Above: Crumble & Whisk’s strawberry cake
Windows were broken, store doors knocked down, violent rifts between protestors and police ensued, marchers chanted, drivers honked. Black squares on Instagram went up, calls to congress were made, promises by companies for more diversity publicized. This time around, Black Lives were finally going to Matter.
The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Tayor, and Ahmaud Arbery sounded an alarm and awoke America’s sleepy subconscious with a vengeance. Organized marches across the globe grew larger as cries within the crowds became louder.
And for professional bakers, there was a sweeter side of justice.
From June 15 – 20, 2020, bakers across the nation got together virtually to coordinate #BakersAgainstRacism for their customers. Pre-sale orders were taken throughout the week with a pickup on the last day of the campaign. Profits were donated to local nonprofits working to make racism a thing of the past.
Bakers rolled dough or filled cups of sugar with a new purpose. They were bakers against racism, after all. Eager customers lined up around the block not only to get their hands on coveted pastries, but “to take a stand against racism, facism, and the unjust treatment of Black people in America.” Most baked goods sold out quickly.
One baker involved was owner and head chef of Crumble & Whisk, Charles Farriér.
Chef Farriér contributed chocolate chip cookies to “The Anti-Racism Box,” which included an assortment of pastries created by other professional and popular Bay Area bakers. His specific bake sale benefited the Hidden Genius Project, a program that supports Black male youths in the Oakland area with techie, business and leadership skills.
Getting involved in, as Farriér puts it, “The sweeter side of justice,” was memorable because he was able to network with prospective clients. Plus, he saw a lift in sales.
Crumble & Whisk™
Chef Farriér puts forth meticulous detail in whisking together creamy and trendy cheesecakes with a crumbly bottom each day at Crumble & Whisk, hence the name.
Farriér, who grew up baking and cooking thanks to loving encouragement from his father, has been creating flavors like Goat Cheese & Herbs, Green Tea and Avocado and Pucker Up! Lemon at his gourmet cheesecake bakery since 2013.
What sets Crumble & Whisk apart is their offerings of gluten-free and vegan options. All ingredients used are purchased by vendors across the Bay Area and Napa Valley.
Support Black-Owned Everything
If there was ever a time to support Black-owned businesses and bakeries, it’s today and tomorrow.
For those wanting to support Black-owned bakeries like Crumble & Whisk, “If you’re going to support, support genuinely,” says Chef Farriér. “I don’t want people to jump on the bandwagon and jump off when the train stops.”
Farriér explains how Black-owned businesses have just as much talent as their white small business owner counterparts but more often than not, less funding to take their plans to the next level.
Support small businesses in your neighborhood, no matter the race of the business owner, explains Chef Farriér. Many of us are eating at home more these days. Shopping locally not only furthers the longevity of a small business, but can help save it.
Before the pandemic, Farriér had a long list of weddings, festivals and parties to cater. He and his team of bakers were almost ready to release new pasty items just as California’s lockdown started.
Now, catering sales have been put to a halt altogether since large gatherings are restricted. Most of the chef’s sales come from weekend farmers markets around the Bay Area (a schedule can be found here).
Shopping locally gives small business owners the resources to take on more business ideas and employees. The end product? Thriving local economies happening at the same time everywhere.
To help make that vision become a reality, Chef Farriér is mentoring the next generation of professional cooks and bakers. He coaches young adults on building an impactful career in the food industry. He’s also hoping to employ those who are homeless.
Farriér envisions Crumble & Whisk as a franchise in every city across the country. Like a true business owner, he has many more ambitions up his chef sleeves.
Being a regular customer to a Black-owned business means putting your money where it counts. Ordering from a Black-owned bakery like Crumble & Whisk is a light-hearted way to take part in the sweeter side of justice.
Besides, take it from Farriér himself: “Everyone loves cheesecake.”