Today we’d like to introduce you to Adela Bejo.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Adela. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
While my path to pastry wasn’t a direct one, I knew I was destined to find my way to flour and butter. Food & music have always had a special place in my heart. At the age of 12, me and my family moved from Tirana, Albania and settled in Metro-Detroit in January 2000 (Dr. King’s birthday to be exact). It was then when I found myself in love once again, and this time it was with Hip Hop. I instantly connected with the beats and lyricism of the music, finding its message empowering and very real. I have many fond memories of rides to middle school listening to and learning English through albums like Dr. Dre’s 2001 and the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Hip Hop has since been a source of strength and a motivating force that has inspired and guided me along the way – shaping who I am and how I live my life every day. My journey to belonging has never been about choosing one culture and community over the other, but fully immersing myself and connecting the two through my love of food and music, able to express myself and for that, I am ever-grateful for the support I have found in both.
While pursuing a degree and, subsequently, a career in psychology and criminal justice, I was drawn to the art of pastry. I baked in my spare time and quickly build a community of friends who shared the same passion. In an effort to pursue that passion, I packed up one day, leaving everything I knew and loved about Detroit from my job, to friends and family and drove to Chicago to hone my skills in the restaurant industry. After a year or so, as my skills grew and the food scene in Detroit blossomed, I knew it was time to come back and share my talent with friends and the city I had come to call home.
After a year as the Executive Pastry Chef at Grey Ghost (Detroit, MI) I decided it was time to focus on my own concept – a shop that brings together my affection for and commitment to baking, music, and people. The Hip Hop Bake Shop is a work in progress, much like myself 🙂 It embodies the passion, hard work and gratitude of knowing where I come from and who I have become. It is an expression and extension of myself, my story and a special tribute to Hip Hop. Hip Hop Bake Shop is now two years old and growing 🙂
Has it been a smooth road?
Smooth road? Ahhh! Lol! I dare you come across any entrepreneurs that can actually say that. It’s been a journey for sure, an interesting one to say the least. Transitioning to entrepreneurship is something that is not for everyone. When I first moved to Chicago to purpose my passion it was one of the scariest experiences of my life. Learning how to live in a big city, alone, not knowing a single soul while pursuing a new career and just learning how to be with myself in every way was definitely one for the books. It taught me how to deal with my own thoughts and emotions, and also it taught me the backbone I needed to be working in a kitchen full of men.
One of my challenges with building HHBS has been commercial space and of course money to expand. I work two other jobs to support the business. Another challenge is that it is just me running the show. I am the owner, baker, manager, website designer, promotor, package and delivery guy all in one haha. A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor ain’t that what they say? I love a good struggle because that just means I’m constantly learning and I don’t ever want to stop.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Hip Hop Bake Shop is an online bakery that specializes in handcrafted pies, cheesecakes and of course our signature, the Citrus Shortbread Wu-tang Cookie. I like to play around with dessert names and name them after Hip Hop lyrics or artists when I can. Here are some of the fun names me and my friends have come up within the last two years: Blackberry me a G’ (Blackberry Peach Pie), Busta Lime (Key Lime Pie), C.R.E.A.M (Coconut Cream Pie), Grand Hustle Cheesecake (Salted Caramel Cheesecake), De La Tart (Poptart) and my absolute favoriteeeee Bonita Apple Crumb (Apple Crumb Pie). Clever right?! Lol!
One of my proudest moments was actually this past summer when HHBS turned two years old and I threw my first pop up event at the most popular venue in the city to celebrate. All my friends and customers showed out and I sold out in less than two hours. I hired female DJ’s and performers so you best believe the vibe was just magical! #girlgang
What I would say sets me apart from other bakeries is that music weighs very heavy in what I do and what I represent. When HHBS finally has its own home (brick and mortar) soon, customers will get to experience not only homemade desserts like the Bonita Apple Crumb but also a record shop playing their favorite vinyl from rap to neo-soul to jazz. I honestly, can’t wait for that either 🙂 Just what the city is missing!
- Classic Pies – $30
- Fruit Pies – $35
- Cheesecakes – $45
- Website: www.hiphopbakeshop.com
- Phone: 248-506-3020
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/hiphopbakeshop
- Facebook: facebook.com/hiphopbakeshop