September 2023 will be the third year for Annie's T Cakes Mid Autumn specialty mooncakes. Like most business feats, it has been a journey.
When I first started making moocakes, they looked bad. Granted, I wasn't trying to shape them at first because I was so focused on the taste, but even when I started to shape them they would crack and leak. It was a mess.
I first made mooncakes in May of 2021. It was a two week sprint. Dozens of mooncakes went in and out of the oven every day for those two weeks. I tested eight different flavors. The first week I only worked on the flavors. Then the second week I started working on finding the right temperature to make sure the mooncake skins didn't crack.
The first year I made mooncakes for Mid Autumn in 2021, I partnered with Asha Tea House for pick ups. I used their matcha powder in the matcha mooncake. I ran all around town looking for reclaimed boxes to ship the mooncakes to California residents outside of the Bay Area. I still didn't have a car yet, so I biked and took public transportation to friends' and neigbhors' houses to get boxes and packing supplies so I could reduce waste. At one point, I rigged a backpack out of a used box, packing materials, and plastic bags and rode my bike all the way home.
I spent two weeks making all the mooncakes and the materials to go into the mooncakes. I packed all the boxes in my closet and my boyfriend helped me pack up the rest in our bedroom the night before they were due to be delivered.
I think I only had a few brain cells left for the rest of the year after that Mid Autumn season.
Mid Autumn 2022 was CRAZY. It was the busiest month I think I've had in my life so far. Almost every day for a full month I was in the kitchen for 12-16 hours a day. There were probably three days I didn't step into the kitchen that September. Orders came in from all over California. I made multiple trips to the post office just to get them out!
If the first year I was left with a few brain cells, after this year I was basically a total zombie. This year I was also lucky enough to be featured in various publications including Thrillist, Eater, the SF Chronicle and more.
When I look back at these first two years of making mooncakes to celebrate Mid Autumn with all of you, I remember them fondly. They were hectic, I was crazed, and I was so sleep deprived. But I know these will be some of the best times of my life because I got to share these moments with you all through food that is near and dear to me. The idea that so many of you were able to enjoy these traditional delicacies (maybe for the first time) fills me with so much pride and happiness.
Things have changed a lot in the past few years, but I know once this third season is over I'll have one more beautiful memory to add to this journey.
Pre-order your Mid Autumn Specialty Mooncake Boxes here. Pre-orders close September 22 at 11:59pm.