Here it is, the blog.
This is where the new story of Toasty’s will be told. Maybe I
should start with my story.
I was passed the entrepreneurial spirit from my Grandfather Elester Parker.
He began as a barber and supply salesman. He eventually opened a small chain of beauty supply stores known as Parker’s Beauty and Barber Supply. There were 4 in all. My Grandfather was the first stylist to bring the practice of chemically straightening hair to Cincinnati. It is rumored that he is the man who gave James Brown his first “conk” (the slick, bone-straight hairstyle worn by The Godfather of Soul throughout much of his early career). And my Grandfather, and my Father, who, later, took over the family business, were the first black business owners I ever met.
I learned to bake from my Grandmother Katie. Some of my first memories are of
going to Grandma’s house. She always had something sweet on the counter.
Grandma was somewhat famous in her small town of Middletown, Ohio, and even today, if you ask anyone who knew her, they will still name their favorite dessert that Miss Katie baked.
After I finished at Howard University, I came back to Ohio to start my “adult” life. I would get hit with these random cravings of foods I remembered from the days when Grandma Katie was still alive. I started making random stuff like cobblers, taste-testing my way through the process until the flavor evoked the memories of dinners in her wood-paneled dining room.
My first cupcake was the vanilla bean cupcake. I made it with Italian meringue buttercream because I wanted it to be like CakeLove, the famous DC bakery. I started playing with recipes, combining different flavors to make interesting combinations, mostly including alcohol. My sister bought me a ticket for a cupcake decorating class and I learned how to swirl buttercream on top of the cake so it looked pretty.
“You need to start a business!” Friends said.
I chuckled and laughed and said, “I know.” And then another year would fly by, with no business, just more working jobs I didn’t really enjoy and baking cupcakes for my friend’s birthdays. And in 2017 I finally did it.
Entrepreneurship is hard. Baking can be challenging. Most of the time it all
makes for a really good story.