Hart Lift recipient and BP Cuisine & Pastry Owner Nadia Brown turned her passion for cake baking and decorating into a unique Jamaican restaurant and bakery on Main Street in Hartford. MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price spoke with Nadia about choosing her business location and her involvement with the Hartford Chamber of Commerce.
NAN PRICE: When and why did you start your business?
NADIA BROWN: I always had a passion for baking and doing cake decoration. Over the years, I made a few things for family members. In 2017, while I was anxiously awaiting the birth of our daughter, I did some research and decided to sign up for a cake baking class to expand my skills.
I remember calling my husband to let him know I was thinking of taking the class. He was encouraging but also thought I should wait until after the baby was born. I told him, I’d been waiting almost the entire nine months. I knew I was big, but I also knew I could do anything I put my mind to. I also figured baking and decorating would be something I could continue to do at home even after the baby arrived.
After she was born, I continued making cakes for family members and friends and more people were interested in them. So, right before the pandemic, my husband and I decided to get a storefront location where we could do more, and I could put myself out there and make people more aware of my skills. Because of the pandemic, we ended waited a bit and eventually we found a place and opened April 30, 2022.
NAN: Why did you choose to locate the bakery in Hartford?
NADIA: We live in Hartford. I love the Hartford environment and the people. So, we decided to make sure to look at places for our storefront in Hartford.
NAN: Why did you become a member of the Hartford Chamber of Commerce?
NADIA: My real estate agent connected me with Executive Director Julio Concepción and said I should join the Chamber because there’s a lot of networking and activities that can help our business grow. She also encouraged us to apply for the Hart Lift funding.
NAN: What’s next?
NADIA: I’m still in the learning process of even being a business owner. I’m taking baby steps and I’m excited to learn new things and be out there.
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