Betsy Kabaker is obsessed with French almond cookies.
“I was in awe of every pastry case,” she said of her year studying abroad in Paris, where she took a class to learn the art of making macarons in the trendy Le Marais neighborhood. The UCSB student, who graduates next month, turned that knowledge into The Kabakery and is now seeking investors to grow the business, which fills French cookie orders out of a commercial cooking space inside the Goodland Kitchen in Old Town Goleta.
“I didn’t know my talent before sharing it with other people,” explained Kabaker, who launched the label by passing out cookies in front of trendy cafés and hotels and then interviewing the passersby for feedback. Convinced she was onto a good thing, Kabaker enrolled in UCSB’s Technology Management Program and entered the New Venture Competition.
“They called me the curveball,” she said. “I couldn’t just be a bakery in a tech competition. I had to be a multifaceted concept.” So she and her team started building an e-commerce website and expanding The Kabakery’s social-media reach. Today, although she didn’t make the New Venture Competition finals (which are on May 21 in Corwin Pavilion), Kabaker sells cookies to private events from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles.
“I don’t just want to be a baker,” she said. “I need to be in a dynamic job situation, and being an entrepreneur is part of it.” Here’s a taste of what she offers.
The Coachella Collection: “Instead of having a row of 20 macarons, we put them in a box and call it a collection,” she said. This box includes flavors like Watermelon Oasis, which comes as a red macaron with a watermelon painted on it.
Mochi Balls: “I was in an Asian market, and I thought, ‘I want that!’” said Kabaker, who’s designing playful packaging to tell a story about each collection. “It’s really a good canvas for me to have fun and mess around with flavors.”
The Lunch Box: Strawberry lemonade and strawberry yogurt. “I would call it Strawberry Go-Gurt, just to kind of throw it back a little,” she said. This box also includes the popular peanut-butter-and-jelly macaron. “Men love that one,” she said. “It’s really funny.”
Drake-n-Bake Collection: “I want to be fashion-forward,” said Kabaker, who takes global food and pop-culture trends and builds them into her business model. “Our flavors are inspired by things that are big.” This collection includes Rosé, which comes with a little gold leaf.
Follow @thekabakery on Instagram or send order inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.