Local chef Chantele Jones advances from cooking classes and pop-up events to a Northwest Detroit bakeshop that opens Sunday afternoon.
Estella's Vegan Cuisine and Desserts, named for her grandmother, is touted as the city's first Black-owned vegan bakery. "My goal is to dispel myths that following a vegan diet is expensive, complicated and flavorless," says the 33-year-old entrepreneur.
Selections include four types of pound cake (red velvet, lemon, chocolate turtle and strawberry crunch), sweet potato pie, pecan pie, peach cobbler, muffins, breads (apple pecan, cranberry orange, banana nut, lemon blueberry, sweet potato pecan), cookies, oatmeal blueberry and raspberry crunch bars, banana pudding and seasonal additions such as pumpkin pie.
The small bakery at 19120 Grand River Avenue in North Rosedale Park, with table seating for six people, has its debut from noon-4 p.m. Sunday. It'll open each Friday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Jones, a native Detroiter now raising four children in Macomb Township with her husband, tells Crain's Detroit Business she's "paying tribute to my family."
"My mom and grandma both bake. All of their dreams, I'm taking them to the next level. I feel really thankful."
She began the business last year with online orders and won support from TechTown in Detroit ($5,000 "kickstart" award last year) and the National Entrepreneurs Association in Southfield ($2,000 top prize in a virtual pitch contest two months ago).
Jones launched her first venture last decade -- VDaLish cooking classes at the Brightmoor Artisans Collective in Detroit and a line of frozen desserts sold online.
In a Blac Detroit magazine interview last month, she sketches the personal health roots of her vegan focus:
"After having my second daughter, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and none of the doctors could tell me what was wrong with me. I put myself on my own elimination diet where I just eliminated certain foods to figure out what my triggers were. That's when I found out dairy and similar things were a major trigger for me.
"So I started just teaching myself how to cook all the familiar dishes that I love, but just without animal products."
At her business' Facebook page, the owner adds: "I'm also determined to destroy the negative stereotypes [of] vegans and our food, one meal and pastry at a time."
Jones created a digital cookbook, "Our Vegan Family Favorites" ($10), and has a published sequel, "Our Vegan Family Favorites" ($25) with over 50 recipes and information on how to transition a family to vegan meals and how not to feel left out during social situations.
Plan a visit:
Where: 19120 Grand River Ave., just west of Warwick Street (North Rosedale Park)
Hours: Noon-6 p.m., Friday-Sunday
Phone: (313) 288-2206
Photos from business: