- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
April 4, 2019
Oh My Cupcakes is turning into a bistro for one day to help an employee who is starting a two-year missionary project.
Erica Herman, kitchen manager for the bakery at The Bridges at 57th, is moving at the end of May to Mozambique with her daughter, 11-year-old Addyson. As director of operations, Herman will start a Liberty Project bakery and cafe in Pemba that will help women gain skills to become self-sufficient.
Oh My Cupcakes owner Melissa Johnson wanted to do something to help with expenses for her employee of five years. She brainstormed ideas with retired chef Amy Warren, and they came up with a brunch April 28 at The Bridges location that will feature four seatings throughout the morning and early afternoon.
Warren, who once owned Cafe 334 and is now a district sales manager for Sysco, said the menu will include one of her favorite things to make and eat: hollandaise sauce. She’s going to use it to cover a spinach and feta scramble. Other menu items include brioche with raspberry preserves, apple-smoked bacon with gnocchi and cream, fruit with a poppy lime dressing and, of course, Oh My’s French toast cupcakes.
Tickets are $25, and all proceeds will go to Herman. With the opportunity to eat Warren’s cooking again, the ability to support Herman’s mission and the limited number of seats – only 24 at each reservation time – Johnson expects the event to sell out.
In addition to cooking the brunch food, Warren is making four raspberry pound cakes and four of her legendary “Big Grape” cakes. One of each will be auctioned off at the four seatings to raise more money for Herman.
The brunch will be served family style, and Herman will be there with her daughter to talk about The Liberty Project.
Herman said she became a single parent at a young age, and that sparked her interest in working with young women. She learned about the organization, which was founded three years ago, through a co-worker at the bakery.
“All the puzzle pieces are fitting together,” she said.
The faith-based nonprofit works with women who have been sexually exploited, trafficked, abused and culturally oppressed. Eight women are taking classes now to prepare them for working in the cafe, which will open in the fall, Herman said. They’ll learn to become bakers, cooks, baristas and managers.
“We’re teaching them a trade not only to get a job but to start a business, so it’s not just temporary but finding a future to get them out of the situations they are in.”
Because it’s a mission project, Herman won’t receive a salary, so the brunch “is a huge help,” she said.
“Oh My Cupcakes has been a great blessing and a great place to work.”
Herman “has grown by leaps and bounds in 5 1/2 years here,” Johnson said. “She has a great, quiet leadership style that will serve her well in her new venture. … What’s amazing is how the last 5 1/2 years have prepared her to start and work in a bakery that empowers women and that’s what we’re about here.”
Warren, who met Herman through work, said she admires her friend for making a commitment to make a difference in the world. “These women live in a pretty awful environment,” Warren said, but Herman and The Liberty Project will help change that.
For reservations for the April 28 brunch, call the bakery at 605-310-6742.
Remember chef Amy Warren of Cafe 334? She’s going back into the kitchen with Melissa Johnson of Oh My Cupcakes to cook up a special brunch to raise money for one of Johnson’s employees who is embarking on a mission project.