From lawyer to baker: Lessons on passion, listening and cake with Warren Brown

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If you had been a fellow passenger on the Green Line train in Washington DC, looking at handsome young lawyer Warren Brown staring out the window, you may have thought he was composing his next great novel, or thinking about scaling Mt. Everest. Instead, he was formulating a new recipe for chocolate cake:

“Dry chocolate cake is a no-no not to be tolerated. So I thought of coming at it from a unconventional angle. I decided to not use butter and boiled water in the batter, but use cream instead to deliver hydration and fat to the cake simultaneously. I scribbled the hypothesis on a notepad, raced off the train, mixed and panned the batter within twenty minutes, and use the same recipe to this day. It’s the New German Chocolate cake, where cream and cocoa combine to make a dense chocolaty cake that is paired with a coconut & vanilla infused buttercream.”

Warren’s cake dreams turned into a baking “side hustle,” which occupied all of his time outside of his busy law career. He slowly built his baking business to the point where he was able to quit his day job and open a bakery, Cake Love, in Washington D.C. Fast forward nine years and Cake Love has seven locations, and Warren has written two books, Cake Love: How to bake cakes from scratch, and United Cakes of America, with a third in the works.

Listen in on our 40-minute podcast where Warren discusses the hard work required to turn a passion into a business, and a start-up into a solid brand, and why entrepreneurs have to be a bit crazy if they want to succeed.

Find Cake Love here, follow the store on Twitter @cakeloveinfo and Warren @cakelovewarren .

You can see more of Warren in action in the short ad that my friend Erik Proulx (of Lemonade fame) recently did for Dell Computer: (YouTube link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPN2br5YY4g)

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9 Responses to “From lawyer to baker: Lessons on passion, listening and cake with Warren Brown”

  1. Tamara says:

    I too have followed Warren Brown since he first appeared on the Food Network’s show “Recipe for Success” to his own show Sugar Rush. His story is very encouraging to an aspiring entrepreneur like myself!

  2. Angela says:

    Loved this interview. I have frequented Cake Love a few times while visiting VA and love CakeLove. This interview made me fall in love with the company even more. I appreciated the rawness and honesty of Warren’s story. Great interview Pam!!

  3. Sounds like some damned good cake. I’m going to go buy his book now.

    Mmm. Cake.

  4. Richard says:

    I’ve been following Warren’s story for years. He’s a real inspiration. In some ways I’d like to create a model similar to his but with a focus on carpentry and furniture.

  5. M. A. Tohami says:

    Warren’s story is another proof that we can connect our passion – no matter what it is – to a highly profitable path.

    Any passion – ANY – can be turned into a profitable business.

  6. Rob says:

    I watched the short video, really cool! Even if you don’t want to be an entrepreneur, just looking at the cakes is worth it, yum!

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  8. Lexi Rodrigo says:

    Yet another inspiring story, Pam, thanks for sharing! I’m off to buy Warren’s “Cake Love: How to Bake Cakes from Scratch.” I love to bake for my loved ones, but would never dream of turning it into a business though.

  9. Riya Sam says:

    Hi Pam,

    Very Interesting story, this story truly shows that when one is passionate about something, success follows. With the amount of hard work Warren Brown has put in to his business is a sure sign of the dedication that is required to make any small business succeed in the long run. Quiet motivational. Thanks for sharing!

    Riya Sam
    Training for Entrepreneurs.com

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