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Passion for pastries

Rosemary Long


by Donna Sealy

It has been a year since Rosemary Long started her own business.

Before you say “so what” and move on to the next story, read on.

It was last December that the 21-year-old entrepreneur decided to start her own pastry and catering business – Black Rose Catering – after she was “let go” from the restaurant where she worked as a pastry chef and today she is as determined to make sure that her young business flourishes as she wends her way through life.

Long said that even though business is “okay”, albeit a little slow, she wouldn’t go back to working for someone else.

“Working for someone else didn’t fit. … I wanted to be a chef but I prefer being a pastry chef because I don’t have a lot of patience and this is teaching me how to be. I’m kind of a bit of a perfectionist,” she said with a chuckle.

Yes, that means that if the cake does not turn out how she wants she dumps it and starts over.

She noted that she harboured the desire to own her own pastry shop for a while, so much so that instead of sitting back and moping about not having a job, she got up and used the money she had set aside from her income tax returns to start.

Long admitted that initially it was frustrating that those closest to her did not understand how she felt about having her own business thinking instead that she would grow out of that phase. Now they, and her sister Stephanie, who she said was artistic, are there to help her out. Her mother also stays at her side when she has orders to fill.

Rosemary loves the creative licence, freedom and feeling that being her own boss brings and she is willing to work with her clients to ensure they get what they want and she has a satisfied customer.

The former St. James Secondary School student is looking to bake her way into your hearts and keep you coming back to buy her cakes and cookies. This holiday period is beginning to see her getting more orders but she would not mind a few more.

Long said in the interview with Barbados TODAY that she is hoping to start the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme in January to get a better sense of what it takes to manage a business. She also wants to go to hone her craft and intends to do that at the Culinary Institute of America and not at the Hospitality Institute at PomMarine as everyone is doing that.

What caught our attention was her gingerbread house on Facebook one of which she said is on display at Limegrove and the other, which was to be raffled today, was at the UWI book shop.

The houses started out as a request from a customer and she decided to do the others. She admitted she went “crazy” with the candy which she used to decorate them. Even though the orders have not been flying in fast and furious for them she said she will do them again next year.

Rosemary also said the name Black Rose was carefully chosen and although some people associate it with something morbid for her it is a rare and beautiful flower. It also symbolises her determination to succeed.

Her advice to young people wanting to get into their own food related business was simple: “Don’t give up because people have to eat. Don’t let anybody turn [you around]. …”.

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