Vegan Bakery Set to Open in Detroit 

Founder of Estella’s Vegan Dessert Boutique, Chantele Jones. 

 

Vegan options are expanding in the city of Detroit. A new specialty shop will soon open putting a spin on classic southern desserts in the process.  

 

Chantele Jones comes from a family of chefs and caterers. With memories of cooking and baking as a child, she embarked on a journey that would include pieces of her youth and a fondness for family.  

 

“Originally, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2012, and I had been previously eating vegetarian and vegan off and on. When I finally decided to get serious about my health, I found that following a plant-based vegan diet was best for my body,” says Jones.  

 

Using the knowledge developed through her own path with a vegan diet, Jones set out to develop a business that incorporated aspects of catering, cooking classes and pop-up foodie experiences. First launching under the moniker VDaLish, she began to notice their desserts were a hit during pop-ups.  

 

“Our desserts would sell out faster than our food. I really got heavy into dessert pop-ups only and, of course, being busy during the holiday season,” says Jones.  

 

Then, the pandemic struck. Causing a major disturbance to the food industry and small businesses, COVID-19 forced a shift for surviving businesses. With portions of the business affected due to gathering regulations set forth by the State, the owner began to explore growth options for the brand.  

 

“I had to figure out what I wanted to do. What was the next step for us? I really decided I wanted to get the bakery off the ground first because we don’t have that in the city of Detroit,” says Jones.  

 

Rebranding amidst the pandemic, the owner wanted to showcase more of herself through the business. With a family history rooted in culinary arts, cooking became second nature.  

 

“When I was six-years-old, my grandmother taught me how to scramble my first egg, make my first cherry pie; she was the person who really taught me everything,” says Jones.  

 

To pay homage to the women who paved the way in the kitchen, Jones decided the name needed more of a personal touch.  

 

“I decided to rebrand and name the business after my grandmother Estella, who is the person that started me cooking. Between my grandmother and my mom, cooking is really all I saw growing up,” says Jones.  

 

Now known as Estella’s Vegan Dessert Boutique, the business is on a new path complete with a location soon to open its doors. Sparked by a six-month pop-up at the Grand River Workplace, a retail space in the Grandmont-Rosedale neighborhood supporting small businesses, the desire to move into a more permanent space deepened.  

 

New to opening a storefront location, Jones began to seek assistance from various programs across the city including TechTown Detroit, a nonprofit organization that provides resources for the early development stages for small businesses and tech entrepreneurs,  

 

“They offer a program called Retail Bootcamp. It’s a 12-week program and they go through step one through 100 showing you how to open your own brick-and-mortar and run it successfully,” says Jones. “At the end, you compete in a pitch competition and I won a $5,000 dollar grant from them.” 

 

The program also provides each enrollee with a business mentor to help guide them on the way to entrepreneurship, ownership and development. 

 

“I always say if you can’t stop thinking about it, if you really have a passion for whatever your idea is, constantly stay in pursuit of it. Never give up. When I first started my business, I was selling vegan ice cream and that was in 2013. To look at all of the ups and downs, to see the growth, I’m just thankful for everything that is to come in this new chapter.” 

 

Slated to debut in Grandmont-Rosedale, Estella’s Vegan Dessert Boutique is set to welcome dessert lovers this October. For southern food fanatics, this bakery brings a country flavor to the city and serves up staple dishes in a major way.  

 

“We are a vegan bakery with a southern flair so we do have our staples; our pound cakes, our cobblers, sweet potato pie, all of those down-home classics. However, we will focus on a rotating menu and each month we will be adding things to highlight the seasons.”  

 

 

 

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