When Fresh Baked Goods Do More Than Warm the Heart

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Provided by Cakes by Happy Eatery

Victoria Wu and her sister Emily, owners of Manassas-based Cakes By Happy Eatery, have been able to stay open during COVID-19. While their thriving event business is coming back very slowly, the warm aromas of the bakery are particularly reassuring to the Manassas community.

“It could have been much worse for our business through all this,” said Victoria, who is the unofficial ringleader of this tight family-run and staffed operation. “We’ve been able to keep going right through the crisis since March, and we want to help out the local community any way we can.”

Thursday Baking

The Wu sisters have started a Thursday tradition during the COVID crisis of baking something special for
special donations to members of the community in need. On Oct. 22, it will be a Chinese delicacy, Pineapple Buns (pronounced bolo bao in Cantonese), a staple in bakeries throughout Hong Kong. The buns are made with a soft milk bread with a buttery pastry topping. Contrary to its name, the bread does not contain any pineapple. The iconic bread gets its name from the golden cracked sugary topping that looks like the exterior of a pineapple, and it is typically enjoyed at breakfast or as an afternoon treat.

Partnering with ACTS

They started a partnership with Manassas-based not-for-profit ACTION in Community Through Service
(ACTS) at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis to provide fresh baked food on a weekly basis to community
groups picked by the ACTS/Prince William Food Rescue staff. Past donations have included Caramel Apple
Cupcakes for National Apple Pie Day (May 13), hot cross buns for Easter, Norwegian Meatballs and mashed
potatoes, their famous “Don’t Knock ’em ‘til you try ‘em” chocolate vegan cupcakes for Earth Day, and they
celebrated National Oatmeal Raisin Week with gourmet oatmeal raisin cookies.

“We’re very thankful for the collaboration with CBHE to get fresh food to those in need during these especially trying times,” said Aaron Tolson, Program Director for the ACTS Food Rescue Program. “There is always a need for this service, and it is growing a bit faster than usual because of COVID.”

The cooking always starts at 10:00 a.m. The ACTS Food Rescue Heroes (program volunteers) pick up the weekly item between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. the same day. The food will again go to the East End Mobile Home Park this week.

“Week to week, we kind of decide what we’re in the mood to do in terms of an item,” said Victoria. “Doing
Moon Cakes early this month put us in the mood to do more special Chinese treats.”

Cakes By Happy Eatery has made this program a permanent part of its weekly routine, and the menu will
continue to change every week. It has included gourmet cookies, bakery donuts and pasta salad based on what ACTS needs group by group. The focus is on families hit hard by the economic impact of the COVID crisis.

For further information, go to cakesbyhappyeatery.com.


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