There’s nothing like a nice bite of cruelty-free cake. The sweetness, the taste, the natural ingredients… If you’re one of the people who agree with this statement, then you’ll be amazed to hear the story of this Nashville baker.
Vegan baker Beca Lewis Skeels is taking our favourite desserts and turning them into stunning creations resembling cacti and succulents. She gets inspired by plant-based ingredients and turns them into plant-like creations.
“I would say, like, 65 percent of my customers aren’t vegan,” Skeels says. “And every single time they’re like, ‘I wouldn’t have known it was vegan.’ That’s my goal. Looks are really important to me, but taste is even more important.”
Skeels is the master behind Leeuw Bake Shop (leeuw means “lion” in Dutch, which represents her Dutch roots and the fact that Leo is her astrological sign). Here, she creates her magical creations, including cacti and tree-shaped cookies, floral cupcakes inspired her hometown in the Southwest, astrological treats, custom creations, macaroons and more.
Skeels has been in Nashville for only seven months, but she’s managed to turn her part-time operation into a full-time business. However, she would prefer if you would replace the word “healthy” about her vegan treats to “dessert.”
“I made cupcakes for a family member, for their kids, and they came back to me the next day and said, ‘That was the best cupcake I’ve ever had, and I don’t eat health food.’
“I was like, ‘I don’t make health food!’ I make dessert,” she continues. “I just happen to do it without using animal byproducts. People think vegan and go, ‘Oh, that’s healthy, that’s not a dessert.’ But it is. Everything I do correlates to a traditional Southern recipe. That’s how I was taught to bake from my grandma. But I’ve just been able to, over the years, figure out how to do it where it tastes the same.”
Skeels sells her desserts online, with both a pickup up and shipping option.
“It’s so easy to be vegan now,” she says. “I have so many customers that come to me, like, ‘I’ve never had anything vegan.’ You eat vegan stuff everyday! Just try it.”