Detroit, Michigan, has its first Black-owned vegan bakery courtesy of Chantele Jones. Estella’s Vegan Dessert Boutique is named in honor of Chantele’s grandmother, who taught her how to make her first pie.
According to VegNews, the bakery will offer traditional Southern staples such as pound cake, sweet potato pie, peach cobbler, banana pudding, and pecan pie. Estella’s will also carry a variety of pieces of bread, cookies, and bars with an aim to use local and seasonal produce.
“Baking is in my blood—from my grandma Estella, to my mother Jeroelynn—I grew up watching them in the kitchen turn heaps of flour into delicious pastries. [When I was] six years old, my grandma taught me how to bake my first cherry pie, and my mother taught me how to make her infamous pound cake,” Jones told VegNews.
“After I mastered it, I started selling it by the slice in high school as a side hustle. This is the same pound cake recipe I use today, only veganized.”
Jones turned vegan after she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and discovered that a plant-based diet alleviated many of the problems she was experiencing. She later took it upon herself to spread the benefits of the vegan lifestyle.
“My passion for baking continued well into my adulthood until I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and found that following a vegan diet worked best for my body,” Jones said. “I still wanted to enjoy the foods that I loved but had to learn how to bake them in a new way and thus my business was born. This bakery is so much more than just another bakery; this place pays tribute to my family, those who came before me, and that makes me so proud.”
In an August Instagram post, Jones revealed that the lease for a new vegan business has been signed, promising Detroit of the best Vegan desserts.
“We signed our lease! Get ready Grandmont-Rosdale, Estella’s Vegan Dessert Boutique is opening this October inside Grand River Workplace and we’re bringing some of the best vegan desserts in the city,” she wrote.
To found her vegan business, she entered into pitch competitions to secure funding for her business idea. She competed in competitions such as the TechTown Detroit Retail Bootcamp and the Detroit Rebrand Black Pitch Competition.
Jones reportedly won the cash prize for pitch competitions at the National Entrepreneur’s Association and Dell Technologies National Virtual Pitch Contest. In total, she secured $11,000 from grants and competitions to start her Detroit business.