Becky Brown is taking her baking business, Cakes Reanimated, from her kitchen to a storefront. Today, Brown creates up to 35 to 40 wedding cakes each year, in addition to birthday cakes and sweets for other celebrations. And, she says, her venture continues to expand.
Her love of baking began at 16, when Brown worked at Dairy Queen and was surrounded by cakes. She studied oil painting in college to develop her creative side. Her passions for cakes and art led her to combine the two into a business 6 years ago, which she operated on the side while working as a bartender and restaurant server. Last summer, Brown quit her day jobs in a bid to better balance her family and work life and focus on developing her desserts.
She opened Cakes Reanimated in 2012, which she says specializes in the “reinvention of creative sweets.” From Brown’s kitchen emerge customized, colorful cakes, cookies and more for locals hosting celebrations throughout Missouri and Southern Illinois.
Though she has grown her customer base over the years, Brown says there were many challenges in having a business inside her home. For one, the lack of quality equipment and adequate space made it almost impossible to keep up with demand, she says. But the most difficult part has been “juggling creativity and maintaining a proper schedule and line of communication between my clients and myself, as well as lacking a professional space in which to meet clients,” Brown says in her campaign.
In December, Brown sold her home and purchased a historic building in the downtown area of Cape Girardeau, Mo., to address the space issue, using “every last penny” she had in her savings account. Now, she is fundraising to renovate her new space to meet government requirements and develop a commercial kitchen.
The Money: Brown has set a fundraising goal of $10,000 for her crowdfunding campaign, which she hopes to meet or exceed within the next month. The money she raises will pay for construction and design of her new kitchen.