What is the Depressed Cake Shop?

Lemon Meringue Tarts by Miss Insommnia Tulip Depressed Cake Shop

Lemon Meringue Tarts by Miss Insommnia Tulip

The Depressed Cake Shop is a pop-up concept that sells grey colored cakes and other baked goods with the purpose of raising awareness about mental health issues. Proceeds from the cake shops are donated to a charity of the pop-up’s choice. The idea was conceived by Emma Cakehead in the UK and to date more than 30 Depressed Cake Shops have popped up all over the world – from Scotland to San Francisco.  Since the inaugural shop opened in August this all-volunteer effort has raised over $25,000.

Everyone is talking about The Depressed Cake Shop.  It made Oprah’s Gratitude List in the December, 2013 issue of O Magazine, and has been featured in such outlets as Time, the Huffington Post, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, The Daily Mail, Daily Candy, The Hollywood Reporter, BBC and The Guardian.

1 in 4 people will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives.
Mental illness is a disease that just isn’t discussed.  If someone has heart disease or diabetes you would never say “just snap out of it.”  The Depressed Cake Shops provide an experience that encourages discussion about mental health issues, including — but not limited to — depression.   The proceeds from each Depressed Cake Shop directly benefit a mental health-based charity of that shop’s choice.

The concept is simple
All bakers need to do is sell grey cakes (or other baked goods) and donate the money to a mental health charity. Why grey? Because the color represents what depression does: It coats a beautiful life in grey. Many of the Depressed Cake Shop bakers use baking as a way to battle their depression. They decorate the cupcakes, cookies, and other delicious items with designs that represent their depression and encourage discussion. Often, underneath those dark designs, is a bright pop of color inside. Because underneath that grey cloud, hope remains.

“It’s about challenging stigmas and labels,” says Emma Cakehead. When someone says cupcake, you think pink icing and sprinkles. When someone says ‘mental health,’ an equally unimaginative stereotype will pop into most minds. By having grey cakes, we’re challenging the expected, and getting people to challenge the labels they put on those who suffer with a mental illness.”

The Depressed Cake Shop began as an Eat Your Heart Out Event, a collective of UK based food artists leading the way with creative food presentation, innovative edible projects and ground breaking edible art techniques. The key aims of the movement are to promote creativity in food, give talented individuals the chance to shine, be discovered and build their own self-sufficient businesses. As part of the support network we also offer guidance, advice and media training on how to manage the many media opportunities that come along as an inevitable result of being involved with Eat Your Heart Out.

Original post that inspired this one from Emma Cakehead here

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