Miami Beach

Beach Buzz: Vegan, gluten-free kosher bakery Bunnie Cakes expands to Aventura

From left, Luke, 7, Mariana Cortez holding 5-month-old Stella, Amelie, 4, and Noah, 6.
From left, Luke, 7, Mariana Cortez holding 5-month-old Stella, Amelie, 4, and Noah, 6.

Bunnie Cakes, a Midtown/Edgewater-based vegan, gluten-free and kosher bakery will open a second location in Aventura Mall at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1. Customers will receive a free cupcake with every purchase between 2 and 6 p.m.

Bunnie Cakes was born in 2009, when Mariana Cortez, then a mother of three children (now, four kids ages 7, 6, 4 and 5 months) couldn’t find a vegan cake for her son Luke’s birthday and started whipping up allergy-friendly treats at home.

Since opening a storefront at 2322 NE Second Ave. in 2013, Bunnie Cakes has received accolades ranging from Cupcake Wars to the city’s “Best Of” awards.

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Cortez lives in Biscayne Park with hubby Sebastian Ghiragossian, Bunnie Cakes co-owner and general manager. The couple are now taking the first steps toward expanding their brand.

“We love Aventura,” says Cortez, 33. “Bunnie Cakes has a lot of customers there who’ve been asking us to open a store. We’d been looking for a long time and were thrilled when the perfect spot became available.”

Like the Wynwood store, the Aventura spot’s decor will feature an array of hearts and vibrant colors in keeping with the bakery’s motto: “Our heart with every cupcake.”

Located directly across from Aventura Mall’s “Friends with You” playground, the new site will stock large and mini cupcakes, donuts, whoopee pies, cookies, brownies, small cakes and cakes in a jar, plus beverages including coffee, tea, water and natural sodas.

In addition to the Midtown/Edgewater and Aventura locations, Bunnie Cakes are also available at Green Gables Cafe, Juice and Java, Panther Coffee, Temple Kitchen, Apple A Day, Guarapo Juice Bar, the Honey Tree, Milam’s Markets in Coral Gables and Coconut Grove, and Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakim.

Bunnie Cakes at Aventura Mall will be open Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sundays noon to 8 p.m. For further details, call 786-268-9790 or visit

Rock Om Yoga

Sunny Isles resident Jeana Lynn Katz has spent more than 20 years in the fitness industry, focused on her passion: “Helping people to keep their minds and bodies healthy”.

A Pittsburgh native who grew up in Pinecrest, Jeana (pronounced Gina) is a former marathon runner who taught aerobics during high school (Pinecrest) and college (University of Miami) and ran a private studio in Bay Harbour for over a decade, Yoga by Jeana Lynn.

Katz closed the yoga studio to create Rock Om Yoga and Meditations in 2013.

Through Rock Om, Katz provides private yoga instruction, as well as private and group meditations and workshops, utilizing crystals to aid in the healing process.

“Rock Om breaks all the rules of traditional meditation and yoga by simplifying the process,” Katz said.

She uses a combination of crystals and yoga postures or crystals and breath work because she says the addition of crystals “helps to accelerate balance and healing by eliminating suppressed blocks and stuck energy.”

Katz recently launched a new website,, to promote a series of guided meditations which she wrote and recorded, and a variety of crystals.

The website currently offers 20 meditations (7 to 20 minutes in length), including seven Chakra meditations as well as “Personal Growth Meditations” on subjects such as accepting and loving your body; controlling your emotions; healing your heart and the power of forgiveness. Several new meditations will be added to the website each month.

Meditations sell for $9.99 each; crystals begin at $9.99 each as well. Mediations can be downloaded to a phone or computer, which Katz says makes them “convenient and easily accessible.”

For a full list of meditation topics and crystals, visit the website or email

Shifting your mindset

Your Meeting Place, at 20630 Biscayne Blvd. in Aventura, will host a new adult workshop entitled “Create Your Vision – Live Your Intention” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday.

“The event is designed to help participants turn their unconscious thoughts into conscious thoughts and move forward with their dreams,” explained Bari Schanerman, a certified professional coach and owner of Your Meeting Place.

Schanerman will facilitate the workshop along with Angela De Sousa of Dynamic Growth Coaching.

Cost is $50 per person, including materials and refreshments. Space is limited. To sign up, call 786-390-7171 or email

School uniform help

For the second year in a row, the National Council of Jewish Women Greater Miami Section is raising funds to purchase school shirts for 100 needy students at Fienberg-Fisher K-8 Center in Miami Beach. The school currently serves nearly 900 students, with approximately 90% eligible for free or reduced lunch.

“Our goal is to provide 100 needy students each with three high-quality new polo shirts embroidered with the school’s logo,” said NCJW President Robin Straus. “We provided this last year and the parents were very appreciative.”

To assist by making a cash donation (or to learn more), visit or email or call 305-538-4744.

Beach Buzz appears every other Sunday, and focuses on people and businesses throughout the Beaches, Aventura and Miami. To reach Debra K. Leibowitz, call 305-531-7887 or email, or become a fan of her Beach Buzz page on Facebook.