After 11 jobs in 11 years that ranged from retail to telemarketing to public relations, Louise Gill found solace right in her own kitchen. Luvbakes, the Atlanta based bakery, was birthed from a need to keep a housewife busy and a desire to satisfy a picky palate. What began as a few liquor-infused desserts for the holidays quickly grew into an absolute love for baking. Experimenting with classic recipes is the driving force behind Luvbakes and has been successful in giving customers traditional flavors with a modern twist.
Louise is a California native who ventured to Atlanta to study Public Relations at Clark Atlanta University. It was there she met her husband and later had their daughter, Harlem. It was during the time she was home with Harlem that she discovered how therapeutic baking could be. “I was miserable in every other job,” said Louise. “I was becoming depressed and it was affecting everything around me.” Her husband, Shakir, noticed she would spend hours baking when she was feeling low and encouraged her to play around with new desserts. Since then, Shakir has been a major advocate behind pushing Luvbakes to new heights. With his support, Louise has been able to focus on establishing a product that has been greatly received by her customers.
A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Louise is very strict about not only the quality of her product but also how the product is presented. She speaks of the hours that are put into making sure the overall look of each item is pleasing whether it be online or in-person, “I am a one-woman shop, and I oversee every aspect of my business from ingredients to photos to packaging and marketing. I have to make sure everything is on point to convey how amazing these cupcakes are through a picture online.” Her experience in public relations, design and photography has helped create the vibe of Luvbakes and establish a recognizable brand across social media platforms.
Known for their cupcakes in a jar, Luvbakes now has quite a following online. Their presence on Instagram led to an opportunity to contribute a custom cupcake flavor to the 10-year album release campaign for hip-hop group Blackalicious.
“It was such an honor to be asked to create a flavor exclusively for them,” said Louise. “This was a major album for Blackalicious and to be a part of that is something I will never forget.” In addition to their everyday customers, Luvbakes has also had the privilege of donating baked goods to local non-profits such as The Red Pump Project and Community Against Sexual Harm.
The 33-year-old, mother of one has her mind on growing her brand. She dreams of a business that creates jobs for men and women looking to get back on their feet. Louise is known for rooting for the underdog and she is always willing to teach what she knows, “We are just making cupcakes. This may not be a life-changing product, but if my little business can help someone change their life, I want to be of service.”