Sun | Jul 5, 2020

Pursuit of Passion: The Art of Baked 876

Published:Thursday | June 4, 2020 | 12:29 AMKrysta Anderson /Gleaner Writer

There’s something quite refreshing and exhilarating about discovering your purpose while engaging in the pursuit of passion. Not a believer? Ask Annalise Powell.

The young entrepreneur used baking as a coping mechanism and found the culinary art form to be very therapeutic. “During my high school days, I was bullied and I remembered having two outlets; it was art or baking, essentially a mash-up of the two. In the evenings, being home from school, I would quickly change and head straight to the bookshelf for the recipe books,” she said.

Everything that had bothered the aspiring baker during the day was neatly organised in a one-inch round on her cookie sheet. That feeling, she said, was like no other. “I treasured my time with the oven. That time also allowed me to hone my craft, whipping up cookies, apple scones or my favourite – banana bread. I gave it to the small group of friends I had the next day and they would be my very honest test subjects,” she added. That uncovered her love for reactions: from the ones that she puts on people’s faces from a single bite of cake or just to witness the look of awe at the final work of cake art.

Deserting her dessert dreams to explore nursing, as per her parents’ request, Powell soon reverted to her first love. “The motivation came from the need for independence and to use the platform as a medium to showcase my edible art to not just Jamaica and the Caribbean but the world. We female entrepreneurs are growing in our numbers and I’m proud of it,” she shared. She is currently finishing up her final year in the culinary arts and food and beverage management programme at the University of Technology. And she is happy to announce that her family has come around since she started her business four years ago, offering her all the support she needs to propel in the sweet treat industry.

Baked 876 by Annalise Powell creates delicious pastries, customised cakes, cookies and desserts. The challenge of letting cakes defy gravity, spin or light up and still be extremely delectable is truly an art – a mission Powell accepts wholeheartedly. “I want people to see the work I’ve created and know it came from our likkle 876! Baked 876 also uses mainly Jamaican products to create our scrumptious creations.”

LOYAL CLIENTS

Incredible taste complemented by pure artistry: that’s where the real Baked 876 magic comes to fruition. The reception so far has been phenomenal, attracting many new customers while maintaining a loyal client base. COVID-19 hasn’t slowed progress since many placed orders for special occasions like Mother’s Day and the upcoming Father’s Day.

The ordering process varies, she admits. Sometimes clients will come with their vision and she will work them to bring the pastry to life. But most allow her free rein on the creative development of the idea and the flavour profile of the cakes. “I put my heart with nuff love in every cookie, every tart, every slice of cake. I believe in bringing art to life through sumptuous custom cakes and pastries and best customer experience at all times,” the excited cake artist revealed.

To see more of Powell’s journey or for more information on how to order, follow @baked876 on Instagram.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com