Tennessee-based vegan bakery The Pink Bakery recently received a $10,000 grant from music icon Beyoncé. The grant came from the Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund, created earlier this year by Beyoncé’s nonprofit BeyGood in partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It is given to Black-owned small business owners who were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m still on a high from [the] announcement and I cannot believe that my company is sitting on Beyonce’s website right now with the other recipients from Round 2,” The Pink Bakery founder Nubian Simmons told VegNews. Simmons plans to use the grant money to purchase ingredients, pay off business debt, and improve the company’s product packaging.
The Pink Bakery was founded by Simmons in 2014 with the aim to provide the community with desserts that were free of the top eight allergens (milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy). The business specialized in custom baking orders but when COVID-19 hit, The Pink Bakery had to stop taking orders, which Simmons said, “almost destroyed us completely.”
Eventually, the bakery pivoted to creating and selling at-home baking mixes to accommodate the new no-contact rules. “Although the baked goods accounted for 75 percent of our business, we now had to put all of our efforts into the super easy baking mixes that we used to bake for everyone,” Simmons said. “The mixes actually turned out to be the perfect solution. We didn’t have to worry about spoilage or damage with the mixes. We were also able to ship them nationwide via the USPS and provide contactless delivery to our customers’ homes.”
The Pink Bakery currently offers No Frownie Brownies Mix and Mama’s Favorite Chocolate (Chocolate Chip Cake Mix) and plans to launch new products at the end of November, including The Lauren White Cake Mix, Gimme That Flour Mix, Good AF Chocolate Frosting, and White Sweetness Frosting.
Vegan chocolate-maker Good Girl Chocolate also received a $10,000 grant from Round 2 of Beyoncé’s Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund. Founder Tabatha Carr plans to use the grant to buy equipment and hire more employees. “I am so filled with joy and gratitude! Minorities receive less than 1 percent of venture capitalist funding,” Carr said. “This award is so special to me because it will allow me to buy more equipment and support my community by hiring more employees, which means [we can] produce more chocolate. Thank you, Beyoncé and the BeyGood Foundation, for this grant. You are making an impact on underrepresented Black-owned businesses. To my entrepreneur family, keep pushing and keep putting in the work.”