De L’or Cakery Seeks Support to Help Provide a “Sweet”Fellowsh
Local bakery also signs on to be a vendor at BrunchCon, the world’s biggest food and drink festival
CITY ISLAND, N.Y. (March 7, 2018) — Premier specialty bakery De L’or Cakery recently announced plans to begin a fellowship program for local at-risk youth in the New York City area through an iFundWomen crowdfunding campaign. The fun, hands-on learning program will teach participants fundamental skills in baking and cake decorating as well as introduce them to educational institutes that offer two- or four–year degrees in pastry arts.
In addition, De L’or Cakery has signed a contract to be a vendor at this year’s BrunchCon, the world’s biggest food and drink festival. This exciting opportunity will allow the companyto introduce its award–winning, flavor–packed cheesecakes, cake pops, cookies and cakes to eight major cities on the tour. This will also be a chance to help generate support for the company’s crowdfunding campaign. De L’or Cakery strives to connect the community by enhancing their palate one splendid slice of cake at a time while giving back to promote unity and prosperity. Whenever people support the company, they will provide an opportunity for a young person to learn a trade and enhance their survival skills.
De L’or Cakery’s dream-come-true fellowship program is the brainchild of owner Kayisha Thompson—who creatively refers to herself as the CEO, Cake Executive Officer. City Island-based Thompson is an experienced professional in the industry, having spent many years perfecting her craft. After competing in and winning the Count Me In Urban Rebound Program, she beganworking on creating something meaningful for teens ages 15 and older. Her program targets teens who have been placed in foster care and who have a desire to learn sugar artistry and cake decora
All donations made to the iFundWomen crowdfunding
De L’or Cakery is passionate about being the crème de la crème of desserts by providing professional service to ensure that any event will be a complete success with their custom and themed pastry designs. The cakery, which has catering options for both private and corporate events, serves a wide variety of customers. Some of its major clients include Neiman Marcus, Curycon and the CEO of Cocoa Grinder.
To learn more about De L’or Cakery and to support itsiFundWomen crowd
Recently, I had a client that was interested in ordering my gourmet chocolate chip cookies. When I shared with her about my Sea Salt Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies she was a bit hesitant. She’s old school. I told her that I would make her regular chocolate chip cookies for the same price and she agreed. During the processing of this order, I realized that the flour I am using she may not like it or her grandkids could be allergic to it. So, I decided to make her a dozen of what I considered to be regular chocolate chip cookies and a dozen of what she could consider to be regular chocolate chip cookies. What can I say I am a bougie baker! During the process, I made a boo-boo with a positive outcome. Magic is in my kitchen!! I ended up with chocolate chip cookies that were rich and buttery kind of nostalgic like. A classic like chocolate chip cookie that kids would appreciate. My sea salt chocolate chip cookies are buttery, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, with multiple kinds of chocolate chips, and of course salty. It’s a nice combination of sweet meeting salt.
I decided to gift my readers the gift of my sweet mistake.
- Kitchen stand mixer or hand mixer
- Silicon Spatula
- Parchment or wax paper
- Large baking cookie sheet
- Silicon baking mat (optional)
- Cooling rack (optional)
- Kitchen timer/cellphone timer
- 2 ½ cups of sifted all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cups of light brown sugar
- 2/3 cups of granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ unsalted room temperature butter
- 1 cup of dark chocolate chips
With a kitchen stand mixer or hand mixer blend the sugar, unsalted butter, salt, and vanilla until rich and smooth adding each egg one at a time. Use the spatula to scrap down the sides of the bowl. When it comes to cookie recipes I usually walk away for about 15 minutes to let the wet ingredients blend up light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking soda as you want the baking soda to mix evenly throughout the flour before adding it to the wet ingredients. Once your dry ingredients are blended slowly add it to your wet ingredients. The last ingredients are the chocolate chips. By this time, you should have soft dough. Using the spatula remove your dough from the mixing bowl onto the parchment paper. Roll your dough into two long longs and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. Or you can make drop cookies immediately.
When your ready to bake the cookies preheat the oven to 325 degrees and remove the cookies from the refrigerator to your counter top and let stand for 15 minutes unrefrigerated. This will allow your dough to be more palpable. Using my hand I flat out the cookies, place them on a cookie sheet with a silicon baking mat and set into the oven. If you don’t have a silicon baking mat then line your cookie sheet with parchment paper. The silicon mat locks in moisture and prevent the cookies from burning. The parchment paper protects the cookies from burning but not as much as the silicon mat. You can bake these cookies between 15-18 minutes depending on your oven. These cookies will have a nice golden brown look.
The difference between an Opportunity and an Opportunist in the world of Sugar Artistry
I started this business back in 2010. The business found me I did not find the business. I caught the baking bug after earning my undergraduate degree back in 2004. After relocating to the south, I came across a JoAnn’s exploring my new community. I decided to enroll in their Wilton classes. After completing the advanced curriculum my instructor approached me to teach on a part time basis and I agreed. I became a Certified Wilton Method Instructor. Wilton offered nice perks!
After posting pictures of my work on Facebook another entrepreneur encouraged me to start a business. She connected me to a graphic designer and Pink Princess Pastry LLC was born. When I started the business a lot of opportunities came my way with opportunists attached to it. A lot of people look at the success and not the struggling storyline. I did not have it easy. One of the opportunities was a well-known dessert festival in Atlanta, GA. I was excited. The event planner reached out to me and shared how her event can grow my business. The day of the event I discovered that there were 15 other vendors giving away the exact same product as I was. To add insult to injury she placed all of her new vendors in the back in a separate room. When the attendees walked in we were the last ones that they would venture to. I didn’t receive one client from that event.
Following that event another woman reached out to me as she was doing something similar and was a participant in the same dessert festival. She expressed that she did not like the way the event was organized and offered me a spot. She shared that I would be the only dessert vendor. Approximately 5 days later she emailed me that she can’t offer me a spot as the other event planner claims that she’s stealing her vendors and threatened a lawsuit. I was peeved. I responded that no one owes my business or I. She apologized to me and expressed that I could not participate.
In 2013 I won a pitch contest. From that contest I was able to connect to other female entrepreneurs. Some of them turned out to be my clientele. I had one individual that ordered $1,000.00 worth of products but could not afford the delivery fees. She wanted her products delivered to each of her clients in NY and out of NYC. I decided to assist her with the fees keeping my original quote. Well, the delivery day most of her clients weren’t in the office as they worked for DOE. It was a school holiday. I called her clients and rerouted deliveries to their home. I got so much positive feedback from those deliveries. Well, my client was angry that I delivered the cupcakes to their homes instead of the schools. She was angry. She tried to cancel the order for the cake pop deliveries to the recipients out of state and wanted a refund. The products were already made ready to ship. I told her that’s not going to happen. She was very nasty and threatened to sue me. I told her to go right ahead as I have email threads and obtained client reviews from all of my deliveries. She became enraged saying that I was stealing her clients and I had no business communicating with them. Should I have delivered the orders quietly?! . She was an author and I am a cake designer you ponder on this. She was an opportunist. She was financially struggling and was looking for a way to obtain a refund on my back. This was one situation I was fighting back. I had already contacted a lawyer and was waiting on her serving me. She never served me any documents. She was trying to take advantage of a SBO.
A blogger reached out to me via Instagram wanting a 3 tiered cake for her son’s first birthday. She explained the kind of cake she was looking for. It was going to be on the rooftop of a hotel in NYC with over 200 guests. She then expressed that if I sponsor the cake she will promote it on IG to bring me new clients. First of all, your promotions don’t guarantee new clients maybe new followers there is a difference. I told her that I am not interested however this is the cost should she change her mind. Despite the amount of people following her if you can afford a rooftop event for your child’s 1st birthday party then you can afford to pay for your cake.
I met another woman through the pitch contest who connected me to a business Coach more like a Socialite. She was well known in the Urban Hip Hop Celebrity Scene. She told me that she could assist me on a contingency basis to which I accepted. She gave me a lot of pointers which I already knew. She gave me an order that was for her family member and asked me to lower the price by $55.00 which I did and she didn’t take a fee for the referral. When it came around to her birthday she expected a free custom cake. I told her that’s not happening. She became belligerent stating all the things that she has ever done for me the free advice/tips and clients. I reminded her that she gave me two clients one was her family member where I had to discount the cake. She brought me no new clients. I told her that she’s using me and to kick rocks. She got mad at me and screamed at me that her baby father is not helping her and she’s struggling on her own. He’s late on the child support checks. So, she was trying to keep up a façade with her social circle at my expense. Pass.
I’ve had some unique experiences with opportunists but some wonderful opportunities as well. As a sugar artist, people can become cheap when it comes to the caterer and cake which is the focal point of your event. I’m not sure why this goes on. In the Caribbean, our food is the most important aspect of our events. We want our family and friends to be well fed and have a good time.
As a Sugar Artist, when a blogger or magazine reaches out to you ask 21 questions in email format. After they have answered your questions then communicate by phone. You can a paper trail of the details. For example, I had a few bloggers reach out to me wanting to promote my business. I asked the following questions:
- How long will the promotion last on your social media accounts? 30 days or beyond
- On which social media platforms where my business be promoted? Some offer promotions on IG only and a separate fee if you want it on FB.
- What time of the day will it be promoted? What are your peak hours for clicks?
- Will printed promotional materials be offered?
- How does press affiliate work?
- What does a one page feature entail versus a blog feature?
- Will you link the photographer that took my original photos that I am providing?
- Do you have a local office where I can meet you or the editors?
- Can I skype with you or the editors?
- Do you offer cross linking?
- What are some of the potential results of this promotion?
- What makes you passionate about the work that you do?
- What does your brand represent?
You get the drift! Lastly, you should research the blogger, company, or Socialite that is interested in promoting you. Yes, you can be a detective and you should. Explore Better Business Bureau, Yelp and Consumer Affairs to see if they have any complaints. You can even go a step further and use www. Spokeo.com. as we are in an era where everything is based on technical interactions. You may not even get to meet the editor or blogger face to face as many transactions are virtual now. What if you make a payment and never hear from this individual again?
An opportunity is a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. It’s a chance for a promotion or employment.
Pastry Artist Kayisha
To my Sugar Artists, we have all been there a blogger with a huge IG following sends you a DM (direct message) stating that she is having her son’s first birthday party at a lavish rooftop hotel in NYC and would love a cake from you. In fact, she will promote your work to her 25K followers if you sponsor her a cake to feed 100 guests. Yes, I received a message like this last year summer. My response was, “Congratulations! This sounds like a fun event. I am not interested in sponsoring your event what you can do is if you are interested here are my prices”. She began to brag that she has all of these followers and I would get exposure. Well, I don’t know about other businesses but exposure does not necessarily bring clients. What happens is that she will tell all of her blog buddies that this business does sponsorship and contact them. What could happen is that you are known for giving away freebies and become an overnight not for profit. Luckily, I shared this in a bakers group which alerted my sugar buddies as she was going around contacting other bakers for a cake sponsorship. If this individual can afford to rent a rooftop hotel for her son’s party then they should not be seeking sponsorship. I wouldn’t even sponsor a cake for a celebrity you can pay your tab just like everyone else.
If your going to offer sponsorship do it for the right reasons. I have learned from this process after I was participating in sponsorship’s. I offer sponsorship to two organizations that is Hey There Beautiful Inc. and We Feed NYC. These organizations are non profit on purpose meaning they are doing God’s work. Hey There Beautiful Inc is a non profit organization catering to women and children of domestic violence and those that they empowerment. We Feed NYC does just that they feed NYC. They provide free meals and clothing to men, women, and children throughout NYC. What I love about these organizations is the management level of gratitude. One year I reached out to the Wendy’s Children Foundation and learned that they were sponsoring a Christmas Party for their foster kids and I offered to provide cupcakes. We are know that the Wendy’s Children Foundation is a reputable organization impacting the lives of children transitioning in the foster care system.
I’ve sponsored to projects with not even a thank you or organizations demonstrating entitlement. You can’t do God’s work without an Amen, thank you, or self motivating factors. My advice to my cakers is to research, choose, and identify an organization that you would enjoy committing to once or twice a year. This is a great way to give back to the community and i’m not saying that you have to. You as the business owner you as a person make the decision if this is something that you want to do or if this is the way you want to give back to the community. You can also sponsor your time. Yes, you and your staff can tithe your time to an organization tithing is not necessarily monetary. In fact, when you volunteer your services you are saving that non profit the funds that they would put into paid labor.
January 2013 I took a role as a Wilton Method Instructor in Queens, NY. It was a freezing cold winter however my classes were moderately full. In spring 2013, I met four wonderful women who would constantly interrupt my class with humor. Those four wonderful women took all of my Wilton classes and a friendship grew out of the class. Alice was the quietest but the most hilarious at the same time. We had a great time when we were together. She was a lovely woman who planned on retiring back to the Philippines. During one of my class instructions, Alice un-wrapped her cake and everyone after a few seconds paused giving her our full attention. The scent was indulging. “Alice, my goodness is that a lemon cake? Its smells divine what are you doing?” Alice laughed, “Yes teacher” smiling “it’s my lemon cake”. We were all interested in her cake. I had to scrap the top that was on the foil paper when she uncovered it. It not only smelled divine it tasted delicious. I couldn’t get over the scent of her cake. During other classes, I continued to rave about her cake.
A week or two later, Alice slipped me the recipe of her lemon cake during our last class. I couldn’t believe it I was in awe. As time goes on people lost contact and I lost contact with Alice. I’ve left her voicemail messages in the past with no return phone calls. She could’ve returned to Philippines. Wherever she is I hope that sweet Alice is doing well.
Lemon is a refreshing flavor that most bakers offer in the spring and summer. I am gifting this recipe of love to my followers given to me by Alice. I am hoping that by sharing this recipe it will bring other people together as it brought me to Alice and my other friends. I hope that wherever Alice is she is doing well and is surrounded by love.
Alice’s Lemon Cake
2 ¾ Cups All Purpose Flour sifted
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 Cups granulated sugar
6 Whole eggs
1 Tablespoon Lemon extract
2 Teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Set the oven to 325 degrees
Directions: Combine the unsalted butter and eggs beat on high until light and fluffy. Add the granulated sugar and continue to beat on high. Add the lemon extract, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl such as the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and pour into two 8 inches round baking pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
It was two years ago, that Ify Onwualu and Dailisha Rodriguez of WE FEED NYC put out a call to action on their Instagram (IG) page. I was surfing IG and they were seeking volunteers for their feed the homeless event literally 8 minutes from where I live. I contacted a friend of mine and we decided to volunteer. It was a great day that solidified a friendship with many like-minded women. Strong, brave, and beautiful women that desire to change the world through grassroots advocacy.
And, then enters in Hey There Beautiful founded by Dailisha Rodriguez and Marie Angelique St. Aude. These ladies are doing their thing building up the community. They are super advocates in my book! Hey There Beautiful Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-for-profit empowering woman and young girls to achieve their life goals through education, motivation, self-awareness and self-development. Their vision is to provide leadership skills and lifetime successes. Hey There Beautiful Inc. strives to beautify communities throughout the world one person at a time while creating intimate personal human connections that will allow members to flourish in their capacity to succeed at their life dreams locally and globally. Empowering individuals of all backgrounds while maintaining the utmost integrity and respect for human connections is at the forefront of our core.
I had the honor of reconnecting with them for their International Women’s Conference held on Wednesday March 8, 2017 in Bushwick Brooklyn. It was a beautiful event honoring womanhood and all that we endure to make our communities stronger. Dailisha and her board members are all working women from various fields (Law, Business, Entrepreneurs, Medical, etc). How do we have the time to do what we do people often ask me. I tell them, “when God has appointed you various missions the only thought that comes to women like us is purely execution we must find a way to solve an issue. Period”.
Love & Light
For almost a year, I was trying to gather like minded individuals from the cake community to get together, have fun, and give back to our community. It has been quite a challenge. I had large project with a non-profit organization I was hoping to execute however it didn’t flourish. I’ve learned another lesson about friendships among sugar artists. No worries.
Rae Sremmurd’s Black Beatles became the soundtrack for the viral sensation Mannequin Challenge. As usual, my head exploded with a fun filled ideas and the Sugar Artist Mannequin challenge evolved. I contacted the lovely and talented Lisa Mansour of New York Cake pitching my idea. She loved it and agreed for us to use her cake studio. Awesome!
I put out a call to action in various cake groups pitching the idea and asking for people to join in. I set the date and made sure I had enough data on my phone. Of course, the flu season entered and even the lovely Lisa Mansour wasn’t able to participate. What started as a party of 20 dropped to a party of 5. We didn’t care how many of us showed up we were going to make it happen and have a darn good time and we did.
A huge shout out to Sugar Artist Luquana McGriff, Prince Freddie, Natasha Jagopat, and Yunmi Katie Ham. We rocked it,had fun, and breaked bread together!
My interest in the art of cake decorating peaked in 2008 after relocating to the south. I took a few cake decorating courses between 2008 and 2011 at various places, including the Viking Cooking School in Atlanta, Georgia. I reached out to Legalzoom.com and filed my DBA registration. While completing some recreational courses, I began posting pictures on my Facebook page. A well-known Florida-based jewelry seller (an entrepreneur herself) recommended that I start a Facebook business page and have a professional logo created by a graphic designer.
Perfecting The Craft
I researched licensing information and registered as an event planning company since I was baking on a small scale. (My kitchen didn’t meet cottage requirement laws.) Simultaneously, after completing my third Wilton Method course, my instructor announced openings and encouraged me to apply. I applied to teach cake decorating and was approved. Having the opportunity to teach cake decorating really strengthened my skills. I used my Facebook business page to post the cake decorating courses that I was teaching at a local JoAnn’s store. To date, I’ve taught well over 150 students of all ages – from kids to adults. I became a Wilton Method Instructor and was able to enjoy a number of great benefits, including complimentary supplies and discounts on products from their catalog.
Taking it to The Next level
I knew there was a lot to learn about the cake decorating business, so I purchased a “How to Become a Cake Decorator” guide which provided me with an abundance of helpful tips and information. Then, someone told me about an organization called Women Intelligently Networking that was having a boot camp event. I registered as a vendor and supplied complimentary cake and cheesecake. From that event, I realized the power of networking and went on to do several interviews. I did one radio interview with Tamara Eckles of “Jem of the South.” Ms. Eckles’ motto is “searching for something sweet,” and her show is geared towards bakers, cake decorators, ice cream makers, sugar artisans, etc.
Putting My Cake Decorating Business Online
To reach a bigger audience, I needed to have a website for my cake decorating business. However, my business relationship with my first web designer turned sour due to lack of knowledge. When having a website designed for your company, ask the following questions:
Also, research the true meaning of SEO. This year, I decided to initiate a branding process. I want to have a new logo for my business, a professional photography shoot, and a re-designed website. I decided to use Elance’s various creative services and, as of this blog post, everything is in the works.
Learn to create your own buzz! I’ve auditioned for Food Network and TLC shows. I even made it to round three for one show. Although I wasn’t picked, I wrote a blog post about it. I give back to the community by offering complimentary cupcakes or gift certificates to reputable non-profit organizations. This is tax-deductible and allows you to obtain new leads. On a weekly or monthly basis, you should write blog posts and send newsletters. Depending on your ultimate goal, you may want to consider creating YouTube videos. It is best to do some research and find out if it’s a smart move. I’ve seen some videos that aren’t career worthy. I hope you enjoyed my small business success essay, and have a wonderful day!
Pastry Artist Kayisha
I have a secret…I am a Certified Chocoholic. You’re probably thinking okay it’s not that serious Kayisha. Yes, it is that serious and my family members and friends know the depth of my disorder. I am that girl that would buy chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake, chocolate wafer cookies, Captain Crunch peanut chocolate crunch, and NesQuik Chocolate milk while my niece would cry that I didn’t bring home a Strawberry NesQuik written in bold on the grocery list. Side eye…I ordered Chocolate Chicken wings at a restaurant it was my girlfriend Tiffany’s birthday. Truthfully, we were all curious and it would’ve been better with milk chocolate than the dark chocolate coating.
Now that all of that is in the past as an adult I can’t shy away from my disorder. I’ve grown accustomed to my symptoms leading me to purchase Chocolate protein shakes, Chocolate calcium chews, chocolate protein bars, Special K dark chocolate protein cereal, and my friend had the nerve to introduce me to dark chocolate covered Goji berries by Brookside….do you see where I am going at? Why can’t I be “normal” like everyone else and opt for Vanilla or Strawberry once in a while.
My chocoholic side has me researching how to make the best dark chocolate peanut butter cupcake that anyone has ever tasted. So good that even people that don’t like chocolate (God forbid) will have to silently dance in their head at the merriment of tasting something so divine. I am on the quest and I believe that I am truly close to it…..if not I can bury my effort in a time capsule.
My name is Pastry Artist Kayisha and I am a Certified Chocoholic.
Axis I: Chocoholic (Severe)
Axis II: v71.09
Axis III: v71.09
Axis IV: Spoiled
Treatment: Chocoholic Anonymous…does that even exist?
By Pastry Artist Kayisha
The first time I walked into Williams Sonoma I was captivated by the various jars of foreign extracts. I was at the shopping outlet at the North Georgia Premium Outlet in Dawsonville, GA. Immediately I wished that my $2,000.00 Pottery Barn credit card was a William-Sonoma store card but God knows best! I probably would’ve sank the ship. I think my love for the Pastry Arts intensified from that store visit.
Over the years, I have learned that nothing beats a local cake supply store like Cake Art in Tucker, GA. I couldn’t believe the amount of cake supplies, pans, decorating tools, and party supplies that this store carried. I came across Cake Art when I was seeking more cake decorating courses in town after completing my Wilton home based curriculum. I was delighted to find out that it was merely 20 minutes away with traffic. So, I grabbed my shades, my Juicy Couture day dreamer bag, my flip-flops, and hit the road. A Pastry Artist can easily spend $500.00 in a matter of minutes if they’re not careful. I had to pace myself, do I really need this or do I want to have fun with this. I signed up for a few of their courses cake sculpting, sugar critters, and candy making. It was one of the best investments.
I have yet to place an order but Country Kitchen Sweet Art tickles my fancy. This site has everything! It appears they get the latest Pastry Artist tools before any other supply store. I sent for a free catalog and I fell in love. If I didn’t know any better, it would be CAKE R US the toy version for Pastry Artists. Country Kitchen Sweet Art is in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I hear a road trip calling.
Michael’s and Joann’s has never let me down whenever I am out of a material to add the last few touches to an order. One can never go wrong with obtaining one of their 40-50% off coupon off the internet. You will always win! Not to mention their ribbons and bows to add the wow factor to the cake board is usually $1.99 or less.
Can you imagine if Food and Wine magazine was a store? Oh Baby! For all of you sugar mavens out there here is a list of stores that I often venture to for supplies:
New York City Cake Supply Shops
Kerekes aka BakeDeco
Pfeil and Holding aka CakeDeco
Michael’s Arts and Crafts