HOUSTON – Tamalisha affectionately known as, “KakeLadi”, is originally from a cozy, little country town nestled in Grimes County (Old Washington). During her primary years, she and her family relocated to Houston, where she was educated in the North Forest Independent School District. She attended A.G. Hilliard Elementary School, Kirby Middle School and M. B. Smiley High School, and later graduated from Forest Brook Senior High School in 1994. Growing up, she always had a taste for good food and a unique niche for cooking. Reflectively, however, she maintains that, “the life she lived, never had anything to do with cakes…”
Along her journey, she encountered certain mishaps and found herself in some troubled circumstances. Nonetheless, she learned from her unfortunate incidents and decided to establish a Home Healthcare agency. In it, she was exposed to an elderly patient, who demanded that all of her food be prepared from scratch. Tamalisha jokingly conveyed during an interview, “I wanted her to know that they sell cornbread and stuff like that, in a box, and all you have to do, is add a little milk and eggs to it – and it’s a wrap!” Nevertheless, she respectfully complied with the 95-year-old’s wish; that was adamant about her request and insistently stood over her and provided detailed instructions. After perfecting the charge, she was then requested to make a two-layer jelly cake. At the time, she was vaguely familiar with the technique from her grandmother who would make the dessert; but she had never prepared it herself. Much to her surprise, she adhered to her wise confidant and was enthralled by the taste and outcome of her creation. Afterwards, her patient gave her a cookbook and Tamalisha would devote countless hours to baking various delights. As it was, she had already built a reputation for cooking for friends, relatives and other acquaintances.
Over a period of time, she was constantly encouraged to market her inventions. She remembers once attending an event with her cousin and becoming fascinated by the exquisite design and taste of an Earthquake cake. Following, she began making different varieties of brownies and cakes with her Sunday dinners. Oftentimes, she would experiment with varying recipes with her children, as they would suggest different ingredients for her to use. Heeding to the advice of those closest to her, she set out on a sampling mission to distribute her brownies and provide complimentary treats, to those she would encounter. Remaining confident in her product, she was convinced that anyone who received just a taste, would eventually seek her out for more. As time progressed, she would work her home health care business and ride around selling her sweets during her downtime.
Along the implementation phases of her concept, she would deliver eateries to local beauticians and barbers, she knew within the community. One of her customers, Superman who operated out of a barbershop on Veterans Memorial in Northwest Houston; would greet her with a distinct salutation each time she entered. He would boisterously announce her arrival by shouting, “There goes the Cake Lady!!!!!!” Somehow, the name stuck and she incorporated it into her design. She was aware that there were many cake ladies within the city, but felt that she needed to stand apart from the rest. Hence the, “KakeLadi” emerged, with emphasis its unique spelling. Later on, she visited a pop-up shop in Rice Village, where her friend Slim Thug’s sister worked. She provided her with a “Slutty Brown”, the name for a brownie she’d invented. Accordingly, her logo was created with the image of a little lady with a cake in her hand.
Eventually, her older patients passed on and she commenced to selling her treats, full-time. Through avenues of social media (Instagram and Facebook), a previously established reputation and support of famed friends like rapper, Slim Thug and other local artists’; she was able to secure a booming demand for her unique creations. Through efforts of posting pictures, tagging a location and word of mouth advertisement, scores of people would flock to the area she would be stationed at.
She continued operating in this fashion for a while, until a close friend requested an order from her at Floyd’s Premier, located in the heart of Acres Home. Once she arrived and delivered her order, she came in contact with Percy. Percy, a local businessman who manages the family-owned Floyd’s Premier (Nursery and Service Station) that has existed within the community for years; informed her of the full-kitchen facility space located on the grounds. Undoubtedly, perceiving the motivated and talented-spirit she possessed, he instinctively extended an opportunity to help uplift and promote her newly-found gift. He explained that he couldn’t offer her any monetary resources, but that she was welcome to look around the well-equipped space. As she proceeded inside, she immediately recognized the resourceful supply of everything that she needed to function. Internally, she considered the personal expenses that she was already responsible for, however; she also understood the significance of utilizing one location, opposed to the platform she’d previously become accustomed to.
Over time, she thought on the opportunity presented by Percy. After preparing her 2015 Thanksgiving orders at home and realizing the task before her; she was delighted to accept Percy’s invitation when he reached out and offered her the privilege to bake her Christmas orders at the establishment. Upon doing so, she found that she was a perfect fit. She said, “It was as if I was at home, and I’ve been there ever since.”
From that point on, her customer base increased and thrived even more. During the process, she met Mr. Roy Douglas Malonson, our Publisher and Chairman of the (AHCBED). She became a member of the AHCBED and heeded the advice given to her by Mr. Malonson. She revealed in part, the continual inspiration Mr. Malonson provided to her. She says, “As I grew my business, I remembered Mr. Malonson used to always come in the shop and tell me that I am my best advertiser.” She continued, “I always wanted to personalize my license plates; but I don’t think it was meant for me to display my original idea. But the moment I got serious about my business, I remembered his words and branded my car with my business name. I even branded the back windows and side of my car with, ‘KakeLadi’.” “People would call me all the time and say, ‘Hey I seen your car’, or either pull me over and ask, ‘You got kakes?’, she added.”
Today, the KakeLadi continues to deliver some of the sweetest treats this side of heaven, at 2201 West Little York Rd., 77091. To place an order contact (832) 693-2588; email Tamalisha@yahoo.com or visit her pages on Instagram (Kake_Ladi) and Facebook (KakeLadi). Additionally, the KakeLadi has one son who is studying Business and a daughter who is being trained as the, “Baby KakeLadi”. She is a proud member of the Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development.