FLINT, Michigan -- For Flint resident Jaszmane Sisco, cooking and baking have always been a creative outlet. She’s worked over the past year to turn that into a career and a way to give back to the community as well.
“What am I passionate about?,” Sisco said. “For me, it was cooking baking, and then I'm super creative. When I get out of bed in the morning, what is it that I really, really want to do? Throughout high school, I’d bake for my friends just for fun. But in college, when I was close to being done with undergrad, I was like, okay, I want to be a chef.”
Sisco grew up on the northside and graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint. Since graduating, she has worked as a medical biller, but decided to go back to study culinary arts at Mott Community College to become a pastry chef.
“I do come from a family that cooked, but I also come from a family of teachers,” Sisco noted, explaining how she’s molding those two passions into one business.
She launched her business, Little Suga’s
, in 2020. She takes custom orders for cupcakes and limited-style cakes, but where she really excels is sharing her love for baking with others. Sisco began hosting classes for kids and adults in the Flint Farmers Market’s demo kitchen last year.
“I am extremely passionate about breaking the stigma that baking is hard,” Sisco said. “In reality, the experience is what you make it. It can be one that is enjoyable, and it is definitely a task that can bring people together.”
The COVID-19 pandemic caused complications for Sisco while launching her business, particularly offering classes. She was able to do her first ‘Little Chefs’ classes in October of 2020, with a small group that was able to socially distance in the largue demo kitchen. Approximately 10 kids participated in that class and baked and decorated cookies. Kids also learned about proper sanitation and cleaning as well as how to use different kitchen equipment. Families also received recipes to take home and practice.
She was able to do the class again this year in April, and she launched classes for adults in basic cake decorating and bread baking in the spring of 2021 as well.
Sisco particularly likes making cupcakes, “because you can do so much with them,” she said. “There’s so much flavor you can fit into one little cupcake.”
She said she’s also been doing a lot of cakes for kids’ birthday parties. Being able to participate in special moments in peoples’ lives makes baking extra meaningful for her.
“That's the best part,” Sisco said. “After I gave a woman a cake a long time ago when I was in undergrad, she cried. She was so appreciative and she loved it and she just sat there and told me how much doing that for her meant.”
Baking and cooking are often powerful ways to help bring families together, to teach kids important skills, and following step-by-step processes to bake something is even helpful for peoples’ mental health. Sisco hopes her classes help spread those positive attributes to other people.
“A personal mantra that I live by is that if I can encourage one person to learn one thing in the kitchen, and we grow together from that experience, then I believe that I am serving my purpose in life,” Sisco said. “I know last year was hard for everybody. I think the classes are really helping people, not only kids, but adults too. And I just feel like we need that. We need more of that.”
More information about Little Suga’s, including upcoming classes, is available on Facebook.