Mallory Webb dreams in layers of cake at Daughters Baking
Updated: Sep 19, 2019
The name of Mallory Webb’s business is Daughters Baking. Though subtle, Webb feels the name nicely captures a relationship in her life which she considers to be most essential. Namely, her relationship with God.
Had it not been for her faith, or her church community, Webb feels that she could not have gotten so far in her business.
“I feel like I’m led every morning.”
And what she’s led to do is baking. “Part of the reason I love baking so much is because it makes people happy…it adds lightness to peoples’ lives.”
While Daughters Baking is not a traditional ministry, Webb wants her business to eventually reach far beyond just weddings and birthdays. Webb would like for Daughters Baking to one day address issues like local and world hunger.
“I feel like I’m led every morning.”
Her journey started in the back corner of an old culinary school, where Webb finally found her first private kitchen.
Webb started Daughters Bakery several years ago after she had been the head baker at Urban Standard for several years. She started at Urban Standard in order to help her pay for her degree at Samford, where she majored in sociology and religious studies.
“[Urban Standard] let me do whatever I wanted. So I just started teaching myself different things.”
Although she was studying religion and sociology, she found herself falling in love more and more with the art of baking.
She began baking her own cakes at home, and once told her friend of her idea to sell them.
That same friend soon became her first customer.
As Webb’s reputation of her tasty sweets grew, an entire community of customers opened up in her church, her friend group, and even Urban Standard. Webb was soon overflowing with orders, and decided to go part-time at Urban. It wasn’t long before Webb eventually went full-time – for herself.
Webb then went on to establish a business relationship with an Italian restaurant in Birmingham named Gianmarco’s. Webb now sells her cakes to them wholesale.
Eventually, Webb began doing everything from weddings to birthdays to personal orders. Before she knew it, she was saving up for her own kitchen space and looking to hire help.
Every couple of months, Webb will write out her plans, goals, and projections.
“I allow myself to dream. I think I planned out on paper several months ago everything that I have now.”
A couple of months before this interview was done, Webb didn’t even have a kitchen, and having an assistant was still simply a goal.
Yet here she sat, in her own kitchen, watching while another young baker arranged and crafted beautiful, personal-sized cakes. They were filled with white cream, sugary cookie crumbles. It was difficult to merely watch.
Webb feels that this process of leaving Urban and becoming her own boss has been a challenging yet inspiring one. She knows that she has grown immensely since the journey started.
“I feel like I’ve changed so much within the past eight years. I used to be so timid.” Webb feels like owning a business and letting herself dream has really helped her to open up and become more confident. “You can’t hide when you own a business.”
“Making [naked cakes] uses a whole different part of your brain. They are more forgiving and experimental.”
However, Webb doesn’t think that she could’ve done this on her own. “I feel like people have really believed in me during this whole process.”
Another thing which has undoubtedly contributed to Webb’s success is her calm and faithful disposition. Webb is not strict about form and tradition when it comes to baking. Instead, Webb considers herself to be much more guided by tastes and textures.
Her most famous are called “naked cakes,” because they are notably without an external layer of icing. You can see each individual layer and the creamy glue which holds them together. They are rustic, yet Webb always makes them look elegant. Not to mention that they are absolutely delicious.
“Making [naked cakes] uses a whole different part of your brain. They are more forgiving and experimental.” Naked cakes, unlike traditional cakes, aren’t focused on perfect edges or perfect details. They are about flavor, texture, and achieving a rustic look and feel. It looks like something that’s meant to be eaten, shared, and enjoyed, rather than photographed or kept in a glass case. In this way, the cakes embody the part about baking which Webb loves most - when people come together to enjoy something delicious.
If Webb had any advice to give, it would be this: Take risks. Take one small risk after the other, and don’t think about it in a large scale. Simply ask: what’s the next step I can take to get me closer to my goal? Allow yourself to dream.
Webb believes that when each of us takes the time to really think and consider what it is that we want in this life, we will find the answers. And these answers should push us through every single day, and we have to live in their certainty.
“I don’t feel like I can fail. I feel like this is my calling.”
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