Jodycakes' Jody Stevens is organizing the Houston branch to an international project aimed at fighting depression. Emma Thomas (Miss Cakehead) came up with the idea of a baked goods pop-up in the UK, where cities' restaurants and bakeries would create gray baked goods — cupcakes and pastries that we usually associate with bright colors — and sell them to benefit health institutions and organizations aimed at aiding those who are dealing with depression. Stevens said that upon seeing Kat Kinsman's CNN report on Miss Cakehead's campaign, she was immediately intent on adding Houston to the list of participating cities. "It seems like a fun but unlikely fundraising idea for depression, especially seeing dark-hued desserts and treats," Stevens tells Eater. "This is an awesome platform for local and professional bakers and chefs to take something so unaesthetic as the color gray and making it beautiful!"
The local restaurants and bakeries that are lending their talent to the cause are: Uchi, Triniti, The Pass & Provisions, Brooklyn Athletic Club, Bar Boheme, Eatsie Boys, Americas, Paulie's, Phoenicia Specialty Foods, along with Hell's Kitchen's Ja'Nel Witt and of course Jodycakes' Stevens. These participants will be coming up with unique, somber-looking sweets to raffle off. Stevens and Immersioncy Marketing + PR's Dutch Small will host a bake sale to help raise funds on September 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Paulie's. All proceeds from the sale, raffle and any other Depressed Cake Shop-raised funds will go directly to The Montrose Center, a local organization that helps those battling behavioral and mental issues. Apart from raising funds and awareness, this collaboration also strives to remove the stigma that's often associated with depression.
In a public note on Facebook, Stevens opens up about why she took this project on, and what it means to her:
I, personally, grew up with a father that was severely affected with clinical depression spurred by PTSD from Vietnam. We never really talked about it...there were just times that a heavy, gray cloud loomed over our household. There were times that he "went away" and things would be better for awhile, but as I've learned depression doesn't just go away. We would simply go through the motions and hope for him to feel better. One of the worst moments in my life, was having him call me while he was on a business trip to tell me how much he loved me and to take care of my mother...it was his intention that evening to end his own life. I'm not sure what stopped him but I am grateful that after that incident he sought help and they put him on medication that made life bearable until the day he died, naturally.
· Raffle Tickets for The Depressed Cake Shop [Eventbrite]
· The Depressed Cake Shop [Facebook]