A Vegan Bakery in Miami is Poised to Go National
For now, visit Bunnie Cakes' vending machines at Miami International Airport
When Mariana Cortez announced she was closing her vegan bakery, Bunnie Cakes, she wasn’t expecting the warm sendoff she received. The baker, who became a Miami favorite for her bite-sized plant-based cupcakes and treats — all topped with a heart — was overwhelmed when she saw the familiar faces at her rainbow-hued shop. “I saw all the friends I had made over the years. I really felt good to know the impact we made in the community.”
For Cortez, closing the cake shop wasn’t easy, but she realized that it was a necessary step in order to grow Bunnie Cakes. “I came to the realization that keeping the shop wasn’t helping the brand. It was a difficult decision, but it was the right decision. We have a lot of things in the pipeline.”
The bakery, which first opened in 2009 in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, is taking a national turn.
According to Cortez, Bunnie Cakes is ready to ink an agreement with a national grocery chain that would take the company national with a line of vegan, kosher, and soy-free ready-to-bake batters and frostings. The collection of family-friendly bakeables includes refrigerated cake batter in vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet; and vanilla and chocolate frosting. Cortez is currently tweaking the packaging in anticipation of an early 2024 release nationwide.
The baker has also worked a deal with Miami International Airport to offer Bunnie Cakes at vending machines at various locations throughout the bustling travel hub. The vending machines are located at gated B21 and G15 and a third machine is opening at B49. The machines offer four- and six-packs of mini cupcakes, cake sundaes (cakes in a cup), and mini cakes. Cortez said the four-inch cakes are a surprise hit, with travelers purchasing them as souvenir gifts.
In addition to the nationwide batters and frostings, Bunnie Cakes delivers locally from Miami to West Palm Beach through Uber Eats. In addition, local Miami Whole Foods Markets sell Bunnie Cakes cupcakes, cakes, and cake sundaes.
Cortez also hosts a YouTube channel, sponsored by Florida Crystals Sugar. Cortez and her team traveled to Mexico to film various segments for the channel, which help people up their vegan baking game. The goal, according to Cortez, is to upload a new video every Friday.
The vegan baking entrepreneur opened Bunnie Cakes back in 2009 after learning her then two-year-old son, Luke, had a host of allergies. Cortez had been making vegan options at home for several years and decided to open a small bake shop in Miami. Word spread quickly about her bite-sized vegan cupcakes, unicorn cakes, and other colorful vegan treats among both the vegan community and parents who found Bunnie Cakes to be one of the few treats that could accommodate most children’s dietary restrictions. “We positioned Bunnie Cakes in Miami very well, but my goal now is to position the brand as a vegan household name.”
Cortez says that she’s up for the challenge of taking Bunnie Cakes national. “I’m very excited. There’s a lot of room to grow. I saw that little space 14 years ago and saw an opportunity. Now I see the opportunities for the future.”