up new products and mouth-watering flavours, seeing the variety of finishing touches from a passionate team that elevates the product, and aiming to create something your customers will love is all a thrilling piece of adding a new item to your menu.

As the testing of items and flavours moves from testing to the final touches stage, the stress can kick in… will customers like the product? Will they like the flavours? Will it sell as well as we think it will? All of these questions and more begin to creep into your thoughts and you realize how strategic you must be to introduce a new item to your menu.

 

We are sharing a few of our top tips for expanding your menu, along with some examples from the changes we’ve made to our menu over the years so you have a real-world example of things that worked and those that didn’t.

 

Tip 1 – Consider your space.

One of our biggest challenges with expanding our menu is always cooler space. Our coolers are packed so if we want to add a new menu item, it either needs to be an item that doesn’t have to be kept in the cooler or we have to swap out a menu item to make room for the new one. This is something you’ve probably seen us do often under the guise of ‘putting a recipe into the JRC vault’. We did this with our mini cheesecakes when we wanted to make room for cream puffs.

 

Tip 2 – Consider the customer.

What have your customers been requesting? What are their favourite flavours? What price point do they feel comfortable spending? All of these questions and more regarding the customer should be taken into consideration. We’ve introduced items to our menu that we thought our customers would LOVE that ended up not being popular at all– our tarts being one of those items. All that effort into dreaming up a new item, recipe testing again and again until we created a beautiful item for our customers and, as it turned out, they weren’t that into it! While our team was so proud of the product they made, it wasn’t a fit for our client base so off the menu it went. Even when thinking of expanding the flavours you offer, consider the majority of the customers you serve and what they like the most.

 

Tip 3 – Consider your team.

If your team is anything like ours, your team is filled with amazing, incredibly talented and creative bakers who love to try new things. Consider the strengths of your team– what do they like to make? What are their hidden talents? Do they love chocolate work? Do they enjoy making candy? Are they a wizard with flavour ideas? Consider what your team is capable of doing and what they would like to try their hand at and allow them to experiment while keeping the customer in mind. Some of the best ideas can come out on the fly as your team members are working away and chatting about fun items they’d love to make one day.

 

Tip 4 – Package like a pro.

The final touches, including any specific packaging an item might need, can be just as important as the product itself. Consider our new Hot Chocolate Bombs; they are stunning but, since they are a sphere and a gift item, they needed to be packaged. Instead of just putting them into the pink bags we already have on hand, we decided to create custom packaging that shows off the beauty of the bomb itself. Each bomb sits on a bed of pink crinkle paper in a clear vinyl box and is sealed with a white and gold foil sticker that has the instructions printed right on it! This packaging is very on-brand for us– our pink, white and gold foil colour palette along with a clear box that matches other specialty items like our mini meringues.

The way you package your product sells your product. If you’re introducing a new item to your menu, be sure to consider the packaging for a consistent and beautiful customer experience.

 

Tip 5 – Reassess and adjust as necessary.

The time spent introducing a new menu item also includes tracking sales and customer comments once it is launched, then reassessing after a few weeks and adjusting anything that needs it.

When we initially removed cream puffs from our menu it’s because they weren’t selling as well as when we first introduced them to our customers. When we brought them back we knew we needed to make changes to make them more in line with what our customers wanted. We replaced dipping each and every cream puff with fondant or chocolate (which was making them too sweet for some customers) with colourful craquelin that gave the same look without the sweetness. Then, we made them mini! For our shop, anything mini tends to sell well– it has the adorable factor our customers love! Mini cream puffs mean a lower price point and customers can try all the flavours in one visit! These little adjustments were necessary for the longevity of the item on our menu.

 

Expanding your menu can be fun and challenging and is always work that, when approached with the right attitude, will always help you learn more about your loyal customers and will allow you to serve them better. Treating your customers well curating a menu of sweet treats that effectively utilize the skills of your team while simultaneously serving your clients treats they love is what this industry is all about.

 

Good luck with expanding your menu! We hope you enjoyed these tips and can put them to use when you consider adding a new treat to your menu.

They’re Back!

 

Back by popular demand, Cream Puffs are now back on the Jenna Rae Cakes menu at our location on Academy road!

 

We had removed Cream Puffs from our menu to bring back another favourite that was in the JRC vault, Cheesecakes. As much as we love cheesecakes, and we know you do too, we just couldn’t stay away from cream puffs. Those little puffs filled with fluffy clouds of flavouring and topped with a deliciously sweet fondant are hard to resist.

 

You may notice a few changes to our cream puffs now that they are back. We worked hard in our kitchen to perfect our recipes even more and have given our cream puffs and flavourful makeover. You’ll notice that some of our cream puffs are no longer dipped in fondant. We’ve flavoured our craquelin so every last bite of choux has a delicious flavour. The cream puffs that are not dipped in fondant are also less sweet so if your sweet tooth is a little smaller, you can still enjoy our cream puffs!

 

 

Each week, two flavours are available at our shop on Academy for you to enjoy. The flavours are listed on our daily menu so you can always keep up with which flavours you can stop by and enjoy. We have many new flavours up our sleeve including feature flavours over the weekend, more savory flavours and more!

 

We hope to see you soon to try our improved cream puffs! We have an exciting line up of flavours we are excited for you to try!

 

Our new Raspberry White Chocolate Cream Puff

 

Trick or Treat?

Calling all witches and warlocks, mummies, ghouls and everyone and thing in between—the spookiest time of the year has arrived at Jenna Rae Cakes! While we are known for our treats and not our tricks, a few of our favourite menu items have received spooktacular makeovers for this mischevious time of year. Take a peek below and see our specialty Halloween items, including your trick-or-treat candy favourites in the form of macarons.

 

Stacks of Halloween Macarons by Jenna rae Cakes

Macarons

A few of our Halloween macarons will be on the menu at our Academy location each day.
Rockets macarons will be available at The Forks each day!

Candy Corn
Butterbeer
Tootsie Roll
Bubblegum
Rockets
Candy Apple
Mars Bar
Caramel Popcorn
Sour Cherry Blaster
Dr.Pepper
Sea Salt Chips

 

Specialty Items

All Hallo-week long we will have a few unique menu items available.
Pop by the shop on Academy to grab these perfectly combined tricks and treats!
Mummy White Chocolate Macarons (also available at The Forks!)
Cotton Candy Ghost Macarons (also available at The Forks!)
Mummy Covered Oreos
Mummy Vanilla Bean Scream Puffs
Caramel Apple Scream Puffs
Caramel Apple Cream Puffs by Jenna Rae Cakes
Our Halloween menu makes it frightening debut on Tuesday, October 23rd and will only be here until Halloween!
Hop on your broomstick and fly on down to get your hands on our delicious treats! And remember, if a black cat crosses your path, it’s good luck this time of year.

Fall has arrived at JRC!

We can’t believe summer has come an end and fall is knocking on our door!

 

While summer brings us delicious flavours like Lemon Curd and Fuzzy Peach, our fall menu really spurs on the creativity of our talented bakers and brings to life some seasonal favourites like Pumpkin Pie and Ginger Crinkle cookies!

 

The launch of our fall menu is always an exciting time. We launch our fall menu around the same time Starbucks launches their iconic Pumpkin Spice Latte so you can enjoy our fall menu for as long as the leaves are turning their beautiful golden hues.

 

Join us THIS SATURDAY, September 1st, for our official FALL MENU LAUNCH!

 

Take a peek below at all the delicious flavours we will have for you on Saturday and the rest of Autumn!

 

The Fall Menu for Jenna Rae Cakes

Academy

*The fall flavours listed below will all be available on Saturday, September 1st and will then rotate with our signature flavours for the rest of the season!

 

MACARONS
Maple Creme Brulee
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Spice
Banana Bread
Strawberry Rhubarb
Cinnamon Bun
Oatmeal Cookie
Chai
S’mores

 

CUPCAKES
Salted Caramel Apple Crumble
S’mores
Pumpkin Spice
Strawberry Rose Rhubarb
Red Velvet
Salted Dark Chocolate Espresso

 

CREAM PUFFS
Salted Caramel Apple Crumble
S’mores
Pumpkin Spice

 

COOKIE SANDWICHES
Peanut Butter Cup
Salted Caramel Apple Crumble
Ginger Crinkle
Toffee Salted Caramel

 

Variety of edible cookie dough cups by Jenna Rae Cakes

The Forks

*The flavours listed below will remain constant for the rest of the season

 

MACARONS
Our seasonal favourite Pumpkin Spice will be joining our 12 signature flavours!
Salted Dark Chocolate Espresso
S’mores
Birthday Cake Batter
Brownie Cookie Dough
Vanilla Sprinkle
Earl Grey
Pistachio
Cotton Candy
Raspberry
Fuzzy Peach
Nutella
Salted Caramel

 

COOKIE SANDWICHES
Peanut Butter Cup
Salted Caramel Apple Crumble
Ginger Crinkle
Toffee Salted Caramel

 

Mousse Cups being held by Jenna Rae Cakes
MOUSSE CUPS
Pumpkin Spice*
S’mores
Creme Brulee*
Birthday Cake*
*Gluten-Friendly!

 

Jenna Rae Cakes Cotton Candy edible Cookie Dough Cup
COOKIE DOUGH CUPS
Cotton Candy
Cinnamon Bun
Toffee Salted Caramel
Chocolate Chip

 

We can’t wait for you to enjoy the delicious flavours of fall!

What’s On The Menu At The Forks

Our second location has been so well received and we couldn’t be more excited to be in this iconic Winnipeg location. With the opening of our shop in The Forks, we’ve been receiving questions about what exactly is on the menu…

Cookie Sandwiches Mousse Cups Macarons and Cookie Dough Cups by Jenna Rae Cakes

 

Unlike our shop on Academy road, in which the menu changes daily for macarons and cookie sandwiches,  The Forks has a set menu of items that will be rotated out on a seasonal basis. This means you can try all of our seasonal menu items at your leisure without feeling like you need to rush in to get your favourite items all in one day out of fear you will have missed your opportunity until they come around again!

 

This set menu of JRC’s most popular flavours ensures each customer can try one of our most popular treats each time they stop by! No more waiting for Instagram menu updates to see if Pistachio or Salted Caramel are on the menu the day you plan to swing by!

 

Below you’ll find our current menu!

This menu won’t be around forever as we are updating our menu for Fall starting on September 1st, so be sure to stop by soon to grab our more seasonal flavours before they are replaced with autumn-inspired flavours of pumpkin and apple!

 

MENU

Rainbow of Macarons by Jenna Rae Cakes

MACARONS

Salted Dark Chocolate Espresso
S’mores
Birthday Cake Batter
Brownie Cookie Dough
Vanilla Sprinkle
Earl Grey
Pistachio
Cotton Candy
Raspberry
Fuzzy Peach
Nutella
Salted Caramel

Monster Cookie Sandwiches by Jenna Rae Cakes

COOKIE SANDWICHES

Monster Oatmeal
Chocolate Lovers
Birthday Cake Oreo
Toffee Salted Caramel

COOKIE DOUGH CUPS

Chocolate Chip
Vanilla Sprinkle Sugar Cookie
Peanut Butter Cup
Toffee Salted Caramel Sugar Cookie

Mousse cups by Jenna Rae Cakes

MOUSSE CUPS

Cotton Candy
Glutenless Chocolate Lovers
Cookies and Cream
Strawberry Shortcake

Be sure to pop by our location at the Forks! We are located on the second floor above The Common. Open daily 10am – 9pm. Stop by soon!

Assortment of sweet treats by Jenna Rae Cakes

Sweet Deal!

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive exclusive deals, updates and more!