At the age of 18, Becky Morris wrote in her journal that her life’s goal was to be her own boss. A freshman in college at the time, she didn’t know exactly how she was going to get there, but her persistence in achieving this goal never wavered. In November 2017, a little over a decade after writing that journal entry, Becky’s life goal was realized in her plant-based dessert studio, Celebrated. Last month, I had the opportunity to sit down with Becky to learn more about Celebrated.
Zara Salmon: Before we get started, can you give us some background on yourself?
Becky Morris: My name is Becky Morris, and I am the Owner and Head Pastry Artist at Celebrated. I graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor’s degree in Human Behavior and Family Studies. Shortly after graduating, I fell into some random jobs that fit my degree, but the passion that I have for baking just kept getting stronger.
ZS: How did you come up with the idea for Celebrated?
BM: I’ve always loved to deliver happiness to people in the form of sweets. Before starting Celebrated, I had worked at several bakeries and had already been making desserts for family and friends. I was actually hesitant to launch the business at first, but it was through their encouragement and some self-motivation that I was finally able to do it.
ZS: Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
BM: Yes. I’ve always been a natural leader… a natural entrepreneur, but I didn’t know what I was capable of until I stepped into this role. Now I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!
ZS: In your own words, what is Celebrated?
BM: Celebrated is a private dessert studio that serves all of Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts. We make the process of planning your party desserts effortless through our custom desserts and tablescapes. We source our mostly-organic, plant-based (vegan) ingredients from local producers whenever possible, carefully select low-impact packaging, and support local animal sanctuaries
ZS: Why vegan?
BM: About three and a half years ago I made the switch from vegetarian to vegan for health issues and animal advocacy. I had a friend who had made the switch and had been raving about it, and three and a half years later here I am. To say that veganism changed my life is an understatement.
ZS: Who is your target market?
BM: Everyone! We obviously love to cater vegan weddings and attend vegan markets, but I’m actually more excited to work with clients who aren’t vegan and are new to the plant-based space. I love farmer’s markets for that exact reason. I like to use my business as a platform to educate people on the possibilities of veganism. And, I mean, what better way to educate them than to feed them sweets!
ZS: So true! So what led you to Social Enterprise Greenhouse?
BM: I knew that my business had a social impact angle to it, so I sought out SEG to better define how we would like to create an impact. In addition to our involvement with animal sanctuaries, we are very mindful about how we source our raw materials, packaging, etc. We want our clients to know that we care about you – we want you to feel special, we want you to feel Celebrated, and at the same time we are going to celebrate the world around us through a high-end service.
ZS: What is the best advice that you can give an entrepreneur?
BM: To have perseverance in the face of all of the obstacles that you are challenged with. There will be many, but keep pushing through, because right on the other side of giving up is success. I also suggest seeking a program like SEG’s Food Accelerator where you can find a mentor.
ZS: Where do you see Celebrated 10 years from now?
BM: We will be the wedding industry leader in the plant-based community. I want Celebrated to be a brand that stands for caring about the environment and reducing waste. We want to make an impact on how animals inhabit the earth. We’re really focused on strategically contributing to the sustainability of animal sanctuaries. Ultimately we would love to launch a line of wholesale products, our premier one being the cookie dough.
ZS: Any big news from Celebrated that you’d like to share with our audience?
BM: Yes! Our team just expanded with our first full-time hire, Ashley Hartford. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, she’s been interning with us since last June, and recently we were able to offer her the Assistant Pastry Chef role. We’re also having a product launch party for our cookie dough this summer, so look out for that!
ZS: Where can we find New England’s only vegan French macaroon in the meantime?
BM: Starting this May, you can regularly find us at the Boston SoWa Market every Sunday. We’ll also be at the Vegan Market for Mother’s Day on May 12 in Somerville, the BAKED Festival in Cambridge on May 19, and the Compassionfest on July 20 in Hamden.
Zara Salmon, Communications Coordinator
Zara is a 2018 graduate of Wheaton College where her majors were English and Political Science. During her junior year, she went abroad to Senegal, Italy, and China to study African migration and entrepreneurship. It was through this experience that she fell in love with the field of social entrepreneurship. As the Communications Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA, she will be working alongside the wonderful Crystal Rosatti helping to build and maintain SEG’s relationships with universities, organizations, and other institutions across the state.