It’s an 8-Bit World, We’re Just Living in it
I enter the room and I’m quickly greeted by, “Hi! My name is Luna. What’s yours?”
I’ve just had the good fortune of meeting the four-year old Head of Marketing of 8 Bit Bakeshop, the video game and comic book-inspired bakery. Luna is with her mother, Hannah, founder and head pastry chef of 8 Bit Bakeshop. At Cosplay events, Luna is known for attracting people to the 8 Bit booth by shouting at cosplayers, “Come try my mommy’s cookies!”. Not interested in baked goods today? That’s OK. Luna will make sure you go home with an 8 Bit Bakeshop business card so you can check out the website for future orders.
Little Luna and Hannah Maldonado from 8 Bit Bakeshop
Who is the woman behind this little ball of energy and 8 Bit Bakeshop? Hannah Maldonado. Hannah studied as a pastry chef and after working for some bakeries and restaurants, she quickly realized that she could not continue working for employers who were not flexible or understanding. Hannah needs to be available when Luna needs to make it to the hospital or doctor’s office, as she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before her first birthday. This need for a more flexible work schedule further inspired Hannah to become her own boss. Now that she has accomplished this goal, Hannah is an extremely understanding boss when her employees have occasional personal obligations.
Kiva City NYC Fellow Emily Gutman with Luna and Hannah
Further inspiring 8 Bit Bakeshop was Hannah and her fiance Matt’s realization that bakeries were not catering to comic book fans and video gamers. After attending multiple Cosplay events, this family quickly realized there was a potential for far more than elaborate costumes. Thus, a whole new breed of bakery was born. I was lucky enough to sample some of these delicious treats (see the sweetness below). While I had to check in with one of my sisters and boyfriend to make sure I got the references, I can tell you that these desserts were delicious.
The first dessert was called Aztec Gold Mini Pots. It was inspired by a video game called Red Dead Redemption. It was a super smooth and creamy caramel with hints of burned caramel flavor and edible gold shards mixed in. You can eat it out of the cup, but warmed and poured on ice cream is unbelievable! The second dessert I had was one piece of a six piece box set of "Invade My Heart" fudge bricks inspired by Space Invaders. It was a dark and milky blend of super high quality chocolate fudge decorated with royal icing. Interested in baked goods yet? Or does Luna still have to send you home with a business card?
Aztec Gold Mini Pot and "Invade My Heart" fudge brick
After finding out that Luna was not actually the Head of Marketing, I learned that she was the inspiration for a special menu at 8 Bit Bakeshop. After seeing how Luna’s diabetes changed what she could eat and the careful consideration and measurements that had to go into what she was eating, Hannah decided to create an allergen and special needs menu, fittingly named "Little Luna". I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited to see what delicious desserts this little fireball, and future marketing wiz, inspires!