"I was raised outside of Cleveland, Ohio and moved to D.C. in 1995 to do my law and public health degrees at George Washington University. When I graduated, I worked for Health and Human Services as a federal litigator. I enjoyed it, but found myself wanting more creativity. I knew that some of my natural talents were never going to be exercised as a lawyer.
"As a kid, I cooked all of the time and built a lot of models. While I was a social kid, I enjoyed the solitary and technical process of building things. When I started to teach myself how to bake to be a more well-rounded foodie, it reminded me of being a kid and building those model two inch soldiers. At the time, I was baking in my apartment on 13th and Belmont for fun. I would try out different recipes and baked cakes for people's birthdays or to bring into work. Through that, I got a lot of feedback on my stuff and it was a nice way to share my creativity.
"About ten years ago, I decided to leave my job and do this full-time. Before opening the first store on U Street, I ran the business out of the kitchen in what is now Saint Ex. It was a little bit of a rocky road at first, and I remember having a panic attack four days into it, as the decision to leave my job settled in. But, that passed and things worked out, thanks in part to people who helped me along the way.
"People used to ask me all of the time if I really wanted to turn my passion into a job. Of course I did. I loved all of the work connected to the bakery and felt like I was finally tapping into the things I was really good at and passionate about. Every inch of this business is literally covered with my blood, sweat, and tears. I have been touched by people who find my story inspiring. I never planned for things to turn out like this. I just wanted to do something that I liked and make more money than I was spending. In truth, I took a lot of risks at the time because I didn't fully recognize how risky they were. But things worked out and I found that opening a small business was one of the best ways to really see how this country really works.
"I really think that people should be more entrepreneurial about their own future. We need to encourage kids from a young age to be more artistic and entrepreneurial, so when they get older, they feel encouraged to take risks. Our community would be so much richer if people exercised their real talents and passions. We all should leave this world with little regrets.
"I hope that the world is a little richer and sweeter because of Cakelove."
Warren Brown is the founder and owner of Cakelove.