Gray-hued baked goods are being used to open a dialogue and raise awareness for people suffering from depression and other mental health disorders.
The treats, such as cupcakes with gray icing and cookies decorated with sad faces, will be sold at the 7th annual Depressed Cake Shop on Sunday, Nov. 3, from 1-5 p.m. at Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards St.
Depressed Cake Shop is a worldwide initiative that inspired Jody Stevens of JodyCakes, a business in Near Northside.
“It spoke so close to my heart,” Stevens said. “Because I’m a baker and a chef, I thought maybe I can put a twist on it with my friends that are in the industry. We could do a really upscale bake sale and cake auction.”
The bake sale will include hundreds of cookies, brownies, pastries and other treats that will be themed by the incorporation of the color gray.
Attendees will also get the chance to bid on one-of-a-kind cakes, which will be made by the chefs from Nancy’s Hustles, 1751 Sea & Bar, The Dunlavy, Phoenicia, Red Dessert Dive, Sweet Bribery and more.
“We’ll be offering an Oreo cookie with ground Oreos that makes the cookie look gray and a cake, but the cake decor is not determined yet,” said Jessica Lusk of Red Dessert Dive.
Lusk said the bake shop’s cause is important to both her and head chef Andrea Di Gortari.
“Mental illness is so common and we just want to be a part of raising awareness and help to promote self-care,” Lusk said.
As someone who struggles with mental health issues, Di Gortari said it helps to be able to talk about it.
Stevens hasn’t quite decided on what her cake contribution will look like this year. Last year, she made a two-tiered cake. It was gray and had a black umbrella and raindrops.
“Underneath the umbrella it was colorful,” Stevens said. “Underneath the rain, the darkness, it was colorful.”
All the proceeds raised during the Depressed Cake Shop will be donated to The Montrose Center and NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Health) Greater Houston, both of which provide behavioral health and prevention services.
Last year, a little over $11,000 was donated between the two organizations.
This will be the fourth year that NAMI Greater Houston will be part of the Depressed Cake Shop.
“It’s such an uplifting event to have people come together to bring awareness to (mental health) in a fun and witty way,” said Jessica McDaniel of NAMI Greater Houston.
McDaniel said the half of the proceeds received by NAMI goes toward multiple services and programs it offers.
“Every year someone will say to me that they’re really touched by the event, and that means so much to me,” Stevens said. “To know people are coming out to support something so deep in a fun manner, it makes me feel good about doing something for our community.”