Local baker catches YouTube’s eye

Cranbrook’s JJ’s Custom Cakery could land on YouTube’s home page – if you cast your vote

Baker Jenn Johns explains how to make a Mother’s Day cupcake bouquet in this screengrab from a video on her popular YouTube channel

Baker Jenn Johns explains how to make a Mother’s Day cupcake bouquet in this screengrab from a video on her popular YouTube channel

A local cakemaker could land her videos on the home page of YouTube after being nominated in a high-profile contest.

Jenn Johns of JJ’s Custom Cakery and her partner Paul Dalcanale create how-to baking videos for their YouTube channel, Cupcakes and Cardio.

Since they started the videos in March 2011, the channel has garnered more than four million views and 35,000 subscribers.

“It has just taken off recently,” said Johns. “It’s taken on a life of its own.

“We have fans all over the world and the feedback we get it absolutely amazing.”

“We have more subscribers than double Cranbrook. It’s absolutely so humbling. And we are small-time compared to the big YouTubers. That’s why this contest is so huge for us because it could catapult us into that big player category.”

One of those subscribers — Johns doesn’t know who —nominated the channel for YouTube’s monthly “On The Rise” program.

The program selects four channels each month that are growing in popularity but haven’t yet reached 100,000 subscribers.

In the May contest, Cupcakes and Cardio, with 35,000 subscribers, is up against Haunted Sunshine Girl, who posts videos about paranormal activity for 39,000 subscribers; Ojatro, who posts videos dispelling wildlife myths for 38,000 subscribers; and Mommy Crafts A Lot, who provides tutorials about creative projects and has 34,000 subscribers.

If Cupcakes and Cardio wins the contest this month, they will be featured on YouTube’s home page for the rest of May, a huge opportunity for Johns, Dalcanale and the exposure of their business.

“You can’t get better than that first line of exposure on YouTube,” said Johns. “The fact that we have been chosen from the thousands of channels on YouTube is an incredible honour in itself, but we want to win!”

Cupcakes and Cardio videos cover a variety of baking tutorials for projects like a Barbie cake, a margarita cake, and edible printing.

“The one we just did for Mother’s Day was a cupcake bouquet. That’s been really popular, people have loved that and it’s gotten great reviews,” said Johns.

The couple has just started a popular series called Backpack Baking, showcasing hikes around the East Kootenay.

“We bought a backpack oven, so we film our hiking trip and we bake when we get to the top,” said Johns.

The videos also include cardio tips, as Johns is a gym instructor in her spare time.

Dalcanale and Johns started JJ’s Custom Cakery in March 2011 and operate out of their Cranbrook home as a side business. They cater baking for parties, as well as having a stall at Cranbrook Farmer’s Market and local fairs.

As well as its YouTube channel, Cupcakes and Cardio has a blog, and is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.

Vote for Cupcakes and Cardio in YouTube’s On The Rise contest at: www.google.com/moderator/#15/e=1fe067&t=1fe067.47.