We had the good fortune of connecting with Destinee Wright and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Destinee, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Wedding cakes are expensive because they take a LOT of time!! I’m a cake decorator (I decorate cookies too, but I do mostly cakes), and most people say “Oh, that sounds fun. You get to have a creative job! Cool.” –and it is cool! But behind the scenes, there are hours and hours of work that goes into creating these cakes! We go to the grocery store and shop, and then bake your cakes from scratch. That’s 2-3 hours already depending on the size of the cake. Then we make frostings, fillings, and whatever decorative aspects are being added. That takes about 2 hours for simple cakes but up 12 hours for some wedding cakes! Sometimes even longer… but for the sake of this example, let’s say 4 hours. Then we assemble. Filling, frosting, multiple trips to the fridge to keep the cake cool, and then decorating is last. On average, these steps take about 2-3 hours. Delivery is the last step and of course, the time for that varies, but let’s say 30 minutes to your delivery location and back, making 1 hour. So the total time spent on this cake– 10-12 hours on ONE cake order. It’s typically spread out over a couple of days but that is a lot of time. Not to mention the time spent talking to the customer and researching decorating techniques So assuming we need at least $10/hr to live, your wedding cake’s starting price will be $100-$120. So next time you want to cringe at the estimated cost of a wedding cake, please keep this in mind!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am vegan and I make vegan desserts. I think it’s important for people who choose to live like me, and people who have food allergies, to be able to have cake!! Good cake! I’m very proud of my recipes because they took a lot of time to perfect. Hours. Days. Years. About 2 Years to be exact, and I’m still making improvements where I can. I’m constantly researching to find new vegan products as they hit the shelves so I can try them in my recipes. I’m always researching and recipe testing and trying to develop new products so I can have an array of items to offer all of my different types of clients. I think that hard work and having a semi-perfectionist attitude has helped me get where I am today. In pastry school, I studied hard & I asked a lot of questions. I applied that same attitude to the jobs I had before starting my own business. I kind of hit a wall after a couple years because when I first got the idea to start a business, I had a full-time job. So I was working an exhausting 8-10 hour shift every day and then going home and testing recipes, taking business classes, and trying to create a budget. So essentially I was working like 16-18 hours a day. It sucked. But I found small joys — like when my recipes would come out great! Or when I finally understood the difference between gross and net income. I’m glad I went through all of that because it has helped me succeed and be able to make my dream a reality. I love baking more than managing but I’m glad that I get to create products that make people smile and make their day a little better. That has always been my goal.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I’m a homebody and spend a lot of time in my kitchen, working on my blog or youtube channel, or watching really really bad Netflix movies. But when I do go out, I keep it simple. If I have a friend visiting, the #1 rule is No Itinerary. We can just go with the flow and do whatever we’re in the mood for at the time. There are a few key places we’d have to visit though. For starters, Arlo’s food truck! They have the best vegan burgers and chicken tacos and the TATER TOTS! Phenomenal. For dessert, we’d have to make a stop by Sweet Ritual. They make dairy-free ice cream and I love their little shop. Always filled with families and cute kiddos! And their Unicorn Poop ice cream is to die for! We would have to plan a day to stop by whole foods. We’d pick up some fresh foods to cook a nice dinner and make 1 or 2 pretentious purchases. And for the photo-op, The Museum of Ice Cream! I’ve never been but would love to go with a friend! It’s a big city and there is a lot to do and I discover new places every week!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, my mom. She has always supported my dreams and told me to keep going when I want to quit. She is my voice of reason when I’m frustrated or tired. She tells me to “have fun” when I’m stressing about tiny details or being a perfectionist. Second, my church. I always brought baked goods to my church and almost every week someone would say “Sell this! They’re so delicious!” “Make this your business! You’re losing money by not selling this!” And finally… they wore me down. Haha! They are my taste testers when my immediate family gets tired of eating sugar! And they encourage me as well. Last, (but not least) God. When I feel overwhelmed or uncertain, I always turn to God and I am reminded of my purpose and that everything will be okay! It may seem small but having that peace during difficult or stressful/busy weeks really is what gets me through!

Website: https://www.veganbeggarkitchen.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theveganbeggarskitchen/?hl=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theveganbeggarskitchen/?ref=py_c
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOPDfuXA25bRjeST3T17ICw
Other: Blog: www.veganbeggarblog.com – will be live on June 1st! YAY

Image Credits
Brio Yiapan Ruby McMahon Atosa Azodighaja