South Orange’s food options include Thai, Ethiopian, Japanese, Italian, Indian and Mexican cuisine. A new Jamaican eatery is now adding a little Caribbean flavor to the Village.
K Kakes Cakery is a full-service cafe and bakery that specializes in Jamaican baked products and American products with a Jamaican flair.
Located in the Third and Valley apartment complex, the bakery offers a variety of Jamaican goods from plantain tarts and patties to soups and breads. K Kakes also includes traditional American pastries like cakes and cinnamon buns. Pairing well with these items, K Kakes serves Blue Mountain coffee and fresh juices.
K Kakes was inspired by owner Danya Mowatt’s young daughter nicknamed “KK.” KK took several baking classes and expressed to Mowatt that she wanted to open a bakery. The idea stuck with Mowatt.
At first, her business started small, only selling to friends and family. K Kakes then transitioned to an online bakery and officially became a cafe in March.
K Kakes’ mission is to expose the South Orange community to the Caribbean.
“I want to introduce MAPSO and surrounding areas to the Caribbean,” Mowatt said. “I want everyone to taste what Jamaica is and has to offer. Everything on the menu is made from scratch on the premises and values flavor and quality.”
Mowatt designed the interior of the cafe to educate its visitors of the island’s history.
This ranges from the color choices on the restaurant walls to elements of Jamaican art and culture.
“Upon entering the cafe, the rustic walls in the main dining area are painted a Caribbean blue. You are made to feel like you are on the island of Jamaica,” Mowatt explained. “In the lounge area, there is a selection of paintings from local and popular Jamaican artists that highlights the culture and important events.”
Kaliyah Inswood, a senior biology major, is no stranger to Jamaican cuisine.
“Given that I am Jamaican, I am excited to see what K Kakes has to offer,” she said. “South Orange does not really have any Jamaican restaurants.”
Natalie Douris, a senior social work major, expressed an interest in the restaurant. “Walking from Ora to SHU, I saw the development of this restaurant. Now that it is open, I can’t wait to try the Jamaican pastries.”
Mowatt hopes to operate a successful business, continue to create new signature dishes and establish relationships with residents and students.
Mowatt acknowledges the large student population in South Orange and is open to hiring Seton Hall students that are able to work in a fast-paced environment and learn about new dishes and the culture.
Schania Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.