We had the good fortune of connecting with Nekole St Juste and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nekole, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind our success is that we have created our own lane as a coconut cake company. I know that puts us in a small box but the cake market is so saturated, it’s important to have that one thing that separates you from the pack and at the same time draws excitement for the customer! What also sets us apart is the fact that we don’t use frosting, and as we continue to push through barriers we are excited to learn just how many people love cake without frosting! When you see the hash tag “All the Flavor Minus the Frosting” you should know that’s Nurse Neke’s Coconut Cakes!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a registered nurse and currently I still work full time as a Home Clinic Coordinator. It’s a challenging position to work in while trying to grow Nurse Neke’s Coconut Cakes, because I’m on call 24/7. I absolutely love being a nurse, but I also have a huge passion for baking coconut cakes. In 2019 I had a vision so I worked on a small business plan and shared it with my husband, he absolutely loved it! From there we’ve been working full time to make the vision come to life! I want people to know that Nurse Neke’s Coconut Cakes is not your average bakery. The world is changing and evolving right before our eyes, and we are apart of that change. We are in our own lane, as the only coconut cake company in Orlando, FL.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If you are in town and you order Nurse Neke’s Coconut Cakes make sure to stop by the Orlando eye! It has breath taking views and is a must before leaving the city!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The birth of Nurse Neke’s Coconut Cakes is greatly due to my mother Shirley Harris Armstrong, my grandmother Doshia-Harris Bowling , and my husband Holly St Juste! Growing up it was a huge tradition to have my grandmother’s coconut cake at family gatherings, and it was also a well kept secret! My mother Shirley was the only one out of 10 children to learn the recipe by watching her mom and helping her bake in the kitchen. The tradition was passed on to me, because I was eager to learn everything about cooking and baking! Fast forward some years and I made the cake at a friend’s super bowl party, and it was a hit! My mother helped us tweak her recipe to make it my own and increase the shelf life of the cake, and the rest is history! We now have about five coconut cake options (and counting), our latest creation is a Cream Cheese Coconut Cake, our newest product which will be available in April 2021 is Coconut Cookies!
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Alain Franklin with AFPro Media, Holly St Just with Nurse Neke’s Coconut Cakes