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Business of the Month: Winston-Salem’s SWEET-heart

Ta’Nisha Monique

Business of the Month: Winston-Salem’s SWEET-heart
May 15
23:59 2019

By Busta Brown

I’ll never forget one of the sweetest, most beautiful and romantic moments I’ve ever witnessed. I was sitting next to a married couple at a wedding and the husband softly looks into his wife’s eyes, smiles, and then said, “It’s not fair to be more beautiful than the bride.” His wife melted, and so did everyone at the table.

I experienced something similar when I walked into Ta’Nisha Monique Cupcakes. Her welcoming spirit was as sweet and beautiful as her cupcakes. “I need to be sweet. Great customer service is at the top of my list,” said the Winston-Salem native.

It’s a small spot, so when you walk in, the wonderful display of cupcakes grabs your attention immediately. The first one I noticed was banana pudding cupcake. The design was so creative and beautiful, I didn’t want to touch it, but I crushed it. It was delicious! Love at first bite. Snoop Dog would love the strawberry with the drizzle, because it’s scrumptious, fo’ shizzle. We’ll get back to all the flavors of cupcakes later. First, let’s meet Ta’Nisha Monique.

Ta’Nisha worked in Corporate America for nearly ten years, which helped her prepare to be an entrepreneur. “I worked in customer service and excellent customer service is my number one thing. I don’t want my customers to walk out of here not feeling important or loved. Cupcakes are supposed to be fun, so I create a fun atmosphere.”  

In 2012, while still working in Corporate America, her grandmother passed. Ta’Nisha’s mother Donnie James took a baking class at Forsyth Tech as a way to cope with the loss of her mother. “I noticed it helped my mom take her mind off things, so I took a class too. So, baking together became our therapy.” It was therapy in more ways than one. During her teen years, she and mom Donnie didn’t see eye to eye on Ta’Nisha’s lifestyle. “As a child, I wasn’t your typical girl. I ran the streets, doing your normal teenaged rebellious girl stuff. Now we’re best friends, we talk all day long. She’s my right hand, my rock. It’s what I should’ve had originally, but you live, and you learn.”

She started baking in her kitchen and the word was loud in the streets about how delicious the cupcakes were. Business grew and she eventually stepped out on faith to open Ta’Nisha Monique Cupcakes.

As she was sharing her story, she never lost that cool vibe. The beautiful and wise businesswoman’s personality is so cool, it’ll connect with anyone from 5 to 95 years old. Stop by Ta’Nisha Monique Cupcakes and experience for yourself, you’ll dig it.

She puts that same coolness and love into her cupcakes. They’re not just delicious, it’s like therapy. “When you eat good, quality food, you can go hide in your bedroom and forget all of your problems. My cupcakes are comforting, exciting and fun, so it helps you feel good. I have at least 14 flavors on my shelf every day, so it’s always something here to help you feel great.” The flavors include banana pudding, strawberry drizzle, chocolate fudge with chocolate brownie on the top, key lime, pink lemonade, and butter pecan. Just in case you want to get lit, she also has liquor infused cupcakes, such as the lemon blueberry patron, white Hennessey peach cobbler, and more. I’m not a drinker, but I wanted to try every one of the liquor-infused cupcakes.

Her 12-year-old daughter Sy’Miya, who has a sprinkle business, and 9-year-old son Kyan, helps come up with ideas for fun flavors like pink lemonade, banana pudding and chocolate fudge. “My children are very creative, so we sit down and think of fun ideas for flavors every age would like, and it’s working very well. One day I was at a restaurant eating chicken and waffles and came home and made chicken and waffles cupcakes. They’re very popular on Sundays. So, anything I may be doing or eating that day, I’ll incorporate it into a cupcake.”

Ta’Nisha said word of mouth has been very good for her business. “That’s why it’s so important to be kind to people and make a great quality product, because people will put the word out for you. I always network as well.”

During the interview, customers were flowing in. One guy picked up an order and then put another order in for later. By the expression on their faces, her customers were very satisfied.

Ta’Nisha Monique Cupcakes is at 1318 N. Liberty Street, an area where her father worked, retired police officer Tim James. “My father wasn’t just a police officer, he was a leader in this community. He helped the homeless and mentored young men that needed a male role model. Being in this area, I make sure this is not just a bakery. People come off the streets and we’ll have prayer, because we believe in God and we know what he has done for us. God has truly changed my life. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for God’s grace. So we give back to this community.”

They’ve helped many local nonprofits and offer employment to ex-offenders as well. Because of her generosity, God has taken Ta’Nisha Monique Cupcakes’ business nationwide. During North Carolina A&T Homecoming, R&B sensation Ella Mae was celebrating her birthday. During Ella Mae’s performance, Ta’Nisha presented the singer with a birthday cake in front of 22,000 screaming fans. The “Booed up” singer had never tasted a pink lemonade cake before. “After she tasted it, she wouldn’t let her management team and friends have any more. She was like ‘this is mine.’ She absolutely loved it and that made me feel good. It was a moment of success for me.”

As Ta’Nisha continued telling her exciting moment with Ella Mae, she was very proud and with good reason. “It was such a good feeling. I thought to myself, I did that.”

She made a cake for CNN correspondent Angela Rye as well. Stop by and experience what Winston-Salem is screaming about. Ta’Nisha Monique Cupcakes, 1318 N. Liberty St. Open Wednesday-Friday: 12-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: 12-4 p.m. To place orders, call 336-602-4595 or visit www.tanishamoniquecupcakes.net.

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