Out Of the Kitchen and Into Our Hearts: Sweet Jalane’s
August 21, 2017
It’s hard to find support for your ideas, especially when you’re just starting out on your creative endeavors. We’re lucky to share a city with selfless supporters like StartUP FIU and their food incubator program, responsible for helping dozens of local culinary start-ups find their ground and hit it running. In anticipation of heir Food for Thought event on the 30th, we’re spotlighting some of their compelling food entrepreneurs and telling their passionate stories starting with Sherronda Daye and her delicious brand of homemade desserts: Sweet Jalane’s.
Prism: So why baked goods? Was baking a big part of your life growing up?
After losing my job, I was overcome with feelings of sadness, failure, and hopelessness. As many people in life can attest to, whenever we experience a bad day, most likely we turn to ice cream, cookies, or cake to over indulge in and make us feel “better”. Well, one day I was feeling pretty bad and I decided to bake. I must’ve baked cakes, cupcakes, cookies and a pie. When I finished and I looked around, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. My grandmother, aunts, and god mothers were/are great cooks, who instilled the love of cooking in me. And while those roots play a significant part of who I am in the kitchen, but the truth is, baking is a gift that I used to bake my way through the darkest period of my life….and because of it, I survived.
P: What are some of your favorite items to make and where did you come up with the recipes?
One of my absolute favorite things to bake is gonna have to be my bread pudding. My mother was from Lake Charles Louisiana, bread pudding and Louisiana are synonymous. Some of my fondest memories are the flavors of Louisiana that I experienced growing up and spending significant time there. Bread pudding allows me to fuse together my Louisiana roots with my love for great flavor combinations. My white chocolate and praline bread pudding was created from my love of both of those ingredients. So, why not combine them all together to make one heck of a flavor explosion?
P: Where are you at now in your business? Do you feel a sense of growth and pride and comfort?
Right now, we are in a great place of growth and expansion. Supplying one of the largest Food Service operations (Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, and UM) with a full line of our baked goods is a great place for a small business like mine to be in. We get to sustain a great sense of pride in knowing that hundreds of people get to enjoy a sweet moment in their day one bite at a time thanks to us.
P: Do your children help at all with the business i.e. is this a family thing?
My 7 year old, AvaMonet makes videos mimicking me and can crack an egg pretty darn good! My oldest, Danisha, who is now in college, has helped me since the inception of this business. Before heading off to college, she was the best box maker ever! Seriously, my children help me in this business everyday. They help me by continuing to be my inspiration for it all. You see, my children will never have to worry about what they will do if they ever lost their way in this world. Because Sweet Jalane, their grandmother, by way of their mother, will always provide a place of encouragement, opportunity and employment.
P: How has StartUP FIU helped your business grow and take off?
StartUP FIU Food has been a blessing from God! They have helped me with the back office business structure that any business needs to have in order to be successful. They are equipping me with the knowledge, tools, and resources necessary to be successful. Truthfully, they came along at the right time and fortified my business. And for that I am eternally grateful.
P: Where do you see Sweet Jalane being in the future? Do you want to go national or stay local?
The future for us looks pretty SWEET. My mother, Sherron Jalane, was one of the sweetest people I know. When she passed, people from all over this nation sent condolences, flowers, and tokens of love to express what she meant to them. She helped people everywhere she went in this world. Sweet Jalane’s would be doing her a disfavor by simply remaining a “local” confectionery. Sweet Jalane’s will be a nationwide brand that is known for sweetening people’s lives one bite at a time.