VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Paige Welch, a local cake baker, could count on her clients to stay in business -- a mix of restaurants and personal orders -- but when COVID-19 forced restaurants to close and people to cancel orders, she had to adjust.
"I was sitting at home like, 'Oh my God... like, I have no orders,'" Welch said. "A lot of my cake orders for personal people have been canceled."
Welch is the founder and owner of Empowered Plant Cakes, a company that produces cakes that are plant-, vegetable- and fruit-based and made with natural ingredients.
She adjusted to the changes by delivering cakes herself and selling at farmers markets. With restaurants reopening, she said she is hopeful business will pick up again.
"I feel good. I feel like hope is in the future," Welch said.
She also sells cakes out of the Leaping Lizard Cafe, where she is based out of and produces her cakes.
"I would say my customers are more just like health-conscious people who are considering what they put in their body," she said, "or just want something more guilt-free."
She started the bakery a year and a half ago. She started her business after finding healthier alternatives to traditional cakes made with artificial and refined ingredients.
"It’s definitely a better-for-you treat for your body," Welch said. "It’s kind of like eating vitamins while eating cake."
Some of the ingredients she uses include cocoa powder, dates and chickpeas, among other naturally-selected ingredients. The end result are cakes that are detailed, colorful, and flavorful.
"Most people are shocked at how creamy and rich they are and how you can get good tasting cakes made with real ingredients," Welch said. "They’re definitely not low-calorie desserts. What I focus more on is what goes into them."
She is currently taking orders for cakes. Prices are as follows:
- Slices are between $5-$7;
- Six-inch cakes are $30 and can serve six to 10 people
- Nine-inch cakes are $60 and can serve 14 to 18 people
She said she can also prepare cakes for weddings and other special occasions.
More information can be found on the Empowered Plant Cakes website.
The bakery is currently donating $2 from every cake slice purchase to charities in solidarity with Black Lives Matter movements.