Las Vegas Strip, and Palm Springs will have its own location in
spring 2005. Each month, Pacific Whey is approached by about 50
investors wanting to open another location.
The company started in 1995, when Haute Cakes Cafe co-founder and
executive chef Gina De Michael sold her share of the popular cafe at
Westcliff Court. She turned around and opened Pacific Whey Cafe and
Baking Company at the Newport Hills Shopping Center.
A baker by trade, De Michael could show off her talents at Pacific
Whey, creating signature cookies, tarts and pastries. As business
increased, De Michael expanded her offerings to include fresh
homemade lunches, and in 2002, she brought out home-style dinners.
Along the way, De Michael entered into a partnership with Cheryl
Clancy and Marc Wilsey, who contribute to every end of the
In March 2003, the partners opened a spectacular second Pacific
Whey Cafe and Baking Company at Crystal Cove Promenade on the Newport
Coast. Even with a soft opening (they didn't advertise), news spread
quickly by word of mouth. During their first two days in business,
they served more than 1,000 meals. Lines formed out the door.
On Saturdays and Sundays, this location regularly serves up to
1,200 people. Soon they will add an additional 1,500 square feet to
accommodate a larger kitchen to meet the huge catering and delivery
demands. They'll also add more bathrooms and an express area that
will serve homemade ice creams and gelato.
While both sites serve the same made-from-scratch foods, the
Crystal Cove Promenade serves as the prototype for future locations.
"We wanted to build something we can easily replicate," Wilsey
said. "[Someplace] where people can say, it smells like, tastes like,
feels like, Pacific Whey."
The owners visited historic cafes and bakeries in San Francisco,
borrowing classic European design cues, including a white Carrera
marble pastry case, community tables made by Aspen Elegance, a rock
wall, a vintage poster wall and a silver patina ceiling. These
details can easily be translated to new locations. The footprint for