BATON ROUGE, LA (BRPROUD) – A Baton Rouge pastry chef is using her platform to uplift other locally owned black businesses through a cause that is sparking change across the nation.
“To wake up and do what I love everyday in of itself is a blessing.”
Amanda Schonberg is a Baton Rouge pastry chef. She’s known for her unique spin on traditional baking.
“I said you know what I really don’t want to do the traditional. How can I add on to this and play with it a little bit? So it was disaronno, vodka other spirits and cordials, and that’s how we created a whole line,” said Schonberg.
She founded Chef Schonberg Sweets back in 2015. Business has been booming ever since.
“Probably about a year in I was doing cakes for celebrities such as Gina Neely, Brian McKnight. It really just took off,” said Schonberg. “I wanted desserts that were not only infused with alcohol, but also had a feminine touch to it. So I would always use things like fresh flowers, whether they’re sourced locally or just purchased here. So anything to just give it a different edge.”
Getting to where she is today wasn’t easy, after she tragically lost her mom in a house fire.
“We lost everything. I lost my mom, the apartment,” said Schonberg.
She then had trouble finishing college.
“It was a struggle then because going to BRCC, I had to catch like three buses to get to BRCC, but I finished,” she said.
Her dream of owning a business seemed out of reach, but with help and inspiration from other local chefs, her dream became a reality.
“It’s amazing because there are a lot of doors that are open now that weren’t open back then. So especially as an African American women just having a business in itself is a blessing, and having a business that’s thriving during this time,” she said.
Today, in the midst of a global pandemic and a national movement on race and equality, she is doing her part pay it forward.
“You know, as business owners we don’t always have to use our platforms to sell. I do believe as business owners it’s also our job to serve the community,” she said.
“I thought this would be wonderful to share with my followers to raise awareness and to give back to so many prestigious organizations in the capitol city that are already doing so much in our community for African Americans. So it was really awesome for me, as a business owner, to make sure that I was represented in this and that I was able to join and just contribute,” said Schonberg.
And she’s putting her money where her mouth is.
“I start each day by supporting one myself. I’m a firm believer in you lead by example, so today I got breakfast from Cafe Jeanpierre, I have my pick up scheduled tomorrow at lunch from Chef Celeste Bistro. So it’s nice to eat your way through town and learn about all the different people and support them as well so that you pour back into those that have also poured into me,” she said.
She hopes to share a piece of the pie with other women looking to savor the last bite.
“That’s what I love about the Bakers for Black Lives. We’re putting community over competition so that we can all help one another to do something that is great than us all. Everybody has a gift and the world needs exactly what you have.”
Chef Schonberg offers virtual classes, deliveries and more. To learn more about her business visit her website.