We had the good fortune of connecting with Luquana McGriff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Luquana, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting A Cake Baked In Brooklyn. I was always had an entrepreneur spirit. I always wanted to start my own company I just did not know what business I would have at the time. I was a single mother working for NYPD New York City Police Department. I always wanted to leave a legacy for my two children. I have invested my time to build a strong foundation for my children. I had a passion for baking which I would share with my Co-Workers at all the retiring parties. I would donate cakes, cupcakes & other desserts. My coworkers would go crazy and said I was in wrong profession. At that time I never foreseen this as a business. I did start selling my desserts to co workers and friends. I finally had the strength and confidence to started my very own business.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Luquana is a Red Hook native who has a passion for baking, hospitality, and unique events. She started A Cake Baked in Brooklyn in 2016, which has grown to become an award-winning boutique dessert caterer and baker. As first-generation entrepreneur, she brings new life to time-tested Southern family-recipes with unique decor and all-natural ingredients. She specializes in seasonal treats that bring excitement and novelty to hospitality. She also works at Williams-Sonoma as a Chef where she teaches classes and cooks for store demos. Previously she was a former member of NYPD as a Police Communication Technician and she has worked at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) as a Chief Assistant. She attended Culinary School at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. Her background is in social work, graduating from the College of New Rochelle with a BA in Sociology and Graduate School at Touro College for Early Childhood Education. Luquana has been teaching sugar art to the students of the Red Hook Art Project.
I started by bootstrapping, I have used my savings to start and run my business. Some challenges I did face has a black woman was starting a business with no capital or crowd funding. There are not enough support, opportunities or resources for woman of color. I had to learn as I went along. I have learned to have to stay true to your self and your brand and never give up on your dreams.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely bring them to my neighborhood Red Hook, Brooklyn. What I love about Red Hook, Brooklyn it is a one stop shop! There is a beautiful view of Manhattan & New Jersey right off our because Pier 41. I usually go to the pier to have a picnic or lunch date. I think like to walk up the street to all the local restaurants and bars, the food is pretty amazing and the drinks are a hit. There are art galleries within walking distance. Red Hook has culture, arts, food and entertainment all in one place. 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?
I would love to shoutout my children for supporting me through this Journey, My Mother for being my backbone and biggest support. I would like to thank my 6th grade teacher Page Flanigan always believing in me & still supporting me to this day! Thanks to Tiffiney Davis for supporting my vision of Sugar Art, and brining these classes to the Red Hook Community!Huge shoutout to all my family, friends & supporters!!! None of this would be possible without each and other last one of you!!!
I own the rights to all photos A Cake Baked In Brooklyn