On Episode 11 of Steve Harvey’s Funderdome, Lateshia Dowell pitched her business, Flaky Bakes—a metro Detroit home-based, delivery-only, cookie company specializing in piekies (pie cookies)—in the Funderdome.
(Steve Harvey and Flaky Bakes CEO Lateshia Dowell on Funderdome. Image: The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lisa Rose))
On the show, entrepreneurs pitch in a head-to-head competition to “The Funderdome” (a live studio audience) for the chance to win up to $100K in capital. The pitch that gets the most votes wins the money. Before the winner is announced, both competitors get the chance to “cash out” for a lower sum of money.
Brandon Andrews of Values Partnerships caught up with Dowell to talk about her appearance on Funderdome and her business.
How did you start your business? Tell us the Flaky Bakes story.
My grandmother passed away in 2009 from cancer and she was a baker, not by trade but by passion. She made cakes and there was always a cake at her house whenever you went over. When she died, she didn’t leave any recipes. So, she was gone and the cake was gone. You’d never think something as simple as a cake would mean so much to you, but it did.
I remember going to a restaurant and trying a cake and instantly being brought to tears because it tasted identical to my grandmother’s cake. Food is one of the only things that can evoke that type of emotion. I never thought it was until my grandmother died and I didn’t have that cake anymore. And that’s why I started Flaky Bakes, I wanted to give people that same emotion. I wanted them to remember how they felt when they tried something I made.