Hello! My name is Ashley and I am the sole owner of A Pink Apron Café Bakery. I launched my business in late 2021, and it has been a rollercoaster ride with plenty of amazing highs and tough lows. I would not change a single thing! I love what I do and the people I get to meet and have become friends with. It is crazy to think that all of this started with a dream and a prayer. My walk with the Lord is everything to me and every reason why I ever said yes to diving headfirst into something I started off knowing very little about.
Ever since I was little I wanted to own my own business. The type of business changed depending on what piqued my interest that year, but the desire to be an entrepreneur remained. In college I worked at multiple restaurants to get through school and realized there was something about that industry I loved. If you have worked in the restaurant industry you know that it is common to find workers have a love hate relationship with their job. Like most, that was also the case for me but I found I really loved the administrative side of the industry. Upon graduation from The Ohio State University, I got hired as a manager at one of my favorite restaurants I had worked at in college. It was very ideal because I was able to get a peek into restaurant managing/owning and had amazing mentors to answer my questions. I really felt like I got a real taste of what that career lifestyle was like.
For me, the biggest downside working as a manager was the hours. It was hard to be able see my friends and family when my working hours were opposite theirs. So, because of this, I decided I didn’t want to open a restaurant or a bar with late hours. I thought about what I could do to be able to stay in this industry and do something I was passionate about while not sacrificing something else that was important to me. The first thought that came to mind was a bakery. I had always liked baking, but it was not something I knew a lot about or was even necessarily good at at the time.
To work on improving my skillset , I applied to countless bakeries across Columbus. One stuck out. The owner at La Chatelaine in Upper Arlington told me he loved my ambition to start my own bakery and wanted to help me achieve my dreams. I don’t think I’ll ever truly be able to repay him for that kindness. I worked with their pastry chef for about a year and a half while also working on my own recipes on my off days. Eventually, after a conversation with a friend and lots of prayer, I felt like the Lord was asking me to launch my business. I would never feel ready; I just had to do it. And I’m so glad I did! I won’t say it’s been easy; there’s been a lot of imposter-syndrome-filled days and questioning if I had made a crazy mistake on the days that felt the most overwhelming. But in the end, I’m thankful I am getting to chase my dreams with a bigger dream in mind. More on that below!
A Pink Apron will always be a home bakery that exists to create change. The mission behind the bakery is what wakes me up in the morning and inspires me to keep doing what I love.
In my time at the Ohio State University as an undergrad student, my heart grew for the people living in food deserts directly in my backyard. By definition, a food desert is an “urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food.” This is in contrast to an area called a food oasis with higher access to grocery stores or shops with fresh nutritious foods.
Years ago, a Google search for “healthy food near me” turned into all-night researching on why there were no grocery stores in the heart of our city. It was heartbreaking to discover how many communities have to live without access to healthy food, and how many health issues this gives way to for families that don’t have much of a choice. These communities have not had the same access as those in the suburbs to food that will actually nourish and improve their health and the health of their families and those in their communities. Time for change is long overdue. That is where my dream for this café bakery was birthed, and I have hope that real change will be created as we bake cupcakes for you!
We want to help blaze the trail of equal access to nutritious food in every part of the city we all know and love. An indirect impact on our community that we also strive to accomplish is making available to you and every person delicious and health-conscious sweets and drinks! All of our goodies are made from scratch with fresh ingredients (we partner with a local farm in Marengo, OH to get the best ingredients for you!). We also offer many vegan/gluten-free options.
Thank you for supporting my small local business. We couldn’t do this without your support!
A Pink Apron was created after a long conversation with one of my best friends, Chelsea, in 2020. We were talking about the dream I had to open a bakery and when would make sense for me to launch. I didn’t feel ready to start a business; there were so many unknowns and preparing I felt like I needed to do before starting something this big. She encouraged me and told me there was no better time to start than right now.
She then shared with me her Aunt Angie had been praying for me (I was so touched a relative that wasn’t mine was spending time praying over me and my life!) and Angie had a vision from the Lord of me wearing a pink apron in my own bakery. The most inconceivable part of that vision is neither Chels or I had ever told her I wanted to open a business, let alone a bakery.
I knew this was the Lord, wanting to encourage me and asking me to start. To just say yes, without having everything all figured out. I knew if I didn’t launch this business soon I never would. I was never going to feel ready. I learned (and am still learning), sometimes you get to just say yes without knowing what lies ahead. Right after that conversation, I launched A Pink Apron (A for Angie).