Hot Mama Chronicles Podcast - Karen Clarke - Clarke's Cakes and Cookies
Karen Clarke is a quiet power. Clarke is the Founder and Head Baker of Clarke's Cakes and Cookies. She talked about her early beginnings coming from Honduras and spoke about how her mom would make tacos, pina coladas, taquitos among other comfort foods on Hot Mama Chronicles.
Her foray into a healthy lifestyle began as a young woman when she would experience painful monthly period cramps. She began to research and read that in order to reduce the pain, avoid caffeine, fried foods, red meat and chocolate.
While it was difficult, she cut out the bacon, the French fries, potato chips and other foods. She noticed immediate weight loss and had smoother skin. Then Karen went on a fast from red meat for a month. That's how she stumbled into being a vegetarian.
She began to notice how her body became more clear and became more aware about what she was putting in her body. For a period of time, she would have a bout with laryngitis until she connected the dots that it was brought on by dairy. At this point she had become a wife and a mom of two. Then her husband encouraged her to go vegan and get into baking. Her curiosity peaked as she began to ponder how to bake without no egg.
She continued to experiment with different recipes sharing her creations with friends and family. She garnered feedback from her tias and sons. When they would say, that's good, she knew she would have to try again. It took time, effort and perseverance. With encouragement from her husband, they went to Commonwealth Kitchen and applied for their program. Commonwealth Kitchen is a kitchen incubator. They give entrepreneurs the tools, connections and backing to help create their business.
When she brought her treats to Commonwealth Kitchen, she was surprised that they liked her treats. Her brick and mortar treats can be found at 196 Quincy Street in Dorchester. She grew up in Cambridge but when she first arrived to Massachusetts her family stayed right next to where the business is now. What a full circle moment!
During the pandemic, Clarke's Cakes and Cookies have been out at events and can be found at eateries like Café Juice Up, farmer markets in Natick on Saturdays 9 am to 1 pm, Natick nights 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Fresh Generation Foods and Lexington Community Farm. They will be partnering with The Bagel Table and Union Sq. Donuts for the next two months as a 'Pop-up'.
As she feeds and bakes these goods, Clarke is fed by the warmth of her loved ones. She could be eating peanuts, chips or a nice dinner but the people make the moment special. She shared that hot mamas are made and that they evolve like seasons. Before we closed, she shared so many gems.
1. Surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams and goals.
2. Be intentional. Put a plan down and try to figure how to get from here to there.
3. Be willing to learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others.
4. Keep it simple.
5. Take the experiences of your past to prepare you for your future.
Words to live by. It was an honor to speak to speak to Karen and hear her story. It was great to close out the third season with this amazing entrepreneur on the rise.
Please listen to the podcast available on all podcasting platforms. Follow Clarke's Cakes and Cookies on the following social media handles: