KWENTO — Toronto Bakery Stands Out in Sea of Sameness and Streamlines Operations

Toronto Bakery Stands Out in Sea of Sameness and Streamlines Operations
As KWENTO's reputation for striking, unique cakes grew — so did the challenges of managing a bustling business. Here's how Square helped streamline operations.
by Alena Courtney Apr 05, 2024 — 4 min read
Toronto Bakery Stands Out in Sea of Sameness and Streamlines Operations

About this business

Business Type

Bakery Locations: 1


Toronto, Canada
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The cakes at Toronto-based bakery KWENTO speak for themselves. Whether it’s a vanilla, rhubarb, and ricotta masterpiece adorned with hyacinth or an 80’s inspired wedding cake that’s reminiscent of your parent’s wedding photos, every delicacy KWENTO creates is a unique work of art. And they taste just as good as they look.

Shannon Nocos, the founder of KWENTO, pivoted her career trajectory from retail management to culinary arts, finding her true calling in the world of baking. With a background in graphic design and media, Shannon’s journey led her back to Toronto amidst the pandemic. There she began to mix her design expertise with her newfound passion for baking (only Shannon’s baking skills far surpassed the banana bread craze most of us fell into). The happy result was KWENTO. A cake business that tells a story with every creation, inspired by Shannon’s unique background and her Filipino heritage.


Shannon Nocos, founder of KWENTO. Image courtesy of Bianka Gill. 

KWENTO started out offering Filipino-based flavors, and with our growing clientele, we’ve been able to create custom flavors that have made it onto our regular menu. Filipino food has always been familiar to me, so it’s an obvious place to start. It’s the first layer of my palette and always will be!”

Shannon Nocos founder, KWENTO

The challenge: Streamlining operations for a flourishing business

As KWENTO’s reputation for striking, one-of-a-kind cakes grew, so did the challenges of managing a bustling business. Like most founders, Shannon faced the daunting task of balancing creativity with nitty-gritty business operations. From customizing cake orders online (customers are able to pick their size, colors, shape, flavor, writing — you name it) to managing inventory like KWENTO’s Ready-Made cakes which help eliminate food waste by utilizing leftover batter and mixed colors of buttercream from custom orders, KWENTO needed an omnichannel solution that could handle the complexities of a growing, multichannel business.

The solution: A recipe for efficiency 

Enter Square, the fully integrated point-of-sale (POS) system and technology partner that supports KWENTO’s operations. The Square suite of tools, including Square Online, Square Invoices, and Square for Retail, provided Shannon with the essential ingredients she needed to run her business smoothly — so she could focus on creating cakes for her customers.

I of course love Square because it’s an easy-to-use POS system. I love that I’m able to see sales in real time on my phone. I can be on vacation and see how the business is doing. I cannot stress how easy it is to use! From invoicing to timecards and reporting, it’s all very straightforward. I always recommend Square to folks starting out as vendors in a market or those opening a storefront.”

Shannon Nocos founder, KWENTO

Custom cakes, simplified ordering 


Image courtesy of Ali Turton.


revenue growth from 2022 to 2023

A branded website helps KWENTO handle even more custom cake orders online, and it enables new customers to discover the bakery. Using Square Online, KWENTO is able to accept and manage orders both from the website and in-store transactions — and even from social media. Square Online also comes with built-in search engine optimization (SEO) tools to help customers in the area find Shannon’s creations. 

We’ve created a seamless process to order a customizable cake online. Just like buying clothes online, you are able to pick your size, color(s), shape, flavor, and writing.”

Shannon Nocos founder, KWENTO

Real-time insights — anytime, anywhere 

With Square real-time sales tracking, Shannon can monitor KWENTO’s performance even while she’s away from the business. The ability to access sales data on her phone empowers her to make informed decisions and stay connected to her business at all times, even while taking much-deserved breaks.

Invoicing made easy 

Square Invoices simplified the billing process, making it straightforward for Shannon and her staff to send professional invoices. This feature, which is integrated with Square POS, ensures timely payments and a smooth financial work steam, which is crucial for the business’s cash flow.


cancellation rate on big events and weddings utilizing Square Contracts and Square Invoices

The impact: A flourishing future for KWENTO 

Thanks to Shannon’s vision and dedication, KWENTO is positioned for expansion. Shannon envisions a new space for KWENTO within a year, a second location in five years, and becoming a household name in the industry in ten years. The integrated ecosystem of Square hardware and software has not only supported KWENTO’s day-to-day operations but has also laid the foundation for its long-term aspirations.

Quick stats

With Square powering the business, KWENTO achieved the following success in short time frame:

  • 46% revenue growth from 2022 to 2023
  • The KWENTO team utilizes Square Invoicing so that customers can pay for popular items like ready-made cakes before they arrive.  
  • The Square Retail POS app allows the KWENTO team to view the business remotely from anywhere in the world. They use this data to determine if they need to be more aggressive in promoting their baked good and engaging on social media to drive sales.
  • 0% cancellation rate on big events and weddings by utilizing Square Contracts and Square Invoices and Estimates

Words of wisdom from a creative founder

Don’t be afraid to ask for help as your business grows. Investing in a small but mighty team was a game-changer for Shannon. By delegating tasks and utilizing Square tools, Shannon has been able to keep her working hours under control and focus on what she does best: designing breathtaking cakes.

As a business owner, you can only do everything until you can’t. Once your business starts to thrive, you, as an individual, will begin to sink if you don’t find help. My team right now is the best it’s ever been, and there are only three of us! I appreciate that they can help fill in the gaps of production and customer experience. I think it’s important as a business owner to accept that you’re not everything and can’t be everything.”

Shannon Nocos founder, KWENTO

Shannon’s journey with KWENTO offers valuable lessons for other entrepreneurs. She advises being prepared for the emotional rollercoaster of business ownership and emphasizes the importance of perseverance. With the right tools and gumption, navigating the challenges of starting and growing a business is within reach.


Alena Courtney
Alena Courtney is an Editor at Square covering all things Retail — She writes about retail trends, retail business models, inventory and supply chain management, ecommerce and in-person growth.

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