When a friend suggested starting a blog to Jocelyn Delk Adams two years ago, Adams thought it was a more feasible solution for sharing some of her baking creations and recipes with her growing clientele. The event and media producer turned full-time recipe developer was exhausted with the idea of opening a bakery after fulfilling orders out of her small apartment in Chicago. GrandbabyCakes.com was born in 2012 and the rest, as Adams says, is history.
“I’ve always had a love for cooking and baking. That was something that was instilled in me when I was very young. I would always bake with my grandmother or my family in general. A couple of years ago, I brought a cake to work. This was actually when I was working for Ebony magazine and people started asking to buy it all the time.” It was a simple cream cheese pound cake that had taste buds screaming for more and within a two month period, she had sold about 100.
Expanding the Blog and Brand
Her blog is beautifully curated with recipes, photos and stories to really draw readers in. What started as a hobby began to gain followers and interest from brands. This past February she decided to take the leap of faith to become a full-time entrepreneur, one which she is enjoying. “I am definitely a risk-taker. This, of course, was a huge risk and it was something that was going to change how things were run in my family and for me, it was difficult at first not seeing the bi-weekly check coming in that we all kind of get used to but I wasn’t too afraid to see what was out there because I always figured I can get another job,” says Adams.
She is currently developing recipes and is a featured blogger and ambassador for Pillsbury and a contributor for Parade and Better Homes and Gardens magazines. Additional recipe development projects include Kitchen Aid, Hamilton Beach, Driscoll Berries and TV.
In her kitchen, Adams uses simple ingredients and loves vanilla and fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. “I really love, especially when summer comes around, playing with what is in season because I really feel that fruit and those vegetables the way they were intended to taste and they taste amazing and they really bring out what you are trying to cook and bake,” shares Adams.
It sounds fun but creating recipes is about more than loving to cook. “Understanding your audience and understanding the brand is very crucial because a lot of times people can get very complicated trying to be creative. I think for recipe development you kind of have to stay true to what that brand is about and a lot of the brands that I work with want to simply create things that families can do easily in their kitchen without a lot of fuss.”
Adams shares these tips for anyone looking to start a career as a recipe developer:
1. Understand the ratios of what works and what doesn’t work. It can take a long time to figure out what flavors or ratio of ingredients are going to work together, especially for the science of baking.
2. Take the time to test and retest and retest.
3. Get inspiration from other places and make connections with other bloggers, recipe developers, etc.
Taking these tips to heart, Adams is working a cookbook and continues to feed us with weekly inspiration on her blog.
To learn more about Jocelyn Delk Adams’ journey and to try some of her amazing recipes, visit her blog at www.grandbabycakes.com.