Baked in Kinston and delivered nationwide: that’s the plan for Chef Vivian Howard’s latest venture.
Handy & Hot launched on Tuesday as a small online bakery, almost two years after Howard announced the business as a Kinston bakery and cafe specializing in Southern handpies.
A brick and mortar place is on hold for now, according to the bakery website. Instead, Handy & Hot will make desserts during the holidays. First, Mother’s Day, and Howard chose a cornmeal and coconut pound cake for his maiden voyage. Howard said he was inspired by his mother, Scarlett Howard, and appeared in the first season of “A Chef’s Life”, the award-winning PBS series, about the strawberry episode.
“If my mom made dessert, it was simple,” Howard explains on her website. “The dessert I think of the most was not dessert at all. It was mom’s cornbread, sliced, reheated, and topped with mashed berries and a fresh whisk.
Howard and her husband, Ben Knight, co-own three restaurants, including Kinston’s Chef & the Farmer and the Boiler Room and Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria in Wilmington.
In an email newsletter, Howard said Hurricane Florence brought the plan for a physical store to a halt.
“A big part of baking, and really how we’ve seen it succeed was through limited edition baked goods sold exclusively online,” Howard said in an email newsletter. “We decided to reverse the business model and start the online part first. “
Only 500 cakes will be baked for shipping. Cakes cost $ 30, plus shipping. Orders must be placed by May 7th to arrive before Mother’s Day.
“A Chef’s Life” ended last year after five seasons, winning Emmy and Peabody Awards along the way. Howard and Markay Media director Cynthia Hill are working on a follow-up series exploring the intersections of culinary traditions across the world.
Howard has been active in raising funds for the victims of Hurricane Florence, cooking at various events in the Triangle after the storm and creating a ‘Country as Cornbread’ t-shirt campaign that raised more. $ 100,000 in relief money.
She has hosted a lineup of chefs who will take part in next week’s Thrive NC demo, a two-day food festival at the City Market.
Handy & Hot Cakes are the first Howard-made food to be shipped out of Kinston Orbit. She participated in the creation of meal kits with Lowe’s Foods.
This story was originally published April 30, 2019 4:27 pm.