Meet Annie Wang, ICA Lab alumni and founder of Annie's T Cakes. Annie makes vegan versions of mooncakes, almond cookies, and other Asian snacks. She is focused on using climate-friendly ingredients, like organic sugars, beans, and seeds, and upcycled flour from fellow ICA alumni, Renewal Mill. Annie makes and packs all her treats by hand, which are available on her website and, starting July 9th, will be at the Grand Lake Farmers Market in Oakland.
In one sentence, who are you?
I'm Annie Wang, a second-generation Chinese American from Arkansas with a mission to contribute positively to the climate, the food system, and the people around me.
Tell us about your business:
Annie’s T Cakes is an Asian American, woman-owned business creating handmade vegan Asian snacks and desserts in Oakland, CA. Our mission is to create a more sustainable, culturally diverse, food system for all.
Since opening a year and a half ago, Annie’s T Cakes has partnered with organizations of all sizes, recently making custom almond cookies for A24 Films premiere of Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Starting Saturday, July 9th, we'll be starting the next phase of our journey at the Grand Lake Farmers Market! It will be our first farmers market, and we'd love to see all of you there to share our delicious, handmade treats. We'll also be showcasing new items at the market, so if you want to be one of the first to try our upcoming products, be sure to come through!
Why did you start your business?
I started Annie's T Cakes in January 2021 to pursue a decade long mission to positively impact the climate. Previously, I'd worked in environmental policy and nonprofits. After making the connection between climate impacts and our current food system while working and meeting food activists in Beijing, I decided to continue the journey of environmental impact through food tech. I've had the amazing opportunity to work at companies using innovative technologies to reduce sugar impacts and create ways to make beloved beverages with a decreased carbon footprint.
After being laid off during the pandemic, I had the opportunity to pursue a project that I'd been interested in for years — creating plant-based, eco-conscious versions of all the foods and snacks I grew up eating, but no longer ate as a long-time vegetarian (and now vegan).
A major next goal for Annie's T Cakes is to begin incorporating more ingredients in our snacks and desserts from local farmers using regenerative and climate-friendly growing practices.
Best advice you've received:
Find others that are one or a few steps ahead of you in their businesses and ask for advice. Those folks are usually close enough in memory to where you are and can give you the most specific thoughts on what they did in your situation. Plus, finding community always makes the journey more fun.
What’s your favorite part about running your own business? And what is your biggest challenge?
I love the creativity that comes with finding ways to collaborate with other local businesses. Everyone in the Bay Area food community has been so welcoming and open to finding ways to support each other. I've had the most fun brainstorming ideas with other food makers and small business owners.
In terms of challenges, similar to a lot of other business owners or anyone with a demanding job, it can often be difficult to take a break. When you spend so much of your time thinking about how you can build a successful business, career, etc. it can be hard to step away mentally and just relax. But lately I've been more intentional about taking full or half days where I do whatever I want and recharge.
Founder Annie Wang joined the Lab at ICA in 2022. Starting July 9th, you can find Annie's T Cakes at the Grand Lake Farmers Market. Learn more and order at www.anniestcakes.com and follow Annie's T Cakes on Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook.