Earlier this year, life and business partners Daniel Shapiro and Greg Roth launched Modern Bite, a bakery that creates cakes, cupcakes, and cookies topped with modern designs and then sells them online (as well as once at a pop-up shop). The company relies on Shapiro's baking experience and expertise and Roth's eye for aesthetics. Roth holds a masters in architecture from SCI-Arc and practiced with Frank Gehry Associates, Kerry Joyce Associates, and Audrey Alberts Design before launching Gregory Roth Design in 2001, where he works on interiors and graphic designs.
We munched on a box of the cookies at the office (general consensus: tasty but a little weird cause you could peel off the printed graphic if you chose), and then spoke with Roth about his and Shapiro's venture into the world of food.What made you want to launch a bakery?Daniel has always been passionate about baking; he had a business baking for a local cafe in Montreal when he was 14 years old. He spent 20 years in corporate American doing advertising, licensing, and marketing, and when that came to an end he decided to look into baking and dessert-making as a profession. It was something we'd talked about for a long time. We'd been making cakes for friends and kids' birthdays in a casual and fun but also intense way; we took it very seriously even though it was often just for kids and we weren't being paid. We did a cake for my sister-in-law's birthday and the response was amazing. We realized we were on to something interesting: Daniel can bake amazing cakes with flavors that floor people and if we add design to the mix, so to speak, it just increases the wow factor.Had you worked in the food industry before?We'd been making cakes for a long time, and I'd designed a few restaurants. It's absolutely an extension of my business, though. I've been doing mostly interior design for the last eight years. The segue from architecture to interior design was a huge learning curve for me in terms of textiles, patterns, and colors. Bringing that to bear in this new realm is an extension of my aesthetic and my design point of view.How do you decide what each cake and cookie should look like?
When not writing, Miyoko Ohtake can be found cooking, training for her next marathon, and enjoying all that the City by the Bay and the great outdoors have to offer.