By Thomas Sellers Jr.
With several Mid-South parents trying to showcase their graduate’s accomplishments during this global pandemic, the phone and Facebook page of Latoria L. Cowan is blowing up.
The Palestine, Ark., native started her catering business a few years back and through word-of-mouth has grown as a go-to operation for cakes for special occasions.
“When I started my business in 2016 it was centered around soul food catering for parties, weddings, church etc.,” Cowan recalled. “Until one day my friend Arnesha “Shay” Glasper who is an awesome cake maker herself came to my house with her strawberry shortcake cheesecake that she made.”
It was that chance encounter that changed the direction of Cowan’s vision for her operation.
“We ate it and we fell in love with it,” she continued. “And the rest is history. Today that cake and cupcakes are one of my biggest sellers.”
The 38-year-old Cowan works at Walmart as a front end team lead. Then in her free time, she creates designer cakes for those special moments.
“My process on a cake really depends on my customer and their needs,” she said. “They send me the info and if I don’t have it or an idea of what they want I simply Google-it to see if I can come up with an idea. And I put my own twist on things.”
Cowan said her cake catering business is for sports fans, graduates, those about to marry, an athlete about to sign a scholarship and more.
“I just like to provide good quality service at an affordable price,” she said. “After being in retail and customer service for the last 17 and half years, I have seen my fair share of the good, bad and the ugly. So I try my best to treat people the way I want to be treated. I know that may seem or sound cliché but I’m young and I’m old school to my heart.”
Cowan’s attention to detail on her cakes, going the extra mile with quality of product and giving bonus cupcakes on special occasions is a part of her customer service bringing her repeats.
“So my best design so far has been the one of a (Pittsburgh) Steelers cake. I have no idea why people love this ‘ugly’ cake,” Cowan said with a laugh. “I’m a Patriots fan all day but in all seriousness I think the edible image made it pop I don’t use fondant. I only use my buttercream and whipped icing and my clients love it.”
The good reviews and referrals are overwhelming to Cowan but she is staying humble in the moment.
“Because I am no professional in the cake business, so it will continue to be my side hustle,” she acknowledged. “But as far as my soul food cooking, my goal is to have me a food truck when I retire from Walmart in the next few years. If not before until then my home kitchen is where all the magic happens.”
Cowan said the magic comes from a simple place — her heart.
“All my cakes and my food are made with love,” she said. “I give my best in all that I do and I think my prices are very, very reasonable.”
The success of Cowan is a product of her supporters and her Heavenly Father. She said He blessed her for all her talents, gifts and her four-pack of children Taylor, Tyler, Tiara and Terrance Allen. She would also like to thank her “honey” Derrick Heard Sr., her sister and best friend Demetrius Smith-Taylor, her favorite treat lady Renay Allen, mom Charlean ‘Polly’ Cowan and church family Historical First Baptist Church of Millington under Bishop QR Smith.
“I’m very easy to contact by searching my name on Facebook — Latoria Cowan,” she concluded. “My business page is TLC’s Divine Desserts and more catering on Facebook. My Instagram is MIZZTEE81 and my e-mail is LATORIACOWAN@GMAIL.COM and my phone number is 901-282-1041.