Part of designing commercial spaces is planning layout, traffic flow, selection of surface materials and ensuring safe egress. Emily Loker of CAKE Interior Design is putting this expertise to work helping businesses navigate requirements and recommendations when planning for reopening as we emerge from COVID-19.

“This type of work is just a small chunk of what we have always done,” Loker said. “Our overall goal and what drives us is to help other businesses succeed. Businesses will need to reopen and adhere to new protocols; there’s an immediate need for modification so people can feel safe in their workplace.”

Loker said she always wanted to be a business owner and after gaining experience and credibility working in the GTA, she moved to Guelph where she could offer top-tier (pun intended) services with non-GTA prices. The name CAKE was selected for its playful, celebratory tone that reflects the feeling her clients have when working with her!

At first, the pandemic was a shock, she said. “I felt I could continue providing my services remotely, but I hadn’t immediately considered how a client might not be eager to sign a new lease under these circumstances.”

Researching, attending webinars, reviewing public health recommendations, and observing how other countries were responding helped Loker devise a plan for implementation. She said it is rewarding to provide an affordable solution to help businesses open safely and confidently. Her industry allies enable quick access to required materials such as hand sanitizer stations, floor decals and easily wipeable replacement finishes such as cubicle wall coverings.

While this new offering is tied to the pandemic response, Loker said it will likely remain a component of her projects going forward. She has always designed the overall experience when working with restaurants, retail, and offices. With CAKE Interior Design creating a virus-safe experience for businesses, their employees, clients, and visitors, these businesses will be able to focus on ramping up operations again.

Working with Innovation Guelph (IG) mentor, Brad Fitzsimmons, helped Loker develop a workplan to grow this sector and generate work while another IG mentor Valerie Thompson has assisted her with preparing to grow her team with the support of a Human Resource Strategy.

CAKE Interior Design is ready to help businesses plan employee return with the confidence that they are opening safely.