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Meet Pharren Evans of Pharytale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pharren Evans.

Pharren, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
For me art, helping others and my love of food started pretty early. I’ve always been creative. I love all things pretty, unique and full of flavor. Most people that I know would describe me as multifaceted. Food brought my family together, art always spoke to my heart and center, and helping others always felt like the right thing to do. The beauty was I was born to two amazing parents who played a role in my passions. My dad loved food and cooking. He spent weekends with me taking me to farmers markets, food ports at the harbor, watching the food network before it was popular and teaching me to cook. You know when iron chef had subtitles. My mom, she loved music, fashion, creating, and always had an eye for color and detail. I started cooking at around 8 years old in my sister’s kitchen. I feel in love with pastries after watching my grandmother and aunt bake the most amazing desserts during the holidays. My favorites were pound cake and spiced peaches.

Once I got older, I realized how much food, helping others and art was my driving force. While in college at UC Santa Barbara I became a mom to two beautiful children and I had to figure things out on my own as a single parent. Kids have to eat right. I started baking in college for friends’ birthdays for extra cash. I was going to school full time, raising two children, active in student organizations, a research assistant and baking. One of my most cherished moments was receiving a humanitarian award from my Black Studies Department. ( I majored in Black Studies, minored in Feminist Studies and Education). In that moment I understood how much my story and service impacted others. After college, I worked in finance as a banker to take care of my kids. I was good at it, but there was sadness. Like something was missing. So, I continued to cook, bake and create whenever I had free time. That was my happy place. I ended up leaving the bank years later to take a chance on cooking professionally and enrolled in culinary school at LATTC in the Professional Baking program. I excelled. I competed in competitions, was lead student chef of a fundraiser pastry dish alongside my mentor and instructor, and was given an award from the Culinary Department. From there I’ve worked at some pretty amazing restaurants in LA and became head pastry chef for a Gelato program. I am humbly thankful for my lessons along the way. My art, attention to detail and passion for food has taken me pretty far fairly quickly. I still bake but I wanted to get closer to my goal of teaching culinary and home economics so I took a detour to teach. I’m closer to my final goal than I’ve ever imagined. I love my students! I teach them about art, having a growth mindset and tapping into what makes them special. I get to create, educate and empower the minds of the future. They also love that I’m a chef and ask me about food pretty often.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Smooth? What is that? Haha. If I ever write a book it’ll be on the road less traveled and how the bumpy road teaches you to pay attention to the lessons during the ride. I’m pretty ambitious. I’m my biggest critic and competition so I’m always pushing myself to the next level. However, being a parent, I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices out of love and my investment in my children. My kids mean everything to me. Part of my reason for taking a step back from the commercial kitchen was to be present for them. It was hard balancing their school work, working long/late hours, lack of sleep, and missing events. For those in the food industry, they know the work comes first. Not to mention I took a pay cut to work in the industry. I don’t regret it one bit, but it’s my duty to provide first for my family. I wanted to be there. I’ve been able to step away from the commercial kitchen and cook for others on my own terms and create a flexible schedule. The biggest challenge is keeping a balance. It’s important to be a super mom to my kids as well as a superwoman to myself. I tell people it’s important to be resilient and never give up on your goals despite adversity. I love what I do I wouldn’t trade the journey.

Please tell us about your business.
I bake, create, host paint events and I teach. I specialize in chic designs and yummy flavors. The fan favorites for desserts are lemon curd with fresh raspberries, chocolate strawberry, lavender lemon, and my vanilla buttercream. I love putting my spin on traditional dishes and elevating the flavors to introduce people to new flavor profiles. I once made a ginger, blood orange and dark chocolate gelato. So good. My motto is “where sweet dreams come true”. I love watching visions come to life and the joy it brings to people. I feel like trying new things keeps the creative juices flowing. My cake designs are pretty abstract. I enjoy making desserts like pavlovas, macarons, pate a choux, gelato, deconstructed plated desserts, and tiered cakes. I love weddings. I’ve offered customized tastings for wedding clients. I teach art for events like paint and sips. Those are pretty fun. In the classroom my approach is pretty non-traditional and I like the kids to learn to tap into their gifts by integrating their learning with the things they enjoy doing.

I’m most proud of being able to put a smile on people’s face. It makes everything worth it. What sets me apart from others is my ability to take the extra step to make things great. You can’t forget the details; it makes a difference.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Yes! I’m excited. I’ll soon be introducing a wellness body care line. After that, the future will include my consulting business- teaching home economics and culinary arts- which will incorporate my love for food, art and helping others. What better person to teach others to pursue their dreams against the odds than someone who has done it themselves. I love food and I believe it brings people together and is the final special touch to a perfect event. Also, when your body feels good so do you! One of my favorite sayings is “Make it pretty” so you know I have to put my artsy spin on it.

Contact Info:

  • Email: mypharlady@gmail.com
  • Instagram: Sweetpharytale ; @mypharladyandco

Image Credit:
-CR Photo And Design
Charrita Nelson
-Michael Moore Photography
-Kevin Steele/ kevsteele.com
-@my_pharlady

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