Grandbaby Cakes

Jocelyn Delk Adams, Founder

Chicago, IL
Grandbaby Cakes Grandbaby Cakes
Grandbaby Cakes
Baking up Grandbaby Cakes

In 2012, working in event production, Jocelyn Delk Adams began baking as a fulfilling and relaxing outlet from work. Inspired by her grandmother's recipes and her nickname "baby cakes" (because she would always bring cakes to work for birthdays and holidays), Jocelyn combined the two and the name for her blog Grandbaby Cakes was born.

Still new to the world of blogging, she bought a $99 template and took photos on her phone. "It wasn't that deep, I was just snapping quick photos and putting things up, saying 'hey I made this, you can make it too' and telling stories about my grandmother," she says.

She steadily began improving her photography - swapping her phone for her dad's camera and entering her red velvet mississippi mud pie in a baking competition. Jocelyn won the competition, driving a surge in traffic on her website. Soon, large brands got in touch, inviting her to be part of their influencer program. These serendipitous events made her realize she needed to put more into growing Grandbaby Cakes.

"I thought - I need to learn as much as I can and see how I can leverage this and expand my brand portfolio," she explains.

Grandbaby Cakes
Becoming an entrepreneur

By the end of 2013, Jocelyn received several emails from literary agents asking if she'd ever thought of writing a book. Grandbaby Cakes was taking off, but she was still working full time. Her boss told her it was time to make a decision, so Jocelyn came in the next day and resigned. "He was like - 'whoa, I didn't think you'd decide that fast, and I told him I had been working on a book proposal and it was accepted. I thought I'd go for it," she says.

Jocelyn took a leap of faith and Grandbaby Cakes delivered: her cookbook came out in fall 2015, and soon she began looking for ways to turn her passion into a full time gig.

"When you step out and go out on a limb to become an entrepreneur, you have to be confident that you'll make it work and be self-motivated, that's the key to whether you succeed or not," she explains.

“I know a lot of people who want to cook or learn things and at this point, I've been able to make a living while still keeping that free for people and I think that's awesome.”
Growing the Grandbaby Cakes team with the right business model

In 2016, Jocelyn started working with Google Publishing Partner Mediavine to bake an ads-based business model into Grandbaby Cakes.

"Ad revenue definitely made a huge difference in terms of what I could do," she says, adding that she keeps her business model diverse with brand sponsorship, television work and licensing deals in addition to the ad revenue. "It was substantial enough for me to quit [my job] and be fine."

She was able to build out a team that includes a manager, publicist, photographers, writers and a social media coordinator.

She was also able to keep her content free.

"I know a lot of people who want to cook or learn things and at this point, I've been able to make a living while still keeping that free for people and I think that's awesome," she says.

Keeping her content accessible has also allowed her to grow a loyal audience. "They love to share when they make things, and we have an intimate Facebook group where we share and talk," she recalls. "They all feel connected to the brand because it's relatable to them."

Continuing a legacy of incredible cooks

That connection to her audience has paid off – Jocelyn has won numerous awards for her work and she is releasing another cookbook, Everyday Grand. But her motivation is tied to something deeper - "The accolades are great, but I'm most proud of what I've been able to do to preserve my family's legacy."

About the Publisher

Jocelyn Delk Adams is the founder, author, national television personality and brand ambassador behind the award winning cookbook Grandbaby Cakes and the food website, which gives her family's, particularly her grandmother's, cherished generational recipes her modern spin while preserving their original charm and spirit. Jocelyn is the co-host of the Cooking Channel and Discovery Plus game show, Stab That Cake. She's also a judge on Disney Channel and Disney Plus' Magic Bake Off, Food Network's popular series "Santa's Baking Blizzard" and "Beat Bobby Flay", and cast member of such shows as "Food Fantasies" on OWN Network, Cooking Channel's longest running most popular shows, "Unique Sweets" and TODAY Show's "TODAY ALL-STARS." Jocelyn hopes Grandbaby Cakes will continue to deliver inspired recipes shaped by the past but reinvented for the present which will encourage new generations of cooking enthusiasts to learn how to cook and bake and create new family memories for years to come.
Grandbaby Cakes