With a finance degree from Emory University, Lauren Lilling began her professional life in the world of corporate investment banking. While she was happy with how her first few years were going, she still felt as if something was missing.
"I've always had a passion for eating desserts as well as baking them," she quipped. "I started a baking blog about two years ago, so I was able to explore that passion on the side."
A self-taught baker, Lilling found herself spending weekends toiling over ingredients for the perfect recipes to share, and she knew it was time for a change. At 27 years old, Lilling went from banking to baking and developed a business plan for Keep It Sweet Desserts, an online bakery and local catering site, which officially launched in March 2012.
"I've always had a passion for dessert, but like most women, I was always trying to watch what I ate," Lilling explained. "So, when I was eating dessert, I always wanted to be sure it is was worth it — and half the time when my husband and I went out to eat, it wasn't worth it. I wanted to create desserts that were worth it, worth your time, worth your money, and worth the calories."
In addition to traditional services like holiday orders and dessert catering, Keep It Sweet offers unique gift ideas like a Cookie of the Month Club membership and the intriguing idea of helping hosts and hostesses throw the ultimate dessert party.
"Personally, [I think] dessert is the most important part of the meal anyway," said Lilling. "And if you throw a dessert party, you can just focus on the one course, it is less money, and who won't love the menu?"
If you live in the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey, and even Philadelphia), Lilling could certainly cater your sweet-tooth-satisfying party, but if you’re just out of reach, Lilling has some great tips (and recipes) to help make your dessert part a true success.