A Slice of Tampa Life: Balancing Business, Baking, and Family In Downtown

June 10, 2016

        Julie Curry’s business, Bake’n Babes, might deal in maple cupcakes and sticky sweet granola, but that in no means makes it any easier.   Julie CurryThe Bake’n Babes founder rises everyday at 5:30 a.m., downs a cup of strong coffee, combs through emails, and wraps her head around the days endeavors before her two children, Savannah and Max, awake.   Curry, now 32, got her start in October 2013. On leave from work after having her second child, she was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, a malfunction of the inner ear that left a constant, high-pitch whine. The only thing that canceled out the noise: her baking mixer.   “I wasn’t even allowed in the kitchen growing up,” said Curry, “I was never a baker.”   With not much to do, she entered a contest in Ybor City and walked away with the first prize with her now signature Maple Bacon Cupcakes.   “They asked me, ‘Are you going to be back here next week selling your cupcakes?'” recalls Curry. “Ahhh, of course!”   One day at a time, the business grew from there.Oxford Exchange Wedding   Curry grew up in Tampa, attended King High School, then studied communications and leadership at the University of South Florida. She started her career with the Tampa Bay Lighting working in operations and then moving to food and beverage.   The work life balance was tough.   “The hours were not conducive for a mom… I did the whole nine-to-five thing and hated it.”   The business grew in local markets like Hyde Park, but Curry then pivoted into other items and found success with a paleo granola.   “My husband was trying the whole Paleo diet at the time. I eat it, my kids eat it, I don’t feel bad giving it to them.”   IMG_0696She will still bake and deliver cupcakes locally in the area, but will be starting national distribution of her paleo granola this month. As the lone entrepreneur, Curry has been able to quickly adapt and move ahead with opportunities.   "I don't have to run it by anybody. I don’t have to ask ‘Do you like it? Do you not like it? What don’t you like about it?’ That’s difficult.”   Curry does attribute her success to cooperation with other Tampa culinary players. Kelly and Amy of Squeeze Juice Works advised Julie as she grew. Chef Ferrell Alvarez of The Rooster and the Till in Seminole Heights advises a philosophy of “constant progression,” which inspires her work.   When she is not hunting down new clients or in her laboratory at Anise Global Gastrobar, she will be on her bike on Bayshore or the Riverwalk.   As an entrepreneur and mother, Curry gives some advice.   “Move as close to downtown as possible. The best parks in Tampa, everything you want to do is here. It will only continue to grow.”