Member Stories

Selena’s Gourmet


When we asked Selena Blake of Selena’s Gourmet what made her company unique, she gave us one word: “Me.”

No one can replace this baker from Queens. Her delicious, one-of-a-kind, artisanal carrot cupcakes are a proud reflection of her Jamaican identity. “My passion for carrots and eating healthy started back in Jamaica. As a child I had a little garden where I planted carrots and I remember being mesmerized when I uprooted my carrots from the ground… just thinking about it now fills my soul with joy.”

Selena started her business just last year with “an exotic and flavorful line of carrot-based cupcakes made from scratch using organic carrots and other premium ingredients.” Carrot rum raisin. Carrot coconut chocolate. Carrot ginger bourbon. Selena weaves familiar Jamaican flavor profiles to craft an ingenious confectionery treat. “My mission is to put a smile on everyone’s face,” Selena says. A mission we’re sure she accomplishes with each bite.

Something this special can only come from a long lineage of love. Selena recounts how her family, all expert cooks themselves, colored her world with food. After all, it’s hard to separate the love found in family from the food they feed you. “Looking back, I realized food was the center of my world. It brought the family together as well as our community.”

And it is through cooking for the people of New York, she wishes to build a bigger community. “I would love to have a huge, fully-equipped kitchen where families and individuals from my community in Queensbridge can come and learn more about healthier food choices without judgment. A place where they can engage in oral history about ourselves and hopefully cultivate new ideas for a better community and quality of life across the board,” Selena says. “The impact that I wish to make in my community won’t happen overnight. However, if given the opportunity to plant seeds of hope, I do believe in due season we’ll see a change. If not in this generation, then the next.”