Rochelle Williams

The Dessert Artist Inc.

Rochelle Williams, the founder of The Dessert Artist, is a pastry chef with 8+ years of working experience in the industry. She always had a bit of a sweet tooth and valued a dessert's appearance as much as its taste. This led to her taking the Baking & Pastry Arts Management and Advanced Chocolate & Confectionery Artistry courses at Humber college. Through her formal education and roles at various baking establishments, she discovered her passion for the decorative side of "baking" and recipe development. Rochelle specializes in creating elaborate cakes, edible figurines, detailed sugar cookies and experimenting with flavour combinations in the form of gourmet chocolates.

About the business: The Dessert Artist is a baked goods and confectionery producer based in Kitchener ON that crafts fully edible works of art that are not only visually stunning but a delight to eat. Utilizing the founder's Black heritage allows The Dessert Artist to address the lack of Black representation in the baking industry in its bespoke creations by including items such as Black Santa and Black excellence sugar cookies in regular seasonal offerings.

As a top-24 semi-finalist who will get to pitch, what does this opportunity mean to you?

It feels a bit surreal to think that I’ve made it to the semi-finals. Of course, when I submitted my application, the goal was to make it all the way. But I also applied last year with the same intention and wasn’t successful. When I got the email that I was a semi-finalist, I had to read it a few times before it sunk in. I felt extremely proud of myself for being able to articulate my business plan in a way that other people could see my vision and it’s potential. This opportunity mean that more people can be exposed to what I’m trying to do and help my business to continue to grow.

What has been a highlight for you in participating in the Rise Up Pitch Competition?

I think the highlight will be the competition itself. I'm looking forward to presenting my business and networking with other business owners.