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Meet Mark Linen of Brotha Bakes in Sugar Land

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Linen.

Mark, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My passion for baking started as a child when I would sit at the edge of the kitchen while my mom baked delicious treats for us. My favorite was her red velvet cake. I would pay attention to all the little details she would make as she baked. I was amazed by how sugar, eggs, flour and a few other ingredients could create something so delicious. Fast forward to many, many years later, my sister and I got older and started moving away. My mom stopped baking as much (my dad and younger brother weren’t too thrilled) since there were less people in the house. She would still bake on holidays and special occasions. I remember my wife and I going home for a holiday, probably Thanksgiving and eating some cake that was at my parents’ house. We of course assumed it was my mom’s, but after tasting it, we looked at each other puzzled. So I asked my mom if she baked it, and she didn’t. A part of my childhood died that day. Now that I couldn’t get my cake fix from my mom, I decided to get it from myself. I researched different recipes trying to find ones that seemed close to what I remember her baking. I got my ingredients, went to the kitchen and started going to work. Turns out, I remembered enough of what she did and created something special. The reaction to my cake was so good that I decided to try a few other recipes. I nailed them all! I fell in love with baking and I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s my passion and that passion reflects in everything I bake.

Has it been a smooth road?
The transition to being a full-time baker is ongoing and quite the learning experience but I’m loving every step of the way. I still have my day job as a delivery driver as I grow Brotha Bakes so finding time to do everything I want to do can be a challenge some times.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Brotha Bakes story. Tell us more about the business.
Brotha Bakes is an online bakery serving up some of the greatest tasting cakes you can find in a jar. We feature flavors such as Red Velvet, Carrot, German Chocolate and many more. We even offer full-size cakes (and jar cakes too) locally in the Houston area. We are known for our taste. The reaction we get from everyone that has tried our cakes has been overwhelming. So many people have told us it’s the best tasting cake that they have ever had. We’ve been even told that our cakes are better than the ones their grandmother used to make. We are very proud of that and completely humbled but these kind words. The taste is definitely something that sets us apart, but we have a bit of an urban flair to our cakes. We incorporate African American culture into the names of our products. For example, our Red Velvet cake is named Reddie Murphy, Banana Pudding cake is Banana Ross, Mariah Carrot is our Carrot cake and so on.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The world has been eating cakes and sweets pretty much from the beginning of time. I see our industry continue to grow as people continue to indulge in desserts. But we also see the needs to be inclusive and have already introduced a vegan cinnamon cake (Russell Cinnamon) and we continue to experiment with other plant-based creations.

Pricing:

  • Our cake jars start at about $7 each
  • Our full size cakes start at $59.99

Contact Info:

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