NORFOLK, Va. - Under Jen Anglin's face mask - the one with the hot pink lipstick - is a smile.
"I love what I get to do every day. Truly, it is amazing," she says.
And one sweet story.
"I started baking this particular (cinnamon) cake and things changed."
That was several years ago when she would bake on the weekends, a hobby that would one day replace her stressful corporate job.
"It's a very steep cliff. Quite frankly," Anglin remembers. "Fear stopped me for a bit in taking a step off."
But when the time was right, she took the plunge. Pownd Cakes by Jen served its first customers at its new storefront on W. 21st Street in 2019, just months before the pandemic began. The timing turned out to be perfect.
"Comfort food in uncomfortable times served us well. The cakes are delicious and they put a smile on peoples faces. And we needed smiles," she says. "We make it feel like you've come into our home. We're glad you're here."
Do you know how when you visit your mom and she instantly starts to feed you? That's what it's like at Pownd Cakes by Jen.
"You can try one or you can try 30."
With each bite, you start to realize this is about more than cakes. This is about community, created right inside this store.
Jen, it turns out, gets just as much of a rush serving people as she does serving sweets.
"There are not a lot of jobs where you get to watch people dance or praise the heavens above when they take a bite of what you're serving," Anglin says.
"What's not to smile about?"