Q: What Do you Do for a Living?
A: I am an Administrator for a home care agency and Co-Founder of Bake Me Happy. I am also a partner in a newly formed restaurant group, Muse Hospitality.
Q: Tell Us About Your Family and Pets!
A: My family! Well, I am married to an amazing woman, Wendy... she’s also the genius behind Bake Me Happy! We have a daughter, Avery, who's 9 years old. We also have a "man of the house," Myles, a chow/corgi mix... he's 13 and we have Katycat...a 16-year-old...cat.
Q: Which Neighborhood Do You Currently Call Home?
A: Bake Me Happy is based in Merion Village.
Q: Why Did You Move to Your Neighborhood?
A: We loved the building and the neighborhood. We actually came across an ad in Craigslist for the space and once we saw the area...we couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Q: Where Else Have You Lived?
A: Bake Me Happy hasn't lived anywhere else...well, I take that back. We actually started out in a commercial kitchen near campus.
Q: South Side Organization(s) Where You Work/Volunteer
A: Interesting question...I do a little bit all over the place. I have presented at the Parsons Library...I tend to do more donation type supporting due to a serious lack of free time. I’ve done some good stuff for South High too!
Q: How Are You Active in The South Side?
A: I try to contribute in ways that are meaningful, not only for my customers, but for our neighbors as well. I am a firm believer of being a good neighbor. I pick up trash, I try to manage the weeds on the public side of the building, etc. Bake Me Happy does a fair share of donating to southside initiatives as well. I try to attend MVA and south side commission meetings when I can. Our business exposure has also been good for the southside as we make it a point to always "shout out" Merion Village. Although we don't live in Merion Village...it has been like a "home" to us...we raised our first baby here (Bake Me Happy)!
Q: What Are Some Causes or Organizations That Are Important to You and Why?
A: I am very involved in the LGBTQI community, specifically, the black LGBTQI community. I co-founded an organization 3 years ago called Black, Out & Proud (BOP). It's been a struggle, but we are finally starting to see it get some legs. We provide a safe space for and by Black LGBTQ+ individuals that advocates, educates, and inspires. blackoutandproud.com
I am also a co-founder of Service! Relief for Hospitality Workers...a chef driven, food distribution project for hospitality workers who were laid off during the COVID-19 shut down. We will shift our mission in the coming weeks, still supporting the hospitality industry. servicerelief.org
Q: What's Your Favorite Thing About the South Side?
A: The people are amazing and have been so supportive. I know people don't see Wendy and I as much as they used to...I’m always so happy to see the neighborhood folks and stop for a chat. Merion Village is an amazing place that can hold its own...I look forward to more amazing businesses moving here in the near future.
Q: If You Could Make One Improvement to the South Side, What Would It Be?
A: Hmmm...a marketing campaign through the commission that promoted all the good things "Southside." I say this with the intent of including "ALL" of the southside...not just German Village and Merion Village (although I still get a lot of "where's Merion Village?). I think there are all these amazing pockets of the southside that the rest of the city isn’t aware of.
Q: What Would You Tell Someone Who May Move to the South Side?
A: You are in the right place!
Thank you, Letha for allowing the MVA to shine the South Side Spotlight on you! Each week, we will feature at least one individual who lives, works and/or volunteers on the South Side and who helps to build and strengthen our community every day. If you’d like to nominate someone for the spotlight, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.