Marian Dossou is the founder of KakeMi Cakes, the 90-second cake kit with no mess (and no clean up!). Hear a little about Marian’s journey and connection to Philly, and learn more about KakeMi below.
In the spring of 2015, mug cakes were a trending phenomenon with recipes all over magazines, books, and Pinterest. The idea that anyone could microwave a bit of flour, sugar, butter, egg, and milk to create a fluffy and delicious cake was amazing! However, Marian quickly realized that those precarious measurements and resulting textures tasted more like rubbery bread than a homemade cake. And that’s when her search for an easier, quicker, and better alternative began.
After many failed taste tests, Marian developed the KakeMi 90 Second Cake Kit. Her cake kits are an easy way to enjoy delicious cake without tons of work. Enjoy as an anytime snack or give to friends and family for birthdays, college care packages, thank you surprises, kid baking kits, party favors, late-night snacks, and so much more! We chatted with Marian about how she started her business, and why she loves building her brand in Philadelphia.
Tell us about yourself. What was your major at Penn State? What did you study?
I was born and raised in West Philadelphia, graduated from CAPA high school, where I majored in visual arts, and went on to Penn State, where I majored in Business Management. From Penn State, I joined Teach For America and returned to Philadelphia, where I taught eighth-grade mathematics in South Philadelphia while working on my Masters in Education from UPenn!
How did your academic career prepare you for your professional career?
I pursued a business degree because I wanted to join corporate America; however, Teach For America was heavily recruiting on Penn State’s campus, and I decided to postpone my business aspirations for education. My undergraduate degree did not completely prepare me for a career in education, but it built my presentation skills, interpersonal skills, and organization skills. Now, as the founder of KakeMi Cakes, my academic career prepared me for all types of business development, from financial reports, to marketing, and operations.
Give us some insight into your career path leading up to KakeMi Cakes. How did you develop your idea into a product and company?
After working as a teacher and marketing associate for a couple of years, I decided to follow my entrepreneurial dreams of launching KakeMi. I have always been a creative person who enjoyed baking, but because I lived alone, I didn’t want to bake full-sized cakes, so I came up with the idea for an all-inclusive microwavable dessert kit. Since I had been out of business school for a while, I decided to take an entrepreneurship boot camp offered by the Free Library and Corzo Center. That boot camp gave me a $500 grant which allowed me to obtain kitchen space at the Enterprise Center‘s commercial kitchen in West Philadelphia, where I still make products.
Tell us about your day-to-day life as the Founder of KakeMi Cakes. What excites you about your role?
Day-to-day, I can be found creating marketing content, pursuing sales leads, ordering supplies, and producing products. My days are very diverse, and problem-solving is a big part of what I do. I am most excited about the diverse skill set I get to use building KakeMi.
What makes you want to continue to grow your professional network and career in the Greater Philadelphia Region?
I love Philadelphia, and I believe it is a great city full of opportunities. Philadelphia has many entrepreneurial resources available including boot camps, mentorship programs, accelerators, and networking groups. Philly is also close to New York and D.C., which is great for conferences, trade shows, and other networking opportunities. With all of the colleges and universities in the area, it is a great city to meet new people and exchange ideas!
Where can students get KakeMi Cakes? Are you hiring interns?
KakeMi Cakes can be found at Drexel’s Northside Dining Terrace and online at KakeMiCakes.com. Want to learn more about opportunities at KakeMi? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Any last words of advice for our student audience? Please feel free to share!
Take advantage of any opportunity you may be interested in pursuing and enjoy your university experience!