You may have seen Whisked!’s decadent, lip-smacking cookies and pies at a District Farmer’s Market or a local coffee shop window.
And while they make your heart sing for joy, and your taste buds
frolic through fields of rolled oats and swim in seas of salted caramel,
make no mistake- for all the delicious wonder that these gooey gourmet treats provide us, they did not pop out of the sky and into beautiful window displays. These are the result of the one and only
Jenna Huntsberger, the CEO slash Baker Extraordinaire and her team at Whisked!
Jenna and I actually go waaayyy back to an entrepreneurship course we took at the DC Women’s Business Center a few years ago. While her business was up and running (and mine only existed on paper) she was there to get some tips on taking her DC bakery to the next level.
And from the look (and scrumptious smell of things) that is exactly what’s happened. Whisked! has been growing and getting quite a reputation, being featured in Cosmo, the Washington Post, Everyday with Rachel Ray, and even voted “Best Bakery” by Post Express Readers.
I caught up with Jenna at Union Kitchen to catch up and learn more about the magic behind the biz, and how she got Whisked! to where it is today.
While Jenna has always been into baking, like making cakes for her college classmates, and baking every recipe in “The Bread Bible,” she got into the DC food scene through her food blog ModernDomestic.
Through this blog, she started going to the DC Food Bloggers Happy Hour, and getting to know local bakers. In 2010, she quit her office job to pursue baking as her career.
She started working for an online bakery, Treet, as well as other food related jobs, like being a hostess, a pastry chef for a restaurant, for SouperGirl and for The Big Cheese Food Truck. All of these helped her learn the ropes of the food industry.
Jenna and a partner launched Whisked! in 2011, where one had the connections to farmer’s markets and one had the baking experience.
When I asked her about this partnership, she explained
“It’s totally about who you know.”
In the district’s ever-growing food scene, she needed these connections to get her pies and cookies out there, secure kitchen space to use and promote those treats.
Building a business isn’t a one man show, as they say… it takes a village.
Jenna had more than just the right combination of ingredients in the cookies, when creating Whisked!, she had a vision, connections and the kind of determination that moves mountains……mountains and mountains of cookies!
She continued to work multiple part time jobs, driving back and forth to her rented kitchen space in Rockville MD, in a breakdown-prone cargo van, during her first year in business. (I think this could make a great movie- say Kristen Wiig?)
Despite the potholes, and losing a partner along the way, she stuck with it. The rented kitchen space allowed Whisked! to grow a lot from her first to second year. And after moving to Union Kitchen, her DC bakery doubled in size again from ’13 to ’14.
So what are her secrets to success?
“You can’t have something else to fall back on,”
Sorry, what… I actually needed her to repeat that… don’t you mean you do need something to fall back on?? She says no, because this gig is soo tough, that if you have an out you’ll take it!
So now, Whisked! is starting its fifth year in business, with 5 employees, making over 3,000 cookies a week! (that’s not a typo, it’s actually 3K!)((and I haven’t even mentioned the pies!))
She switches up the menu seasonally, but some favs are always available- like the…
Wait for it-
Nutella. Cookie. (Jenna’s favorite, and um… yes, please!)
And Salty Oatmeal cookies. Oh and who can forget the Salted Caramel Apple Pie? (no one that’s ever tried it!)
When I asked what’s next, Jenna said they’re exploring options for a possible retail space, so keep a look out for their adorable logo and pies so pretty they’ll make you stop in your tracks!
Annnd…now that you’re salivating, I won’t withhold where you can grab these amazing sweet treats. Check out Jenna’s website- www.whiskeddc.com. You can order online or find a store near you!
And if you enjoy making your mouth water by reading what’s behind the scenes of DC’s best food- sign up for our mailing list and be the first to get our next blog post!