By Alyssa Rodriguez | Contributor
Although Magnolia Bakery, Lula Jane’s and Tiff’s Treats offer yummy desserts, there is a lack of vegan options in Waco when it comes to baked goods. Baylor University alumnus Travis Corley and senior Mackenzie Martin saw the need and delivered.
Martin and Corley’s business, 254 Baking, a vegan-friendly bakery and cookie delivery service, has been up and running for almost a year now. When the engaged couple switched to veganism, Martin had a difficult time adjusting to the new diet because of her sweet tooth. She struggled to find desserts in the Waco area that were vegan-friendly.
“We wanted to provide people with desserts that fit their dietary needs,” Martin said.
Martin and Corley connect with customers primarily through social media. Facebook alone has enabled 254 Baking to serve clients in Waco, McGregor and Woodway.
Megan Carter and her husband have been vegan for a few years now and are two regular customers at 254 Baking. When Carter planned her son’s first birthday party last summer, she began searching for vegan desserts. She came across 254 Baking on a vegan Facebook page and was able to plan a 100% vegan birthday party for her son.
“254 Baking has been the only place I found that’s affordable and I know for sure that it’s going to be vegan,” Carter said.
Carter stated that trusting a business to make 100% vegan food can be risky, but knowing this business is focused on vegan baking helps put her at ease. 254 Baking follows the Texas Cottage Food Law, which assures customers that their products are authentically vegan.
When Martin and Corley first started 254 Baking they did not expect such a huge demand.
“We didn’t realize how many people had these allergies,” Martin said. “It has been a very eye-opening experience.”
Martin and Corley have enjoyed working on this business together and watching it grow throughout the year. Martin’s love for baking and Corley’s degree in business marketing led to the start of them baking vegan desserts out of their apartment kitchen. Corley’s business background, particularly the brand management course he took at Baylor, has helped him in branding 254 Baking. They have been able to market their products to the local health-conscious and vegan community.
“Baylor gave me a great view of what a brand really is and how it should be marketed and how every little thing is important to a brand,” Martin said.
Martin and Corley are still growing their business, while continuing to place their faith and hope in God.
“As of now we’re just going to go with the flow and seeing where God takes us,” Martin said.