Joliet, IL—Step into the enchanting world of flavors and indulge your taste buds in a delightful selection of unique desserts crafted with love and creativity by Vikki Brown, affectionately known as the Cupcake Lady or Chef Vikki. As the proud owner of Queen Cupcakes and Litty Bartender, Vikki Brown has made extraordinary strides in the baking industry since 2015, serving the Joliet area with her delicious creations.
“I always had a love for the kitchen,” says Brown. “It’s the place where I feel the safest, the place where I have the most memories, the place where I can lay everything on the line and know I’ve given every dish my all.”
Vikki’s passion for baking ignited during her childhood when she discovered the magic of the kitchen by watching her grandmother, Ida Kaiser, use the power of food to create love. “There may not have been much she could give, but her cakes and food were her love language, and that is where my passion began,” Vikki reminisces. “Seeing how people would close their eyes when they bit into my grandmother’s pound cakes made me realize that food is about more than just feeding someone; it’s a way to carry your legacy. My grandmother is long gone, but I can still taste the love in her cakes, and I want to spread that love to my city and eventually the world.”
“Food is about more than just feeding someone; it’s a way to carry your legacy,” -Vikki Brown
Initially, Vikki kept her baking talents confined to her inner circle of family and friends. “My family and friends would tell me I need to sell my cakes,” Vikki recalls. “But I would brush it off like, who’s going to buy my food? Why would they want my food? I’m not that good.”
However, everything changed in 2015 when she mustered the courage to share her stuffed red velvet cupcake recipe on social media. Little did she know that this leap of faith would begin her remarkable journey as the Cupcake Lady. With her first customer, Karshena Brown, Vikki embarked on a path that would not only shatter her self-doubts but also establish her as a force in the bakery world.
When asked what sets her desserts apart, Vikki confidently declares herself a risk-taker regarding flavors. She fearlessly explores uncharted territories, melding ingredients that one wouldn’t typically associate together. As a result, her unique creations tantalize the taste buds and leave a lasting impression on customers.
“I am a risk-taker when it comes to flavor choices. I love to explore the unknown of different flavors I’ve never heard of existing together. My admiration for different flavors makes my desserts unique and intriguing to my customer base,” Vikki explains.
Quality and freshness are paramount to Vikki’s culinary philosophy. Believing in the luxury of freshly baked goods, she ensures that everything she creates is made with the utmost care and attention. As a result, cakes and cheesecakes are always a day old before they reach the customer’s hands, and all other treats are baked on the same day.
“I believe in FRESH BAKED,” says Vikki Brown. “Everything must be baked fresh. Cakes/cheesecakes are made one day before service with proper storage, and everything else is baked the same day, very early in the morning. I wake my neighbors up with the smell of fresh-baked goods,” Vikki emphasizes.
Moreover, Vikki’s commitment to inclusivity shines through her ability to accommodate various dietary requests. Whether vegan, gluten-free, keto, sugar-free, or specific allergens, she has an extensive repertoire of recipes catering to diverse needs.
As a proud black-owned business owner, Vikki Brown has faced her fair share of challenges. Operating solely from her pocket has taught her the importance of budgeting and planning for busy and slow periods. She understands the significance of balancing finances and ensuring a sustainable business model while pursuing her dream and creating a legacy for her son.
“My business is 100% out of pocket, and that’s my biggest challenge so far. Learning how to balance and save is key! You don’t want to spend if you don’t have to because you must be prepared for those slow days or months. Plus, your bills do not stop just because you had a slow month. So I had to learn to budget so I’m not living in the red every month.” Vikki shares.
Vikki’s eyes light up with gratitude when asked about the best advice she has received during her journey. “The best advice I’ve received is from my mom, telling me to ‘stay humble.’ My partner always encourages me by saying, ‘Baby, you can do this.’ And my son, with his sweet words of ‘Good job, Mama.’ Additionally, my favorite cake influencer Kake King (Jeromie Jones), encourages us to ‘start somewhere and trust God!'”
Inspirational and driven, Vikki Brown encourages aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those who wish to follow in her footsteps. With unwavering belief and passion, she empowers them to overcome self-doubt and embrace their true potential.
“You are enough, and you can do this! That doubt, embrace it momentarily, then say goodbye to it like it never existed! You’re inspiring someone with every foot you put forward, they are watching, and they are rooting for you, and so am I,” Vikki’s voice resonates with conviction. “Don’t be discouraged on those slow days; spend that time developing a new strategy because you’ll never stop developing new ways to bring in income! Make time for yourself, don’t overwhelm yourself, take a break, pace out your time, make a schedule, and stick to it. Be consistent!”
As Vikki Brown continues to innovate and inspire with her unique flavors and unwavering dedication, she invites the community to join her at upcoming events, such as her on-the-spot bartending at Food Truck Fridays on June 9th, 16th, and 23rd. She also plans to celebrate her birthday in June by giving away a free custom-designed cake, with details to be announced on her Facebook page.
Note: Live From The 815 goes live every Friday at 4pm.
Don’t miss the chance to be part of the thriving food creator community by contacting Vikki at Vikki@foodtoktv.com