Something sweet is stirring in Whitestone.
Jen Wasiak, owner of Honey Bee Cakes and Honey Pig Donuts, and Christine Pignatello, co-owner of Honey Pig Donuts, said their recent appearance on Cooking Channel’s “Cake Hunters” was “nerve-wracking.” But the duo are more than ready to compete again.
“They came, they set up lights — it was a whole production,” Wasiak said. “We did about four takes of everything.”
In the recently aired episode titled “Four Cakes in One,” the Whitestone shop went up against two other competitors to design, bake and execute the perfect cake to celebrate identical quadruplets’ 27th birthday. Production for their segment of the episode lasted about 12 hours.
Though the bakery did not come out on top, the duo would jump at the opportunity to give the competition another go.
“We were so afraid. But everything came out great,” Pignatello said.
Nestled in Whitestone Village, Honey Bee Cakes has been making specialty cakes and other sweet treats for the Queens community for about two and a half years. On average, the bakery is working on about 20 to 25 cakes per week, Wasiak said, and customers can order custom cakes for any occasion, including birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, bachelorette parties and sporting events.
On Sept. 2 — mere days after Honey Bee’s exciting Aug. 25 television debut — Wasiak and Pignatello unveiled the bakery’s expansion, Honey Pig Donuts. After hatching the idea last winter, the shop underwent eight weeks of renovations to prepare.
Customers can expect to find an array of doughnut flavors, including s’mores, caramel pretzel, fruity pebbles, rainbow cookie, cinnamon sugar and maple bacon. And, like much of the bakery’s offerings, the selection will rotate, and new doughnut flavors will be added periodically.
The duo’s hard work has paid off: according to their Facebook page, Honey Pig completely sold out of doughnuts on its opening day.
Wasiak and Pignatello attribute much of their success to the Whitestone community’s dedication to shopping local.
“I love the feel of the village, and I think the village needed something like this,” said Wasiak, who arrives at the bakery at 2 a.m. every morning to begin working. “I just saw so much potential here … And the people here have been really supportive.”
The co-owners want everyone to feel at home in the newly renovated space, which features furniture hand-built by Wasiak, vintage-feel signage and, perhaps most soul-stirring, the decadently sweet smell of sugar in the air.
“People come in and say [the shop] feels like home,” Wasiak said.
The Whitestone bakery is more than just a place of business, they continued. The professional partners and eastern Queens residents met about five years ago when their children began playing on the same local flag football team.
“We’ve become an instant family,” she said. “It’s a friendship.”
On a near daily basis, customers can walk in and purchase a selection of sweet treats, including apple bars, cookies, muffins, croissants and cupcakes. Coffee, cappuccino, hot chocolate and other drinks are also on the menu, and patrons can even pick up homemade dog treats to bring to their furry best friends.
The shop’s appearance on the “Four Cakes in One” episode is slated to air again on Cooking Channel on Sept. 8 at 10:30 p.m., Sept. 9 at 2:30 a.m. and Sept. 29 at 4 p.m.
Honey Bee Cakes & Honey Pig Donuts is located at 14-31 150th St. and is open six days a week (closed Tuesdays). Hours of operation begin at 7 a.m.