Member Success Story: New York Cakes

“Baking our way to a family break”

This dessert wholesaler found a partner to keep them on the road – and in the air.

The recipe for New York CakesOpens external site’ success is simple: supplying top-quality wholesale desserts to cafés, restaurants, clubs and caterers in NSW and the ACT. The family business delivers its sweet treats in a fleet of delivery trucks and that’s where the NRMA becomes such a key partner, according to resident cake boss Kalliope Panayiotakis.

Why is a relationship with the NRMA so important for your business?

We deliver to Sydney and the surrounding area: the Southern Highlands, Hunter Region, Central Coast, Illawarra and the ACT. 

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Things happen on the road so we have roadside assistance with the NRMA in case anything goes wrong. Their service is great but what’s also important to us is their availability across wide geographical regions.  They’ve been able to reach us in remote areas and get us back on the road. A vehicle full of products heading to Canberra once broke down outside Goulburn in NSW. The NRMA assessed the situation, got us back on the road and the order made it to the customer.

Did your wholesale business begin as a bakery?

No. My father, Kon, and my uncle, Angelo, were looking for a gap in the market and saw there was a lack of quality products. Baking was very, very new to them in 1995. But we love food. My brother, Arthur, and I have worked in the business since 2014 and we took over in 2016.

Did you make changes when you took over?

We gave the brand a refresh and expanded into other regions. We’ve worked seven days a week and have tripled our turnover in three years. There are more opportunities interstate and we are looking at producing on a bigger scale. My father has been wonderful, really open-minded, and let us do what we think is best for the business.

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How do you find running your own business?

Very tough but we love it. It’s what my brother and I grew up in – going on delivery runs, being in the office. Arthur and I also worked in our retail stores during high school and university studies. For us, it’s second nature. But you learn a lot along the way, both good and bad. And sometimes you have to face your weaknesses – or rather, points to develop – to do what the business needs. In a family business there can be yelling matches but at the end of the day, we love going home together and having family dinner and that doesn’t change. It’s made us stronger.

Points & hacks

  • Easy to earn: New York Cakes, which has a fleet of 12 refrigerated delivery vehicles, can earn up to 17,000 points a month through the NRMA alone.

  • Doubling up: The business also earns points through paying bills with its Qantas Points-earning Westpac BusinessChoice Rewards Platinum Mastercard®. “We’ve changed our processes to maximise our points,” explains Panayiotakis. “If there are expenses we can pay on the credit card, we do so.”

  • Giving back: For a family business, the attraction of the Qantas Business Rewards program is not just earning points but also the flexibility to use them in whatever way the business needs. “At this time, we use them for our holidays,” says Panayiotakis, who’s planning a honeymoon in Greece and Italy. “But we’re looking at other ways to use them – for gifts for our staff or to fly them interstate for business, for example.”

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