Fri | Aug 23, 2019

Sweet Treat Street – Signature cakes and desserts ‘Bake My Day’

Published:Thursday | July 18, 2019 | 12:21 AMKrysta Anderson /Gleaner Writer

While some categorise baking as a ‘girlish’ hobby, one young entrepreneur has made a thriving career out of bringing her passion for pastry to a delightful reality. This week on Sweet Treat Street, our adventurous drive makes a stop of sugary satisfaction. Looking to ‘bake your day’ with decadent desserts is pastry chef Suei-Ann Lee.

Lee’s love for baking stemmed from her grandmother. Although she passed away when Lee was young, she spent a lot of time in the kitchen, creating magic. “The memories of her making treats for my birthday parties always stand out in my mind. That gesture always made me feel so special.” One day, after careful consideration, she decided to make others experience a similar joy with her signature cakes and desserts.

The Road to Sweetness

After obtaining a bachelors of science degree in psychology, she set sail into the nine-to-five corporate world. But it was no paradise. Working in an office environment caused awful anxiety attacks. Some morning before work, she felt like an empty shell. Following a massive episode, she knew this wasn’t life for her. Of course, staying at home wasn’t an option, either. With the aspirations of becoming a pastry chef on the top of her ‘to be’ list, she made the switch. “I started over at the bottom as a pastry cook in a few hotels. I got my commercial food preparation certificate and learned all I could from the Internet, as well as through trial and error,” she shared. When she was confident enough, and had a little savings, she embarked on a new journey, all on her own.

Bake My Day Ja, ingenious in both name and concept, came about at the Companies Office. She presented her desired ‘out of the box’ name for registration, only to be rejected because it was already taken. Tasked with the mission of finding another name on the spot, she remembered watching a movie and noticing a little shop in the background called Bake My Day. Adding the Ja for an authentic twist, that name saved the day.

Bake My Day Ja has been providing customised celebration cakes and cupcakes, (her specialty) specialty cakes – cheesecake, chocolate mousse cake and more traditional and fusion desserts, such as fruit tarts and pies, in addition to cake stand rental, dessert table set-up and delivery services for almost three years, and counting. The business has been doing better than she anticipated, and she is grateful for the support from family members, who pay in full, along with dedicated clients.

Most persons arrive knowing exactly what they want to order. Pictures are always welcomed, but she shies away from duplicating what is already out there. Some appreciate the guidance she supplies. Once she gets the opportunity to conceptualise, she draws inspiration from just about anything, keeping her creative process as turmoil-free as possible.

Her most memorable order was the first dessert table she ever created for a bride from New York. “Instead of a wedding cake, she wanted a wide variety of pastries: a fabulous concept. I got to create so many different items, which is the part of pastry I am in love with; playing with textures and flavours.”

Outside of baking, Lee is a part-time core skills trainer with HEART Trust/NTA. She facilitates classes with unattached youth on personal and career development, she is a certified river bum, a lover of dancing and a devoted ‘dog mom’.

With plans in place to open a storefront property in Runaway Bay, St Ann, her advice to upcoming pastry chefs is to start with what you have and do what you can, “The time will pass anyway, and hardly anything you lose will be greater than the experience that you will gain. Just always be prepared.”

Follow Bake My Day Ja on Instagram: @bakemydayja or call/WhatsApp 876-585-6080 for more information, and email: bakemyday876@gmail.com for orders today.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com