From Classrooms to Cupcakes: Meet the former teacher behind Third Ward's Cupcake Kitchen

Chaz Miller Image
Friday, August 7, 2020
From Classrooms to Cupcakes: Third Ward's Cupcake Kitchen
Patrice Farooq says her time as a teacher has helped her adapt during the pandemic and keep her business alive.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Patrice Farooq, owner of Cupcake Kitchen in the Third Ward, started her professional career as a math and science teacher at Houston Independent School District's Frost Elementary.

Farooq's career as an educator lasted over a decade, but she ultimately decided to pursue a career in the culinary arts.

"I started to transition into cooking because I was trying to come up with some other streams of revenue," said Farooq. "I started to cater in 2013 and Cupcake Kitchen opened in 2014."

Cupcake Kitchen, currently located at 2533 Southmore Boulevard, started as just a bakery, but Farooq expanded the business in 2019. CCK Seafood and Soulfood, connected to Cupcake Bakery, serves salmon and shrimp bowls, jerk chicken wings, oxtails, and more.

"We had just opened our dining room in December," she said. "In March, we were required to close our dining room because of the pandemic."

That's where Farooq's background as an educator came in handy. She said her ability to interpret data, as well as her social media proficiency, allowed the business to adapt to these challenging times.

"We were able to integrate that into our online store," Farooq explained. "Which really doubled our business once we shut the dining room down."

Cupcake Kitchen and CCK Seafood and Soulfood are still operating for to-go and curbside orders only, but Farooq is still looking to expand her mark in the community she grew up in. She plans on opening a Soul-Mex restaurant, called Taco Train, in the area later this year.

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