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Young Aruban baking entrepreneur Kyle Ruiz opened Aruba’s first dessert & sweets shop on wheels, Piece of Cake, at just 22 years old in March 2019. 🍰
Kyle has always had an affinity for baking that started in his youth. ”My father and I share the same birthday, and it was a tradition for my mum to bake us a pistachio cake from her family recipe,” Kyle explains. Eventually, his curiosity led him to join his mother in the kitchen as a teen, learning about baking through those recipes handed down through generations and even selling his cookies as a small side job.
Kyle decided to formalise his skills in the kitchen, attending EPI’s culinary arts program. He learned the basics of cooking here, but it also helped him define his culinary path, preferring pastry over traditional savoury cooking. Kyle was able to revolve two internships around his love for baking, interning in the pastry departments of The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, and White Modern Cuisine. 🍰
After graduating, Kyle didn’t waste time turning the wheels on his dessert truck, finding a regular location at the Tanki Leendert roundabout, serving traditional Aruban cakes by the piece, and utilising evening hours when traditional brick-and-mortar bakeries were closed. Once the word was out, locals began frequenting Piece of Cake. Kyle explains that one of the most rewarding aspects of his business is when locals exclaim, ”you make cakes just like my grandmother used to.”
Kyle is happy to be able to keep these traditional Aruban recipes alive. “Our top-selling cake is by far the cashew cake…I follow my grandmother’s recipe to the ‘T,’ which includes a touch of rum.” 🥃
Kyle is proud that Piece of Cake is a true family business, with his mum joining him in the kitchen to help fill the demand. In addition to his menu of classic Aruban cakes, they also bake various other sweets, including crème brûlée and cookies. 🍮 🍪
Kyle hopes to add a second dessert truck down the road and, ultimately, a full-service brick-and-mortar bakery serving gourmet sandwiches, snacks, and of course, those delicious cakes.
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