NataBelles Desserts to Open a Brick-and-Mortar Bakery
July 27, 2023
Updated: September 26, 2023
NataBelles Desserts is opening its own brick-and-mortar bakery in Winston-Salem. The grand opening is scheduled for this Saturday, September 30.
Local entrepreneur Shanata McMillian Shepard never expected to run a world-famous bakery. After the death of her grandmother in 2018, Shanata began baking from her home basement to help herself cope with the loss. One day, she was experimenting with a new sweet potato pound cake recipe when an unexpected change in her cake’s texture led her to try making sweet potato brownies. This accidental discovery would eventually be the reason for NataBelles Dessert’s great success.
As she continued to experiment with new flavors and desserts from her home kitchen, Shanata’s friends and family encouraged her to share her delicious baked goods with the community. As word spread about her new business, Shanata, who was still working a separate full-time job at this time, found herself spending more and more time on her side hustle to keep up with the demand. After a Facebook post featuring her sweet potato brownies went viral in May of 2022, she began looking for a new space for her growing business.
In September 2022, Shanata was finally able to quit her job and focus on NataBelles full-time. She opened a kiosk in Marketplace Mall, differentiating herself from other local bakeries by selling quality pound cake bites and brownies in a variety of out-of-the-box flavors.
The kiosk was a great place to start, but the bounds of the mall hours and limited space prevented Shanata from providing the variety of baked goods she ultimately dreamed of offering or meeting the high demand for her products.
This dilemma led to the search for NataBelle’s future brick-and-mortar home. In her new location at 456 Knollwood St., Shanata plans to utilize the expanded workspace to provide a wider variety of her iconic brownies and pound cake bites on a daily basis. She also hopes to increase the availability of nationwide shipping and partner with new businesses as a vendor, in addition to her current partnerships with Piedmont Aviation and Wake Forest University.
NataBelle Desserts Bakery Mission
Shanata keeps it family-centered by involving her husband and kids, who help out whenever they’re available. Her biggest desire is to bless the community and spread a little love with each baked good she sells. When speaking about her product, Shanata said, “We put love in everything we do. I’m a perfectionist, so we never minimize on our quality at all.” She hopes to continue to provide quality desserts with unique flavors for many years to come and is even working on a trademark for her world-famous sweet potato brownie!
Demolition begins at their new location on August 1, and they hope to open in September 2023.
Looking for more local bakeries? Check out this article.