Kayisha Thompson was born in Brooklyn, but she grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens. The community there was Caribbean. Her dad is Jamaican and her mom is Cuban.
“I grew up in a household where I was enmeshed in the culture, specifically the Jamaican culture, and you know, for the holidays we have traditions,” she said.
This Caribbean upbringing influenced Thompson, leading her to establish her cake catering company, De L’ or Cakery.
“When I decided to establish De L’or Cakery, I had just moved back from Atlanta Georgia to New York. The business — I started it in Georgia — but most of my clientele and supporters were based home, back in Brooklyn,” she stated.
She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, now and she loves it because the neighborhood is quiet.
She adds that there are lots of different stores and restaurants, and gourmet shops that sell gourmet ingredients she can explore. She feels like she is connecting back to her roots being in Brooklyn.
Last year, Thompson won the Future Collective grant for participating in the Future Collective for Black-Owned Businesses program, created by online marketplace Fiverr. The program aims to support Black entrepreneurs looking to take their businesses to the next level.
It was created alongside 1863 Ventures, an independent, Black-led nonprofit organization that delivers business development programs designed to bridge the gap between entrepreneurship and equality.
Applications for the second iteration of the Future Collective program are now open. Each of the 10 Future Collective fellows selected for this year’s cohort will receive $24K in funding from Fiverr through a combination of Fiverr credits and a cash grant. They will also be placed in an accelerator program organized and orchestrated by 1863 Ventures, and they will receive regular mentorship and guidance from Fiverr.
Prior to applying to the program, Thompson took a step back, asking herself how she can uniquely stand out from other bakers.
“That’s when I started to infuse my desserts with spices and flavors from the Caribbean,” she continued. This is what influenced her cookie mix and cookie jar product lines.
Furthermore, Thompson stated that winning the grant has been her biggest success because it allowed her to grow her social media presence and get more customers. “More companies reached out to me after I received the grant, to pitch their products and do product reviews on my social pages,” she added. Her short term goal is to continue growing in both of these areas, and to have a physical location for the bakery open long term.
She sees more of a trend than a challenge in the industry, due to the pandemic. “People are really open to going out of their way and spending money on what is organic and natural,” she said.
Thompson believes people should support De’Lor Cakery because “your health is more valuable than gold. All our products are made with clean, sustainable, organic, and premium ingredients.”
Thompson is a believer in giving back to your community, and that is why she wants the physical location of her bakery to have an educational component to it. She wants “to work with youth that were formerly incarcerated and who are interested in the baking and culinary field. I want them to come and learn from me.”
Business owners who are interested can apply for the Future Collective program at https://pages.fiverr.com/futurecollective/home.
Cakes can be ordered from De’Lor Cakery online at https://delorcakery.com/store/. Interested persons can also support by following the company on its social media, which can be found on its website, https://delorcakery.com/#welcome.