Today we’d like to introduce you to Tornica Chaney.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I started my journey six years ago. I always baked cakes for my friends and our Sunday dinners we used to have. My girlfriends and I would always get together on Sunday to watch football and just socialize and my job was to always bake the cake. One day I had a rough day at my corporate job and my friend said, “why not try to turn it into a business for yourself?” I thought about it and prayed on it. I decided to move forward with making it a business, taking classes to perfect my craft and learned a lot. I started doing pop up shops and then I met a few people on Instagram that offered classes. I started following Porsha and Jeromie who have amazing talents within the cake community so I would fly to Texas or drive to Mississippi to take classes as well as purchasing classes online to learn even more.
Fast forward to now, I’ve become very comfortable with building and making cakes. I’ve gained more business than ever and my cakes never disappoint. I still have people who I look up to in the cake community. I’m always trying to learn more everyday and eventually, I’ll be able to leave my corporate job and focus on what I really love the most.
I’m also where I am because of my support system and my number one fan which is my man Michael Green. He continues to push me even when I’ve wanted to give up. He supports and helps me see things in another light.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
As far as an obstacle, I don’t think I’ve faced one. Challenges for me would be that I feel I’m not good enough. We are our worst critics because we have to critique every single detail, but once I complete a cake, I’m filled with excitement because I’ve seen my vision come to life.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Cakes by the Pound and More?
My business, Cakes by the Pound and More, LLC is a home-based baking business that I created seven years ago. I came into this business because I wanted to do something different all while working with a major retail company. I’ve been in retail for over 20 years and I used to enjoy it, but I wanted to do something for myself to see if I’d be able to achieve that goal. I had to think about what I’d like to do and actually enjoy doing it. One day I was talking to a friend of mine about different things that I liked to do. While talking, they mentioned to me about going into baking since I did enjoy doing that for family and friends all the time. I’d always be given the job of baking a cake! So from then on, I thought, well hey it won’t hurt to try it. I started taking classes with Wilton. I then was told about Porsha Kimble…AKA Cake Diva. From meeting Porsha, I met Jeromie….AKA Kake King and then started learning more from them and watching Youtube videos as well as paying for online courses. I met Ebi Cakes, who is an amazing cake artist to me so I started following her. I’ve also met some other dope artists along the way such as DeAnna (D’s Delights), Cindy (Cindyrella Cake Studio), Tasha (Sugarhigirl), Christina (Not Your Nanas Bakery)
What I specialize in are rum cakes, decorative cakes and I love doing kid’s birthday cakes!
What sets me apart from others…I’m my own person! I have my own unique style…I have learned different techniques from other bakers in which some I use and some I don’t. I do what works for me and my business. I’m an honest person with my clients and will never tell them that I can do something when I know I can’t. I’ve taught others how to do different techniques.
My most proud brand-wise would be Wilton, Chef Master and Colour Mill. There are plenty of brands that I love to use when making my cakes!
What I’d like for my readers to know about me is that once you try my cakes, you’ll definitely come back! I put my heart into everything that I make. I love seeing the smiles and amazement on every one of my client’s faces. I’ve been blessed to make cakes for artists such as Tyrese, Teddy Riley, Dave Hollister and others. With my cake business, I offer all types of custom sweets, but I enjoy working with custom and wedding cakes…but I can do it all! What I’m learning more to do now will be the 3d cakes and working with making different design cakes.
I offer one on one cake classes to teach others how to improve on their work, I offer cake boxes, shipping of rum and pound cakes, cookies and cake jars. I offer cake tastings as well as one on one meetings with my customers.
One of the things that I’d love to do would be to fly to the UK and learn from artists there. I feel their work is amazing!!!
If you live in the Atlanta area, check me out!!! I promise you’ll love it and definitely come back!
We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
What’s difficult about starting your business is determining where you want to take it. Am I doing this part-time? Who will purchase my product? Am I really good? These questions drive the risk level associated with running a business. I believe I haven’t taken the biggest risk just yet, but I know the small ones I’ve taken have reaped some great rewards for me! Like most, my biggest risk, where I see the major reward, is when I step out and be a Full Time Baker and Cake Decorator. I also love teaching so that’s another risk that I’ve taken along the way but it was definitely a success! Although I know there will be challenges, the satisfaction and joy that’ll come afterward will be worth it.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.cakesbythepoundandmore.com
- Instagram: www.Instagram.com/cakesbythapound
- Facebook: www.Facebook.com/cakesbythapound
Some images shot by Shonta Mac and myself