The couple behind Daddy’s Girls Bakery weighs in on running a family business, opening a brick-and-mortar bakeshop, and their craveworthy Charleston chewies
CM: How did you learn to bake?
NB: My mom used to bake a lot. As the eldest, I was responsible for helping her in the kitchen where I learned our family recipes. I didn’t really appreciate her until I went to Morehouse College in Atlanta. People would tell me about good places to eat, but the food from home was better. It got to the point that I was selling dinners at college to different students and staff. I didn’t take it seriously until I started having kids and needed another source of income.
CB: I’m mostly self-taught, but I took a few decorating classes from Wilton and we attended classes in the Trident Tech Baking and Pastry program for several semesters.
CM: How did you make it a business?
CB: It started as a hobby, making cakes for our oldest daughter’s birthday. I love to decorate and Nate’s great at baking, so it’s a natural fit. People enjoyed them so much, we made more and started giving them out as samples at my husband’s poetry shows. Nate’s poetry was good, but the baked goods were a hit! We started selling through other businesses, especially barber shops and beauty salons, and then at the Charleston Farmers Market, the Night Market, and different events. We brought cakes, cheesecakes, and, of course, our Charleston chewies.
One couple’s from-scratch foray into baking and creating a business using treasured family recipes; (right) Charleston chewies.
CM: Tell us about the name.
CB: We had a different name, Sweet Dreams, when we first started in 2011. But then we started having all these daughters! We have a 14-year-old girl, nine-year-old twin girls, and a boy-and-girl set who are seven.
CM: Are they all daddy’s girls?
NB: Definitely. There’s just a different energy that girls have. I’m the oldest of three boys, and I’m still trying to figure the dynamics of living in a house with so many females. It’s cool, but it keeps me on my toes.
CM: Tell us more about the chewies.
NB: It’s like a brown sugar brownie that melts in your mouth and is highly addictive. We make them from my Auntie Landa’s recipe; she would bring them to family gatherings when I was growing up. She has always been the cool, funny aunt and made me promise to keep the recipe a secret. She still supports us in our endeavors and loves our cookies and cream cupcakes.
CB: People tell us ours are chewier, moister than most. On average, we make 16 pans a day.
CM: You opened your brick-and-mortar bakery in Metanoia’s rehabbed building on Reynolds Avenue in January. What’s it like being part of the revitalization of the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood?
NB: I’m from here originally, so I remember Reynolds Avenue thriving with different businesses before the Navy Base closed. I can see the vision of what’s happening, and I’m glad to be a part of the beginning stages.
CB: We’ll be partnering with Metanoia in different ways, like providing baking and decorating classes to kids in the Youth Entrepreneurship Program.
CM: Are your kids into baking?
NB: Sometimes we let them help out. They put labels and stickers on packaging, they do mise en place and mixing. They know how to make coffee, work the register. They’re pretty skillful for such a young age.
Berry Good: Get Daddy’s Girls Bakery’s recipe for Strawberry Cake at charlestonmag.com.