Curious Cat Bakery has got the vegan baked goods for Tampa Bay

Owner Natalia Lima is ready to take her plant-based bites national.

click to enlarge Curious Cat Bakery has got the vegan baked goods for Tampa Bay
PHOTO COURTESY CURIOUS CAKE BAKERY

Over the last decade, veganism has been evolving, in both following and offerings. The typical stigma of tofu and pine nuts is slowly disappearing while plant-based “junk food” is making its way to the food scene. 

Ah, the rise of the vegan.

Thanks to local concepts like 3 Dot Dash, Good Mood Food Co., and Dixie Dharma, Tampa Bay is getting a taste of cashew queso, plant-based fried mac 'n’ cheese bites, and Carolina BBQ pulled jackfruit that’ll make your pants fit a little tighter after a meal.

Vegan desserts, on the other hand, seem to be a little tricky. 

That’s where Natalia Lima comes in.

After transitioning to a vegan lifestyle a few years ago, Lima was missing the sweet element. Determined to get her fix, she began searching recipes on Pinterest and in cookbooks, trying to make something delicious, and also vegan. 

“Desserts should be celebrated. Those who are on or enjoy plant-based diets shouldn’t have to be stuck with thinking 'well at least it was vegan,'” Lima says.

Upset with the lack of creativity and innovation in selections, Lima hit the kitchen. After much trial and error, the baker sent out samples to her friends, innocently requesting honest feedback. To her surprise, not only were the responses overwhelmingly positive, her friends encouraged her to sell the treats.

As of right now, Curious Cake Bakery offerings include cookies, cake truffles, custom cakes and her signature one bite macaron truffles.

Currently, Lima is creating plant-based desserts in her home and selling them at markets and by delivery only through the Cottage Food Law. You see, through Cottage Food Law when items are sold from the Curious Cat Bakery’s website, Lima must deliver them herself, so she is confined to the Tampa Bay Area. 

But, hopefully, not for long. 

Buy next month, Lima hopes to acquire her food permit, which will allow her to sell her products wholesale to local businesses and grocery stores; not to mention giving her the ability to ship nationwide. 

The pastry entrepreneur sees no need to open a brick and mortar, but in order to get the official permit, she’ll need to transition into baking at a commissary kitchen.

“I want to keep the price down, I want to steer clear of the stigma that vegan treats are expensive. I can keep the cost down with this [delivery] method,” Lima says.

Which will come in handy since another venture on the horizon is to link with local catering companies who have been having trouble finding vegan desserts for events.

“I’ve been in contact with catering companies who do vegan weddings and parties and need help in that area. There’s really a market for it,” Lima explains.

By mid-June, Curious Cat Bakery will have a larger platform to assist in making the vegan lifestyle tastier than ever before.

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