No, Monique Outerbridge is not Gwen, but she’ll answer to that name when you come to buy her delicious baked goods. After all, Gwen is the entire reason why she’s baking in the first place.
Monique begin baking as a hobby to help with the grieving process of losing her mother Gwen. As she healed, Monique began the journey of creating a business to pay an honor to the two women who brought people together through their desserts.
The name Velvet Cakes by Gwen holds the legacy of two talented bakers in the family. Monique’s mother Gwen and her grandmother Velvet. Monique is a third generation family baker, who is keeping her mother’s and grandmother’s legacy alive through their recipes.
The genesis of Monique’s culinary masterpiece business lies with Velvet, who passed down her unique creations to Gwen. Those baked goods became part of the family’s tapestry, with Monique learning those secrets from her mother and not a gathering going by without Gwen and Velvet’s famous coconut cake on the table.
When Gwen, who herself aspired to be a food entrepreneur, was diagnosed with a terminal illness, Monique convinced her to pass down her creations, and from there a family legacy would rise.
Monique's first cake was a pound cake, the family recipe began her passion for baking. Once Monique received the special recipe book prepared by her mother, she began baking pound cakes and sharing them with friends and even surprising her coworkers with these special sweet treats. Her friends and coworkers’ rave reviews inspired Monique to continue on her path.
Over the years, Monique has perfected her talent for cake decorating to add flare to the culinary sweet creations. Her custom cakes and desserts have been featured in Munaluchi Online magazine and K.I.S.H. Magazine. She has even won a few first place contest for best tasting cakes and desserts.
Monique’s clientele has grown alongside her aspirations. From the limited special orders to creating boutique pop-up shops at Christiana Mall, she has challenged herself, even during a pandemic, to say “yes” to all opportunities. Even the ones that scare her a little.
But, of course, Monique is not alone in her journey. With every Velvet Cake by Gwen, she, her mother and her grandmother invite you to try a confection that is baked with creativity, passion, healing, and most of all, love.
For more information on the Kitchen Collective’s mission, partner organizations, and other resources, visit them online at www.wilmingtonkitchencollective.com