Vegan chef Chantele Jones will hold a grand opening celebration for her brick-and-mortar vegan bakery on Sunday. The mother of four is bringing Estella’s Vegan Dessert Boutique to the Grand River Workplace. According to Crain’s Detroit Business, Chantele’s bakery is the first black-owned vegan bakery in Detroit. She gives credit to her grandmother for teaching her how to bake her first pie.
“I feel like I’m paying tribute to my family,” Chantele told Crain’s Detroit Business. “My mom and grandma both bake. All of their dreams, I’m taking them to the next level. I feel really thankful.”
Chantele gave birth to her fourth child this year but that hasn’t stopped her grind. In August, she reported that the lease was signed for her new bakery.
“We signed our lease!” Chantelle wrote on Instagram in August. “Get ready Grandmont-Rosdale, Estella’s Vegan Dessert Boutique is opening this October inside Grand River Workplace and we’re bringing some of the best vegan desserts in the city.”
Chantele is ready to give Detroit her best family recipes at her new location. She offers banana pudding, cookies, sweet potato pies, and peach cobbler. Her vegan pound cakes have created a buzz in the community. She’s offering four different flavors, including lemon, chocolate turtle, red velvet, and strawberry crunch. You can also find seasonal items on the menu.
“Baking is in my blood—from my grandma Estella, to my mother Jeroelynn—I grew up watching them in the kitchen turn heaps of flour into delicious pastries,” Chantele told VegNews. [When I was] six years old, my grandma taught me how to bake my first cherry pie, and my mother taught me how to make her infamous pound cake. After I mastered it, I started selling it by the slice in high school as a side hustle. This is the same pound cake recipe I use today, only veganized.”
After battling health issues, Chantele transitioned to a plant-based diet. Now, she educates others about the power of food. She’s offered group culinary classes and participated in many plant-based pop-ups to spread the word.
“My journey has really been a journey of unlearning unhealthy habits and that has led me to my mission of helping people start their own journeys to better health,” Chantele shared on Instagram. ” I’m also determined to destroy the negative stereotypes associated against vegans and our food- one meal and pastry at a time.”
Chantele knew that she wanted to expand her business one day. She entered into pitch competitions to secure funding for her business idea. She’s secured $11,000 from grants and competitions to turn her bakery business into a brick-and-mortar establishment. She’s competed in the TechTown Detroit Retail Bootcamp and the Detroit Rebrand Black Pitch Competition. She was the grand prize winner of the National Entrepreneur’s Association and Dell Technologies National Virtual Pitch Contest.
This summer, Chantele was selected as small business of the week during a viewer’s favorite vote hosted by The Cackle.
One supporter said, “Chantele is a beautiful woman, mother, and wife. She takes care of her four children, her home, and runs a business all at the same time! There is no one more deserving of this grant then her! Her drive is insurmountable. She never quits!! Her business is honor-worthy. I’ve never had vegan desserts/cuisines that taste more amazing than hers. The world needs to know her name and her work. This financial increase will help to push her dream forward.”
Now, Chantele is a top ten finalist list for the Michigan Women Forward’s 53 Voices Pitch Challenge. She’s bringing her family’s culinary vision to life one pitch competition at a time.