When life gives you lemons, you make ... isolation cakes?
East London’s Luminary Bakery, which counts Meghan Markle as one of its most famous fans, is trying to make their customers’ lives a little bit brighter during the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering special “Isolation cakes” for those who are self-isolating or under quarantine. The cakes, which cost 50 pounds (about $84 CAD), contain uplifting messages written in icing, such as, “We’ll get through this!” “Thinking of You” and “Netflix and Isolation.”
The self-described “social enterprise” rose to prominence when the Duchess of Sussex visited one of their locations last year and British Vogue featured the bakery in their September 2019 issue, an issue that Markle herself guest-edited.
“Introducing the ‘Isolation Cake’! Know someone self-isolating that could do with a cake drop? Working from home got you feeling like you need some sweet, sweet joy in the form of cake?” the bakery wrote on their Instagram page, next to a photo of a delicious-looking fruit-topped cake, topped with icing that spelled, “Isolation Cake.”
But for those who are about to click on the order button, heads up: the bakery is only delivering the cakes to those within 10 miles of their two locations in Chalk Farm and Stoke Newington, U.K.
The bakery is also shipping brownies across the U.K. Flavours include coconut and cherry, salted caramel, and plain. So we’ll just have to quarantine bake our own isolation cakes, right?
The business — which employs only disadvantaged women and teaches them skills that can be used towards future opportunities — shared an Instagram story of one of their isolation cakes being unveiled while the song “My Sharona” by The Knack (with the lyrics changed to “My Corona”) played in the background.
During her 2019 visit at the bakery, the Duchess of Sussex opened up about people’s “hopes, fears, and insecurities,” and how the bakery helps women translate those feelings into healing and action.
“We get into this habit of wanting things done immediately nowadays. There’s a culture of instant gratification, of the instant fix,” she explained. “But we aren’t mechanical objects that need to be fixed. You’re a wounded creature that needs to be healed, and that takes time.”
The bakery was featured on the Sussexes’ Instagram page a second time as one of Markle’s regular “spotlights.”
“What they’ve created at Luminary Bakery is exceptional — it’s a space for baking, healing and rebuilding,” Markle wrote.
“When I visited earlier this year I was struck by how the baking, itself, is a means of therapy for these women — which in many ways makes complete sense — feeling they had no control over their lives based on their previous (and often harrowing) circumstances, they found comfort in the measured nature of baking.”
Markle and her family might be finding comfort through baking right now, as Canada’s provinces continue to enforce new guidelines around self-isolation and social distancing.
The Sussexes and their 10-month-old son Archie are living in a rented mansion in British Columbia.
Before she became a duchess, Markle was quasi-known as a bit of a foodie, sharing her cooking creations on her now-defunct personal Instagram page and sharing her love of food on her shuttered lifestyle blog, The Tig.
And during her and Harry’s royal tour of Australia in 2018, the duchess baked banana bread for her visit to the Whoodleys, a five-generation farming family in New South Wales.
We also can’t forget that Markle is a best-selling cookbook author! Together: Our Community Cookbook was co-created by the duchess and the women cooks at the Hubb Community Kitchen to support those affected by the Grenfell Tower fires in London.
As of last June, the cookbook has sold 130,000 copies worldwide.
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