Today we’d like to introduce you to Christian Headley.
Christian, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was never sure what I wanted to do when I grew up. At a young age, I used to watch my mom as she would prepare to bake some sweet bread, sponge cake, black cake and other traditional baked goods from Barbados. From time to time, I would help her out and eventually, I started baking on my own. I was always fascinated at how the cake batter would expand and look completely different in appearance once it came out of the oven. At first, it was a fun hobby to me until I realized this was the only thing I wanted to do and was passionate about. During my junior year of high school, I was looking into universities that specialized in baking and I stumbled upon Johnson & Wales University. They had a great Baking and Pastry program to offer! Unfortunately, I only managed to attend for one full school year and two semesters. I was on academic probation because I was struggling with my academic classes. Nonetheless, I came back home and landed a job at Publix Bakery as a bakery clerk. After a couple of months working as a bakery clerk, I got promoted and became a decorator apprentice, where I assisted the cake decorators with production, finishing cakes and pastries for the floor and cleaning up. One year later, I was finally promoted and became a cake decorator. At this point, I knew all the ins and outs of being a baker and cake decorator at Publix. I was also fortunate enough to find an online school that offered a similar degree I was pursuing at Johnson & Wales. Now I was going for a Bachelor’s in Science Management with a concentration in Food Service Management at Colorado Technical University Online. Sadly, I was juggling school, work, and my side business and it was starting to affect my grades, so I had to drop one of them and decided to leave Publix. From then on, I decided to put my full focus on my cake business and school. Little by little, I would get more orders as the months go by and was starting to make some money. In April of 2019, I decided that I wanted another source of income other than my cake business and decided that I would start a chocolate bar company where I would sell specialty chocolate bars and ship them all over the U.S. The brother company of CP(Christian Paul) Cake Studio, CP Crunch Bars was born. While gaining more of a social media presence on Instagram, I was contacted by a manager from a different social media app called TikTok. They told me that they would love to have me on the app and share my cake/baking videos. I decided to join the app, and slowly but surely, I started to get some traction and build up my fan base. As of now, I am a verified content creator with a following of 497k followers on TikTok and recently went to TikTok’s 1st Black History Summit in Los Angeles, where I got to meet other talented Black creators! This was all made possible just by doing what I love to do.
Has it been a smooth road?
The road to success can never be easy or smooth; there have been many instances where I would have trouble with client complaints or issues about a cake or pastry order. Between struggling and stressing about whether or not I made the right decision to quit my job and focus full time on my passion put a toll on my body. I stopped working out and eating healthy and started to get a pain on the right side of my abdomen. I soon found out that I had gallstones and had to get my gallbladder removed surgically, or else it might burst and cause other complications. I was devastated because I had to face my worst fear. I never thought that I would ever have to have surgery but it was something that had to be done. Thankfully the procedure went smoothly and recovery was very quick but I wasn’t feeling like myself at all. I felt like everything was falling apart, my body, my work and the love for my passion were slipping away. I had to take a step back from my work and think about what makes me happy.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I like to call myself the multifaceted baker because I specialize in most baked goods. I know how to bake and decorate any cake, wide variety of cookies, some bread and pastries and a chocolatier but I am mostly known for my red velvet cheesecake. As a company, I am most proud of my versatility, which is also what sets me apart from others. There would be no need to order your cake, decorated sugar cookies, and treats from three different people when you can get everything from me.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I feel like Atlanta is a great place for the cake business, but I don’t think it’s a great place to start unless you live in a small town like mine. I would recommend anyone interested in baking to start in a small town and try to get a feel for the business. Then when you want to expand and charge a little more, depending on your experience, I would suggest moving your operations to Atlanta.
- Gourmet Chocolates range from $7.95-$40.00
- A minimum of $75.00 for all cake orders.
- Pastries(Cookies, Brownies, Cakepops) range from $25-$50
- Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CPcakestudio
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cpcakestudio/
- Other: https://vm.tiktok.com/g9TFq8/