5 Questions With Reece Hignell: Cakeboi

If you’re a fan of MasterChef Australia you will already know the face behind these pastel pink walls which ooze of cakey goodness. Founded by Reece Hignell, Cakeboi was born during the pandemic in 2020 after his second stint on MasterChef’s ‘Back To Win’ series. Inspired by his nan, Reece has been surrounded by baked goods since childhood and it’s no surprise that baking is now his biggest passion and business venture. We visited Reece at Cakeboi’s Hamilton store (just outside of Newcastle) to talk baking, business and future plans. Read the full chat below.

SQ: What is the vision behind Cakeboi, we know that you’re inspired by your family, can you tell us more about this?

R: Cakeboi is a dedication to my nan and her amazing cooking skills. When I was a child, nan had a market stall where she would sell the most sought after baked goods. Baking has become my biggest passion in life and is something that I just love. Cakeboi came to life during the 2020 lockdown and following a stint on MasterChef Australia, I decided to finally open the shop.

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SQ: Biggest learning since opening your own business?

R: I would say that owning and running a small business is much more difficult than I first imagined. Anything from staffing, sourcing produce and sorting baking inspirations. To account and software etc. Sometimes it can be a lot to handle, but is also such an amazing opportunity to learn and grow.

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SQ: Why did you choose Square to help run Cakeboi?

R: We decided to use Square as it was efficient and affordable. Having no experience in running a business before, I needed user friendly software. Over time we have added more and more Square’s products, from using Square for Restaurants and KDS bump screens for our coffee orders, online Gift Cards and Square Online for our cake orders and event ticket sales.

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SQ: What is something that has surprised you as a business owner?

R: I would say getting to know the local community of Hamiton where my business is located. Whether people are traveling from out of Newcastle to visit the shop, or walking in from over the road. Cakeboi has a very unique community of customers. There is a lot of joy in the shop and I feel that keeps people coming back. I’m always overwhelmed when I see a line out the door and eager customers trying to see into the cake display for the daily specials!

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SQ: What are you looking forward to in the year ahead, any exciting future plans?

R: I would love Cakeboi to go from strength to strength. We need to perfect what we do, engage with other local businesses and find more space to produce spectacular cakes.

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