There was a time Porsha Wilburn wouldn’t go near the kitchen while her mother made tasty magic.
Cooking wasn’t a passion for Wilburn, a professional accountant more interested in crunching numbers than testing ingredients and experimenting with recipes. The oven was her mother Ann Wilburn’s domain, and it supported a popular, home-based business. Macaroni and cheese, greens and hearty soul food dishes, along with pies, banana pudding and other tasty desserts were among menu items frequently ordered for catering by Krazy Kravings.
The business began about eight years ago and grew into a steady source of supplemental income for Ann Wilburn.
When she suffered an injury at her full-time job in 2012, the momentum she’d built with Krazy Kravings slowed to a halt.
Then a “krazy” thing happened – her daughter caught the baking bug.
“I was a student and my mom was the teacher, and we spent quite a bit of time going over recipes, her being very particular about how it should be,” says Porsha Wilburn.
The accountant took an interest in resurrecting her mom’s catering company and they eventually revived it into a family business. While still commuting to work at a nonprofit in Southfield, Porsha Wilburn has operated Krazy Kravings for the past year and plans to expand it from a traveling caterer’s service into a Flint-based store.
“My dream is not to have a soul food restaurant,” says Wilburn. “I would rather have a sweets shop.”
Using an updated business model, she changed the Krazy Kravings menu by removing dinner selections and perfecting desserts. Now cupcakes, sweet potato pie, German chocolate cake, and other home-baked treats are among the marquee items sold.
“The goal,” says Wilburn, “is to have a storefront with a big, old showcase full of goodies that people can see.”
Previously, her role was mostly limited to helping her mother load the vehicle with orders Ann Wilburn delivered to private events. Rather than let her mother’s vision fade into a memory, Wilburn drew upon her own experience as a business owner who once operated an online hair accessory shop.
“Before her injury I stayed away from the kitchen,”she recalls.
But, after conferring with mom about techniques for baking the best products, Wilburn realized the call of duty also offered a chance to indulge her artistic side. Decorating the treats she pulled fresh out of the oven gave her a release she looks forward to with every order.
“Once the sweets are cooling and I can sit there and be creative,” she says, “that’s the time when I’m at peace.”
Ann Wilburn’s tutelage and support helped her daughter make the transition from delivery assistant to principal owner, while Porsha Wilburn’s online promotional skills have helped Krazy Kravings build a presence on social media.
Along with private catering, the company is a frequent vendor at Flint community events. Ann Wilburn occasionally assists by describing menu items to customers or collecting cash. Now and then she still shares ideas for creating great products, tips her daughter eagerly receives.
Krazy Kravings has helped build its brand by delivering fresh products within 24 hours of pulling them out of the oven. Part of the company’s catering success stems from referrals by customers at school programs, church events and by family and friends.
“They like our work and they keep us in mind when they need something,” says Wilburn.
She takes pride in contributing to the bonding of families, neighborhoods and the city through their mutual enjoyment of Krazy Kravings desserts. Sweets can play a key role – when overindulgence is avoided – in improving moods and lifting the spirits of any community, she says.
“You can’t be mad when there’s a cupcake in your hand,” she says.
While retail baking is a popular industry in many large cities, Krazy Kravings sees its homemade products and professional service throughout mid-Michigan as a professional edge. Fulfilling a need to satisfy the sweet tooth, preferably when enjoyed in moderation, is a calling she appreciates, and a part of Flint’s and larger America’s culture, Wilburn says.
“We live in a country where people like to snack and people love their sweets,” she adds. “Food is a part of everything we do.”
For more information about Krazy Kravings visit the company’s Instagram page “The Kravy Kravings,” Facebook or email krazykravings firstname.lastname@example.org.