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Meet Tyra Butler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tyra Butler.

Hi Tyra, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I am born and raised in Pasadena, CA. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and working a 9-5 job for almost two years, I realized I was not put on this earth to sit at the same desk staring at the same screen all day every day. The pandemic allowed me to stop and reflect on what has always brought me true inner peace and joy. Realizing I’ve always had a deep love for cooking along with the strong encouragement of my friend Ian who shared similar interests, I decided to pursue a career in culinary full time. I was always told by my friends and family that my lemon cake was “the best they’ve ever had” and that I should sell them, but at the time, working a full-time job didn’t allow the time or energy to do so. Come summer 2020, I began experimenting with new flavors and learning how to decorate with frosting, filming my process and taking pictures of the final products to share on social media. The incredible response I received was motivation to keep going and I haven’t looked back. I am now the chef and owner of TTGotCakes LLC.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Whoever said “nothing worth having comes easy” was not lying! Whew! It has been a journey. Pretty soon after establishing my business, I was receiving more orders than I could take on given I was operating out of my mom’s kitchen that already had a fully stocked refrigerator and pantry and therefore, no space for cake inventory. From there, I was blessed to have Kimberlina and Kevin Whettam in my life to kindly offer me their vacant back house in Woodland Hills to operate out of while I searched for a commercial kitchen space. Once I was able to find one within my small business budget, it was a HUGE project to get it up and running — shoutout all my friends and family that spent hours helping me clean and paint!! What I thought was going to be a quick 1-month project ended up lasting like three and my patience was put to the ultimate test. I am now officially moved into my commercial kitchen space located near Dodgers Stadium, allowing me to expand my business substantially! After it all, I am grateful for the journey and I truly learned a lot as I do with each new process of starting/running a business.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I specialize in custom layer cakes, cupcakes and cake jars. What sets me apart from other bakers is that not only will your cake look beautiful but it will taste just as good if not better than it looks. I pride myself in prioritizing taste and texture before anything and have successfully turned non-cakeeaters into cake lovers. Nothing beats a birthday cake that you actually enjoy eating!

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Welll if it wasn’t for Covid, I’m not sure I would’ve even started the business. The world shutting down really allowed me to slow down and soul-search for what I’ve grown up to find truly fulfilling and enjoyable in life. Although there was a lot of loss and illness in 2020, that summer holds some of the best memories of my life. Ian and I would spend all day every day making drinks and test kitchening new dishes and cake flavors. For those memories, I am forever grateful.

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