Want to help three fabulous mamas from Brooklyn, New York get their latest venture off the ground? If so, join in on the official BCake Shop Kickstarter campaign brought to you by mompreneurs – Akim Vann, Miriam Osei Milord and Martine Dallemand.
Just so you know: BCakeShop, a retail offshoot of BCakeNY, is a Brooklyn based bakery producing traditionally American classics with global influences.
Last week, I was able to chop it up with Akim Vann, one of BCake Shop’s partners about the mission of bakery and why supporting its Kickstarter campaign is so important. Take a peek at our exclusive conversation – and donate to the campaign if you can! Time is running out!
Konnectshun: What is BCake Shop?
Akim Vann: BCakeShop, is a Brooklyn based bakery, retail space, and “classroom”. BCakeShop produces traditionally American classics with global influences featuring take home items for baking and gifts as well as classes and birthday parties for children and adults..
Konnectshun: What inspired the name and who is involved?
Akim Vann: One of the partners, Miriam is the owner of our sister store, BCakeNY (from BKNY for Brooklyn New York -“Anything can be cake” ) a designer cake studio. Miriam is a master at creating works of art out of cake.
We are three partners including myself, Akim Vann, Miriam Osei Milord and Martine Dallemand. I am a private tutor/teacher and life coach. My expertise is in all levels of Mathematics to Calculus. In Brooklyn, I am known as THE tutor to go to for math and test prep. One might think what does a private tutor and student life coach have to do with baking? Well, just about everything, for example, math and baking are about precision. The baker (mathematician) may need to double the recipe, convert quarts to cups, add or subtract an ingredient/s. After all, baking deals with so much math namely, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, proportions, fractions, percents, conversions etc. However, precision is not merely about mathematical measurements, it is about knowing who your customer is and what they want. My partners, Miriam and Martine are also sticklers for such precision.
Miriam, who is originally from Germany (born to Ghanaian and German parents) was an avid baker for her family and friends. Miriam holds a degree in Fine Arts and Graphic Design and had worked as a Designer for a prominent Art Gallery for the over a decade. With her designer eye and love of baking, in 2010 she opened BCakeNY to create custom cakes. The cakes do not just look amazing, the cakes taste incredible as well.
Martine, a native New Yorker, and pastry chef, completes this trio of partners. Martine was educated at the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) and has worked in various kitchens, most recently for the past 4 years under James Beard, awarded chef, Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar, where she was Director of Weddings and Special Events. She brings along a wealth of knowledge in food, product development and retail.
Konnectshun: How did you collaborate on the idea and tell us about the roles of each partner?
Akim Vann: I met Miriam (cake designer, owner of BCakeNY) five years ago at at a mutual friend’s son’s birthday party. She made a beautiful custom cake for our friend’s son which immediately got my attention. We live in the same neighborhood and soon after became fast friends. We bonded over our love of working out and eating sweets. Martine and I met over ten years ago; our sons were in a three-year-olds playgroup together. We also had a lot in common and talked about opening up a shop to do cooking classes for children. Last summer I organized a meeting with six of my girlfriends who were in related industries – namely food, weddings, and teaching. Only three of us showed up at the meeting. We talked and the rest is history.
Konnectshun: What kind of clients have you worked with in the past and how will BCakeShop transform Brooklyn?
Akim Vann: Miriam has created custom cake for many celebrities including Rihanna, Lala and Carmelo Anthony, P Diddy, Jay Z, Barbara Streisand, and Heidi Klum. While BCakeShop is reflective of the many changes that are occurring in Brooklyn in terms of the food and social scene, BCakeShop serves everyone. As a second generation Brooklynite, I know first hand that Brooklyn has been the home to people from all places and all walks of life. I grew up in Prospect Lefferts by way of a Yiddish-speaking African-American father from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and a Chinese- American mother from Marine Park, Brooklyn. BCakeShop is reflective of these Brooklyn and diverse roots.
BCakeShop will feel like home from the sweet smell of baked goods, to the decor of refurbished wood, to the welcoming atmosphere created by the owners and carried out by the staff. While the quality of our products are exclusive, who we serve does not discriminate.
Konnectshun: What makes BCakeShop so unique? Other than delicious cakes, what other services will you offer?
Akim Vann: BCakeShop is unique because we will be offering not only fresh baked goods, but we will also host birthday parties, classes, and workshops.
Konnectshun: There is a Kickstarter campaign in place. Tell us about what you hope to get out of the funds!
Akim Vann: We need a larger budget to maintain the historical and modern charm, including, but not limited to exterior paint, windows, planters, signage and a new door and gate while focusing on utilizing refurbished and recycled materials.Your partnership through financial contributions will allow us to purchase the remaining “big-ticket” essentials like a stroller/wheelchair ramp in order to accommodate everyone. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/478513642/bcakeshop?ref=email.
Konnectshun: Who are some key industry players supporting the initiative?
Akim Vann: Some key players thus far who have supported our initiative are super producer Just Blaze, The Combat Jack Show, and Toukie Smith actress, model and restaurateur.