We've all experienced the many faces of Instagram in the pandemic age. It's a support system in the social distancing era, our own FOMO-inducing worst enemy, and a powerful tool for social justice awareness (and yes, sometimes a grid of well-meaning hashtag activism). Social media can also be a heartwarming respite for optimism — and in the case of the Los Angeles-based bakers behind Little House Confections, it comes in the form a four-inch viral olive oil cake.
Like many quarantining Angelenos, interior designer Liz Roth and producer Jaymie Wisneski hoped to bake their way out of boredom. The L.A. duo took over Roth's Hancock Park kitchen and began whipping up powdered sugar-topped confections using wellness enthusiast-beloved brand Bragg's organic extra virgin olive oil, first for friends and then as a sweet way to raise money for Covenant House, a nonprofit organization that supports homeless youth.
Thanks to word of (very satisfied) mouth across local customers, LHC became a bonafide business when its 'grammable citrus-infused cakes were unboxed on the feeds of stars like Kim Kardashian West, Kourtney Kardashian, Kylie Jenner (who also sent one to beauty influencer pal Desi Perkins), Shay Mitchell, and Hollywood star Camille Rowe, to name just a few.
Available in regular and gluten-free options, Roth and Wisneski's "bomb ass" baked bites range from $12 for a small cake that feeds one to $52 for a large cake that feeds up to three people. They also offer equally photogenic Cloud Bombs ($30 to $52 for 6 or 12). Thoughtful confection lovers can also purchase donations of the powdered pastries ($36), which will be donated to frontline healthcare workers every week via nonprofit delivery service Fueling the Fearless.
The duo recently teamed with The Haas Brothers on a giftable cake and limited-edition tin ($112) with all proceeds benefiting NAACP, and LHC is also set to launch nationwide shipping in July (tell all of your non-SoCal friends!) The company is also donating 12% of all June sales to Black Lives Matter's L.A. chapter.
Here, we caught up with Roth and Wisneski in between their baking sessions to find out what life has been like post-cake, what their daily schedule looks like, what they're looking forward to most when social distancing restrictions ease up, what's next for Little House Confections, and more. Read on below, and treat your sweet tooth and order LHC's charitable olive oil cake here.
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WOW WOW WOW I am so excited to finally to share our first artist collaboration with our favorites @thehaasbrothers for a super cute LHC X FATHER’S DAY cake tin! Each tin will come with an original Bomb Ass Olive Oil Cake inside and ALL PROFITS will go to @naacp. We are beyond thrilled and grateful to actually have pulled this off! 📸 @emilyknecht Post @gradient.studio.la special thanks to @djunabel
We know you're both incredibly busy after going viral — What do your days look like right now? What are your headspaces like throughout it all?
Liz Roth: I wake up very early — usually around 4 or 5 a.m. to start the day baking. Then move to administrative work because we’re also setting up our business as we go along. It’s hectic! Interestingly enough, I have never been in a better headspace. My dad had asked me a few weeks ago if I was happy. I sat to think about it and realized that I am not sure that I had known true happiness and gratitude before now.
Jaymie Wisneski: I wake up a bit later because I stay up doing the delivery lists for the next day the night before. so around 6 or 7 a.m. and help box the cakes then load them into the drivers' cars with their lists and handwrite all the notes. I jump in with the administrative duties as much as I can with Liz. We have time to discuss the day and operations for a few hours during the afternoon before getting ready for bed basically as soon as the sun goes down.
So how did the two of you meet, and what was the conversation that sparked the idea to create LHC?
LR: We met through our mutual friend Elana. I also think Jaymie is the funniest.
JW: We met through a mutual friend five years ago during breakfast on Larchmont. We got along because Liz is the funniest!
What was the "whoa" moment that made you realize you were onto something big? Have there been any heartwarming reactions?
LR: The most heartwarming moment for me was when we donated our first check to Covenant House. Personally, I have never done anything like that before. I have never done any kind of fundraising. I knew we were raising a good amount of money but it was the moment I actually wrote the check and saw it. I started crying. I have never felt that accomplished in my life.
JW: I think it was early on when we just saw how many people we didn’t know were ordering from us and that continue to support us. Then came the higher profile people and we were definitely like "Whoa" — and buckled in for the ride. The most heartwarming thing for me is this connection we have to the people we are making cakes for. They are sending them to loved ones for every occasion, for no occasion, to tell them they love them, to tell them they are proud and honestly — to be a part of that every day is really special.
What are your plans for Little House Confections when we can all safely go out and gather again?
JW: We are looking for a space with a pickup window!
LR: What Jaymie said!
Since you're clearly a fan of Bragg (so are we!), how do you use some of their other products?
LR: I put apple cider vinegar in my bath! It's incredible for restoring your natural PH balance. I also take daily shots of it to reduce acid reflux. Bragg's apple cider vinegar is my go-to for everything.
JW: I've always used the apple cider vinegar for everything from salad dressing to daily health regimens to home remedies like dabbing it on blemishes (don’t judge). It’s amazing. The olive oil has also been a staple in my kitchen for years.
Lastly, who or what are some people, places, or things that you're excited to see it's safe?
LR: I just want to hug my dad! He had a heart transplant less than a year ago and has not been able touch any of us because he is so high risk.
JW: I've been dreaming of going to Greece and I am not ashamed to admit that the first safe chance I get, I will try to make a run for it.