30 Under 30: Raveena Oberoi layers South Asian flavours into Just Cakes

Oberoi created the Jar Bar, Canada's first cake jar vending machine.

Credit: Dekko U Studio

Raveena Oberoi, 29

Owner and CEO, Just Cakes Bakeshop

Life Story: As a 16-year-old getting bullied in high school, Raveena Oberoi remembers turning to the kitchen. “I quickly became really obsessed with things like Food Network, Cake Boss and just making anything out of cake,” she says

She began Just Cakes as a home business, but after moving to Vancouver to study psychology at UBC, she lost access to a kitchen. So, every weekend, she would commute home to Abbotsford to complete incoming cake orders.

A year after her 2015 graduation, Oberoi briefly moved to Paris to study pastry arts at Ecole Bellouet Conseil. Upon returning, she opened the doors to Surrey’s first Just Cakes Bakeshop (JCB) in 2017. It was fast, but not easy. “People didn’t take me seriously— [they] thought it was my father’s business and just didn’t give me the time of day,” she recalls.

But she’s happy she stuck with it, because now Oberoi is a judge on Food Network’s Wall of Bakers, runs two JCB storefronts and distributes to over 85 retailers in the province. She’s proud to represent the young South Asian community through her brand, and tries tapping into nostalgic flavours with creations like the cardamom dream mousse.

And, as of April 2023, JCB’s popular cakes in a jar (the company’s “claim to fame,” as the CEO puts it) are available at all Blenz Coffee locations in B.C. and Alberta. “I was doing maybe 100 jars a month from my mom’s kitchen to now doing close to 15,000 a month just from our one facility,” she says.

Bottom Line: Since opening its first store in 2017, Just Cakes has scaled to 30 staff and made $2.2 million in revenue this fiscal year. It’s known for creating Canada’s first cake jar vending machine, the Jar Bar, currently available at Burnaby’s Brentwood Mall and Abbotsford’s Sevenoaks Mall.