By Ashley Stahmer, Communications Intern
On a warm August afternoon, Shavonne Fair is braving the heat to sell her baked goods at the Capital City Farmers Market. While it’s only her second time at the market, she already feels as if she’s more prepared than her first time. With a professional banner and business cards printed with her logo, Shavonne’s hoping that people will come to recognize her brand, Hybrid Bakery.
Shavonne has always loved baking and helping people. Her goal for Hybrid Bakery was to combine those passions. Her menu includes conventional treats, as well as vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free options. While she has many staple items that remain on the menu year-round, she also offers a different specialty flavor every week, such as caramel apple Twix or strawberry margarita, so her customers can try something new. She works all of her flavors into her cakes, brownies, cupcakes and cookies. After tasting her gluten-free cherry rum raisin cake, it’s clear that she balances delicious flavor and diet restrictions well.
Shavonne prefers to stay busy, and she certainly has a full schedule. While she lives in Claymont, she travels to various farmers markets and attends Delaware State University. She is majoring in social work and plans to graduate in 2020. While on summer break, she was a student in The Culinary School at the Food Bank. The accelerated 14-week program aligned perfectly with her school schedule, and she will finish her internship with Delaware Park’s At The Rail restaurant right before fall classes start.
Shavonne took the course so she could expand her baking skills and learn more about the restaurant industry. She believes that The Culinary School made things easier for her and gave her more professional experience. Shavonne is also a participant of the West End Neighborhood House’s Launcher Program, which helps young entrepreneurs get business training and learn about financial planning. Through the skills she has learned through the Launcher and culinary programs, Shavonne feels more prepared to expand her business.
For now, Shavonne is focused on securing a location for Hybrid Bakery. She does most of her baking at Delaware State’s commercial kitchen and sells at various markets, but she has her sights set on a location in Dover. Shavonne is competing in Downtown Dover Partnership’s “Unlock the Block,” an initiative to help landlords attract new business tenants. Business owners pitch their plans to a panel of local experts, and winners receive a mix of fee waivers, consulting, technical assistance and cash incentives. While she would still need to pay rent and utility costs if she wins, Shavonne would secure a lease on a vacant building on Governors Avenue in Dover. The building was home to a previous bakery, and Shavonne hopes to bring baked goods back to the street.
While she waits for the results of the “Unlock the Block” competition, Shavonne is working hard to increase her brand exposure and accessibility. After taking a class on graphic design, she put together her own website and regularly updates Hybrid Bakery’s Facebook and Instagram pages. If the photos of her cupcakes and other treats aren’t enough to tempt you, she also offers free samples at the farmers markets. You can find out where she’ll be each week on Hybrid Bakery’s social media.
To learn more about Hybrid Bakery and stay updated on Shavonne’s future plans, check out her website here.