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Stories from Black Pastry Chefs in America

black pastry chefs america

Over the past few months, we have received an outpouring of requests from our community to provide an easy way to find and support Black-owned businesses on Yelp. In fact, this has been our most requested feature during this time, and over the course of two weeks* alone, we saw a 35x increase in the frequency of searches for Black-owned businesses across categories on Yelp compared to the same time last year. We listened, and launched a free and searchable Black-owned attribute to help you connect with businesses in your communities. Black businesses can be found in every single category, from food trucks and home services to hair salons and boutiques. 

We would love to highlight incredible Black pastry chefs across America who we thank for sharing their stories of overcoming adversity, following their dreams, and what the #BlackLivesMatter movement means to them personally and to their business. 

From delicious alcohol-infused cakes to delectable tarts, these seven pastry chefs are not only serving up inspiration, but a load of mouth watering sweets! 


Taneisha C. Polite, Sweet Petals CupCakery 

black pastry chefs

Why did you start your business?

Baking has long been a part of my life. I acquired many of my skills growing and learning from my grandmothers, Mable and Betty, in the kitchen at a young age. I then turned that skill into a hobby, baking from time to time for family and friends. Being a single mom and tired of building the dreams of others, I stepped out on faith and manifested a dream of my own. Growing that dream into reality, ‘Sweet Petals CupCakery’ was born in May of 2019. I have a dream to leave behind a legacy for my children and their children. I want to plant the seed that as long as you dream and work hard toward those dreams, nothing can stop you from attaining them. You never stop believing. If you can look up, you can get up – what’s important is that you don’t give up!

What does the #BlackLivesMatter movement mean to you and your business?

#BlackLivesMatter is more than a hashtag for me. Not only because I am a Black entrepreneur, but also because I am the mother of a young Black man. A 13 year old young man with so much drive, purpose, a destiny. My son is deserving of the world and his skin color should not be a hindrance in him obtaining it. For years my ancestors and the people before me have fought for our freedom and #BlackLivesMatter helps to further convey that message and make it known that our lives are just as important as any other race here in America! MLK had a dream and I’m proud to be a part of the change that’s to come in this world for my young Black son, my Black father, my Black brothers, my Black uncles, my Black cousins, and friends.


Maurice “Chef Blāque” Shelton, Black Rose Pastries 

black pastry chefs

Why did you start your business?

I started my business as a means to support my family.

Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, I always had a passion for food and an eye for creativity. Hailing from a diverse background in retail, management and programming, I began exploring my culinary passion in 2006, when I enrolled in Chicago’s Le Cordon Bleu School for Baking & Patisserie, building on the influences of my mom and grandmother.

In 2007, I decided to take my passion to the next level and started Black Rose Pastries! Since then, the bakery has been featured in several publications and I have been teaching and training in over 42 states and four countries. Most recently, my partner and I were crowned Season 1 Champions for the Netflix Original Series: Sugar Rush with judges Candace Nelson. Adriano Zumbo, and Betsey Johnson.

What does the #BlackLivesMatter movement mean to you and your business?

The Black Lives Matter movement means a lot to me and my business. It is a sign of recognizing and addressing the systematic indifferences that address the Afro community. I believe that the call to action from the citizens across the country is essentially a wake up call that challenges the status quo and is triggering a series of changes in all facets from the justice system to the banking system.

In the past, we have seen numerous examples of banking institutions discern against supporting the very Black owned business that exist in the same operating community. While the #BlackLivesMatter movement is initially calling for immediate reform of the justice system, we have begun to see it transcend to other sectors throughout the economy. This has sparked a wave of support for small business owners alike, especially in Black communities. This change is something that I have personally looked forward to.

I thank everyone for the continuous support of Black Rose Pastries and with this reform we are looking to continue growing larger and stronger creating “Simply Delicious Incredible Edibles” for all Americans alike.


Soreeta Hinds, The Brown Cow Bakeshop 

black pastry chefs

Why did you start your business? 

I started my business because I come from a long line of strong and beautiful Black women who bake. After baking for my friends and family and being let go from my corporate America job, I took a leap of faith and went to pastry school. No words can explain what it feels like when you pour your heart and soul into something that you’ve created and have someone take a bite and feel all the love that you’ve put into it. It’s pretty magical so why wouldn’t I want to do that everyday!

What does the #BlackLivesMatter movement mean to you and your business?

The #BlackLivesMatter movement means a lot to me. It means me being a Black woman in this country and that my life matters. From a business stance it means that my work also matters. I have as much passion as the next pastry chef. The only difference is that my skin is brown. That does not take away from my craft. I welcome all walks of life to order from my Bakeshop. I grew up being discriminated against. So as a business owner, what gives me the right to discriminate against anyone who wants to be a client of mine.


Taren Kinebrew, Sweet Petit Desserts

black pastry chefs

Why did you start your business?

It’s my favorite thing to do and I grew up baking since I was a kid. I served in the Army National Guard for 7 years.  During this time I obtained my BS in Information Systems with a minor in accounting, all while climbing the corporate ladder as a programmer/analyst for IBM.  After leaving corporate in 2008 I decided to use my skills as a businesswoman and my gift as a third generation baker to birth Sweet Petit Desserts in August of 2009.  

What does the #BlackLivesMatter movement mean to you and your business?

It means change, it means equal rights, it means freedom, it means we matter. 


Amanda Schonberg, Chef Schonberg’s Sweets

black pastry chefs

Why did you start your business?

After culinary school, I mostly managed other food service establishments. I was on a job I loved but wasn’t too thrilled with management. I began baking on the side and then eventually wanted to give it a go on my own. I wanted to create something just for adults and I never wanted a bakery. I love serving people so I knew I wanted to go more towards the personal chef route and make items that are unique to my customers. Growing up, my mom used to bake with alcohol a lot. She used to put Disaronno in her pound cakes and all of our relatives loved it! She even put in on our ham with pineapples for the holidays. So I started with a line of alcohol-infused pound cakes, then added on until I created something that catered more towards adults. Fast forward to now, I have over 20 flavors of infused desserts as well as non-alcoholic. But I don’t stop at alcohol, I love using items such as edible gold and fresh florals; anything that caters to a more adult palate and eye I love to create it. Being a personal pastry chef my clients know their desserts are always made to order. We bake fresh daily and deliver directly to their door. I love saving my clients time and knowing that I’m helping them wow their guests with our unique award-winning desserts makes it all worthwhile.

What does the #BlackLivesMatter movement mean to you and your business?

The movement to me means that we have the right and need to have our voices and opinions heard. It means we are determined to raise awareness to the issues we face in our world today and to continue to fight for the racial equality we feel that we are not receiving.


David Benton, Sugarsweet Cookie + Cake Studio  

black pastry chefs

Why did you start your business?

I discovered baking while studying to be a chef and became obsessed with it. I started an online bakery from my apartment and it caught on. I was working office jobs in San Francisco and hated office work and wanted to realize my dream of having my own bakery. It took two years, but I finally got it opened.

What does the #BlackLivesMatter movement mean to you and your business?

Three things: Solidarity. Liberation. Acknowledgment. Solidarity with the Black community, the Black business community and supporters of that community. The freedom to live without fear and acknowledgement that we are here to stay.


Shelesa “Sugar” Tennon, Pink Sugar Cupcakery 

black pastry chefs

Why did you start your business?

First…it was an accident trying to make a cake. I couldn’t and spent the next year teaching myself! Plus, finding myself leaving an abusive marriage with a baby girl watching me…I strive to show her greatness even when you feel broken or fail.

What does the #BlackLivesMatter movement mean to you and your business?

Because I’m Black and my ancestors have literally died for me to have the freedom and audacity to own a dream and dictate my income. Died for it. Legacy is why I started and generational wealth is why it matters now. Black wealth is elusive and there are so many barriers to prevent it. I plan to disrupt it all.


Thank you for supporting Black-owned businesses.

Click here to find Black-owned businesses near you!


*From 5/27/2020 to 6/10/2020, we saw a 35x increase in search frequency for Black-owned businesses (and related terms) vs over the same days last year.