Many businesses have unfortunately suffered during the pandemic.  Some had to close their doors while others had to shift how they streamlined their processes.  The initial panic buying also caused many businesses such as bakeries to suffer in silence.  Since then, the panic buying has somewhat eased its way down and now more consumers are returning to their favorite packaged and homemade sweet treats.

According to American Bakers, the baking industry employs over 800,000 skilled individuals.  So while some bakeries are still making their pivot, Sweet Eden Bake Shop and Mix N’ Sweetz Bakury are no longer in the shadow of the pandemic.  Both Maryland based businesses have successfully mastered their baking products to withstand the test of COVID.  From shifting operation hours to offering new menu items, they are baking to last.  They have single handedly changed their narrative by offering a variety of new updates such as:  pop-up hours, shipping, to-go treats, delivery servicing and more.  This necessary pivot has helped them stay afloat despite the various shut-downs.  Here’s what owner and pastry chef, Kendra Eden, of Sweet Eden Bake Shop advises:

What inspired your love for baking and pastry?

I loved to bake as a kid and have tea parties with real cookies. Also, my mom always made our birthday cakes and she took the Wilton cake decorating classes at Joann Fabrics. So I was exposed to some of those techniques early on.

What motivated you to become a full time entrepreneur? 

My daughter. I used to work at the Gaylord Hotel.  Once I had my daughter I wanted to work closer to home. There has never really been a retail bakery like this in the area, so it seemed like maybe I could fill a void for this community. Ultimately, I also really want to be inspiring for both of my children and show them that hard work pays off.

photo courtesy of Sweet Eden Bake Shop

What are some winter and spring trends in the dessert world? 

Micro cakes are popular right now due to the pandemic. I think “to-go”desserts individually packaged will also continue for a while longer. The naked cake trend is also still going strong. Pine cones and leaves are a great compliment to winter naked cakes; and fruit or fresh flowers are a wonderful way to garnish a Spring or Summer cake. The minimalist feel of the design lends itself to micro weddings and other smaller events.

photo courtesy of Sweet Eden Bake Shop

What sets Sweet Eden Bake Shop apart from other bakeries? 

We have a lot of variety in our retail case. There is something for everyone. Also, we get compliments on our buttercream and cream cheese icings. We do an Italian meringue based buttercream which is not as sweet as the more common American Buttercream.

photo courtesy of Mix N’ Sweetz Bakury

Kandi Jones-Talley of Mix N’ Sweetz Bakury is also using her God given talent within the baking industry.  She is remaining open for business in Maryland to provide those oh so sweet treats that feed the soul.  Similar to Sweet Eden Bake Shop, Kandi is making sweet moves as well.  Here’s what inspired her and what is keeping her business successful during COVID:

What inspired you to have a career in baking?

When I’m baking it allows me to get lost in my creativity. I enjoy when I can genuinely create treats for my family or clients. Being a Baker, is my passion. It gives me the ability to embrace my craft as I prepare my tastiness of cakes, puddings, cobbler, cookies and pies for others to enjoy.

How did your family or environment motivate your current career?

They push me, they stand with me; and now they prepare with me.  My family loves to throw gatherings and always boost me to prepare certain dishes no matter the lane such as: Mac n Cheese, Lamb Chops, Seafood Boil, and many different desserts. The kitchen was always an exciting place for me as a child so my Mom pushed that part in me. As a child and now as an adult her drive has changed. My family rolls up their sleeve to jump in whenever and wherever they’re needed.

photo courtesy of Mix N’ Sweetz Bakury

How can baked goods lift spirits during this troubling time of COVID?

Baked goods can lift and boost your spirit. The warm spices and chocolate sweet treats make hearts smile as you indulge. During COVID many kids are having trouble adjusting.  It is also my plan and vision to hold upcoming virtual baking classes for youth.

What new flavors, products or etc are you offering soon?

We will be diving into everything chocolate: espressos, mousses, chocolate lava etc. We’re also looking to take off with our Chicken & Waffle cupcake which is packed with so much flavor. Lastly, a must try is our Ultimate Candyland Milkshake.

These Maryland bakers are striving for pastry greatness as communities withstand COVID-19.  Indulge in their sweet offerings to lift your pandemic spirits.  Kendra and Kandi are taking your taste buds to new heights one flavorful treat at a time.  Support these Black and Women-Owned entrepreneurs as they push to support their communities.  Visit Sweet Eden Bake Shop on social media here.  Visit Mix N’ Sweetz Bakury here as well.  Comfort your soul with a sweet treat!


Writer, C. Scott, is a mother of one; author, social worker, early literacy interventionist and entrepreneur. Follow her on Instagram as @curls_coils and @mysweettealife.