Towny Waco: What’s Baking at All Sugar’d Up?

(Welcome to the Act Locally Waco/Towny blog series. Towny is an app that connects consumers with local businesses for coupons and other great deals. Through this blog series, the folks at Towny will be sharing the stories behind some of our high-quality, local products and helping you get to know some of our energetic local entrepreneurs. For more posts in this blog series, click here: Towny Waco.– ALW)

By Tori Freeman

Many business owners have dreamed of owning their own store for years…not so for Kim Dailey. Though she’s never been especially artistic, she just kind of stumbled into a hidden talent of cake decorating. Turns out she stumbled into something pretty sweet. And suddenly, All Sugar’d Up was born (and we’re SO glad it was!).

What’s the scoop – or should I say slice – on All Sugar’d Up?

“Well short story version: I actually was working a full-time job in a call center and I was looking for something to do because I was bored when I got off work.

I started tinkering around with cake design and started making baby shower cakes for people at my job or their kids’ birthday cakes and then it just kind of blew up from there. I didn’t ever intend on this being what it was, but I found out that I had a knack for it. It kept growing and eventually it got to the point that I couldn’t maintain my current job and go home and bake all night long because I wasn’t sleeping.

So, I left my job at that time in 2012 and opened a store front. My husband literally found a spot that was open and he rented it. He just came in one day and said, ‘By the way, I did this. Get your stuff and go!’”

Had you always been a baker?

“Honestly, not really. My mom made my birthday cakes growing up and she was pretty crafty so she tinkered around with that kind of stuff. And I was around lots of birthday parties – my parents worked at a roller skating rink and they did birthday parties like every weekend, so I was around cake like all the time.

So I was familiar with it in general but I was never really a baker. The most I ever did was make some sugar cookies or chocolate cookies or something like that.

When I decided to start tinkering around, I took a Michael’s class, just one single class that taught us how to make buttercream and icing flowers and things like that. From there I just was like, you know this is pretty cool. I can do this.

After that, I engrossed myself in anything and everything to do with cake decorating. I was online looking at stuff, I stalked people’s Facebook pages, looking at high profile celebrity bakers and watched what they did and blew pictures up and sat down and just started teaching myself. I’d sit there and work and work and work at it until I figured out the technique. So, I’ve pretty much been self-taught.”

What’s your favorite memory involving cake?

“I told you my mom made my birthday cakes as a kid, and when I think back to the very first cake I can ever remember her making, it was a sun. She made the full round cake, and then she made another one and cut it into triangles to put around the outside and iced it up in yellow and covered it in coconut. I think she used maraschino cherries for the eyes and the nose and the mouth.

That’s the first cake that I ever remember from my childhood. And it doesn’t seem like it was anything big, but back then we were in a time where nobody had the big elaborate cakes. Everybody had a sheet cake, you know, they got a little sheet cake at a local grocery store.

But my mom always came up with something different every year, one year it was sunshine, the next year it’d be a rainbow. And so for me that was so special.”

All Sugar’d Up five tier wedding cake

Do you think there’s any misconceptions people have about cake decorating?

“I think the biggest misconception that people have is when they’re comparing a bakery like us to a supermarket or a grocery store. The work that we do here and the kind of cake that you get there are two completely different things.

Most people don’t understand the time that goes into making something. They think it’s just, oh I just call you and you can whip it up in an hour kind of thing.

They don’t understand the art that goes into it and the time that goes into it. It’s not a cake made in a grocery store that was frozen and shipped in and the decorator came in and slapped some icing on and wrote “Happy Birthday.”

This is something that’s custom. What you’re getting from us is a fresh, baked from-scratch cake with homemade icing and someone sitting down and custom creating what you envisioned. And that takes time. You know, just the general wedding cake, you’re talking 15, 20 hours of work between baking, decorating, stacking, all those sorts of things just for a simple wedding cake.”

That’s amazing! And you’ll have multiple orders at once – how do you get it all done?

Circus themed birthday party cake

“I struggled with that for a long time when I was doing everything on my own, and that’s why I wasn’t sleeping. Now, I’ve got two employees: one is my mother who is my primary baker. And then I have another employee that’s been here for almost two years. So we’ve developed ourselves a system now to get everything done.

Even so, when you hit wedding weeks, it is mass chaos and long hours. We’re here an hour or two before opening every single day, and there’s a lot of times we’re here hours after we close at night.

But it’s the life of a bakery, you do what you love and you build yourself a reputation based on the quality of your work. Cakes can be pretty all day long, but if they don’t taste good, nobody wants them. We pride ourselves on providing a product that not only looks spectacular, but it tastes just as good. Our customers come back time and time again.

That’s where our business has built itself so much over the past few years: word of mouth. The majority of our business has been off of referrals. People that have seen our work or have heard their friends talk about us, and they try us out once and they’re hooked. I can’t thank my customers enough for believing in us enough to give us a try, and then for telling everybody about us.”


If you’ve been, you know: All Sugar’d Up is well worth a go! But before you drop by, you’ll want to check out Towny for some special deals. Towny is a free guide that helps you explore Waco businesses and rewards you for choosing local. Find Towny online or download the free phone app!


Tori Freeman is a Colorado native turned Texan and a graduate of Baylor University. She works as a part-time paralegal and creative freelancer with expertise spanning writing, editing, and photography. Tori knows firsthand how local businesses can change lives—she met her husband, Braden, while working at the Hippodrome! They now happily live in Waco with their spoiled golden-doodle and their even more spoiled baby boy.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

Sunshine Recovery House supports women in recovery. Now you can support them.

By Summer Shine

Most people are affected by alcoholism or addiction in one way or another, whether it’s their own struggle, or a family member or a friend.  The disease of addiction and alcoholism has infiltrated our everyday lives. It’s become so prevalent that the CDC proclaimed the opioid crisis in northern states is becoming a national crisis. According to a recent study by the Surgeon General’s office, 1 in 7 Americans suffer from drug or alcohol addiction. Many are touched, but few know what help there is for people who have this disease.

When I decided to get sober in 2013 I, fortunately, had previous experience with recovery and family and friends who were still willing to help. Not all who are afflicted are as lucky as I was. Many find themselves without resources or on long waitlist to get into any sort of treatment facility. Another challenge is that after a short term stay, typically 30-60 days, clients in recovery are expected to figure out a new lifestyle, housing and a recovery plan, with very little assistance. This becomes a major turning point for many people who are seeking long term recovery. What are they to do? Where are they to go? Who is their new support system? These can be stressful and confusing times.

Sober living communities are popping up all over the country as solution to this problem. These homes offer safe, affordable housing in an environment where a recovery lifestyle is commonplace, and mistakes are used as learning tools.  Most Sober Living Houses (SLH) require participation in 12-step recovery programs, have straight forward house rules and adhere to probation requirements.

Another study by National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that people in recovery who live in short-term housing for 6-9 months after treatment have a 70% better chance of staying sober for 2 or more years than people who go straight back into old environments.

In 2015 when Sunshine Recovery House opened its doors, there were 5 sober living houses for men in the Waco area and none for women. Historically women are underserved both in addiction recovery and in mental health services. Being a woman in recovery and having many close female friends who are both in recovery and have mental illness, I found the lack of resources disturbing and appalling.

Not being one to take the sidelines when there is a problem to be solved, I addressed the issue and opened a sober living house here in Waco for women! We currently rent 2 small houses close to the old Hillcrest.  We have nine beds and are usually full with a waitlist. We recently formed as a nonprofit organization and are raising money to purchase one large house close to downtown that will house 12-14 women and host a live-in house manager.

Waco has been an amazing advocate for Sunshine Recovery House! We’ve seen people come out of the woodworks (figuratively and literally) to show us support and help us expedite the process. It’s been both heartwarming and awe inspiring to see the amount of love people have shown us. More importantly we have been privy to seeing the lives of women in this community radically changed. We’ve seen miracles happen and that is the real game-changer. Women get their kids back, pay off debt, find wonderful careers, go to school, finish probation or clear CPS cases. THESE ladies are the reason we fight through the hard times, and trust me, there are hard times.

I am lucky. I’m lucky to have women in my life who are fighting the same fight I am, who show up to support me and who make the simple, yet hard decision to allow God to change them completely.  I’ve learned along the way that I can only keep what I’ve been given, freedom from active addiction, by giving it away.

If you, or someone you love is suffering from addiction or alcoholism, know that there is help. There are 2 treatment facilities in the Central Texas area and a whole host of them in DFW and Austin. More sober living houses are being opened and often I am seeing young people get sober before they have had to suffer some of the same consequences that many have. It’s hopeful and magical and God induced. Some may say it’s a lofty goal to want to eradicate addiction and alcoholism all together, but why not try?

Rollin’ 4 Recovery

Join us March 23rd for a night of laughter, music, food, fun and friends. Comedian Shayne Smith is unapologetically goofy and recants his experiences through hilarious rants about life as a real gangsta….er, geek! Hear some sick beats laid down by Waco’s own Ryan Thomas as he takes us on a lyrical journey through interpretive spoken word, also known as rap. Enjoy a delicious meal provided by Waco’s #1 food truck Club Sandwich and signature mocktail beverages provided by Luna Juice Bar. Not to mention the savage live auction items up for grabs. Trust us, you won’t want to miss this night! If you’d like to mail a check for sponsorship or tables please mail to: Sunshine Recovery House 1516 Austin Ave Suite 3 Waco, TX 76701 Rollin’ 4 Recovery

  • March 23 – 7 PM
  • Brazos Event Center, 520 Elm Ave.
  • General admission $50 – $70.  VIP and Table Sponsor opportunities available. Click here for Tickets: Rollin 4 Recovery.

Summer Shine is Owner / Operator / General Juice Slinger at Luna Juice Bar and a  Hip Hop Dancer at God’s Great Kingdom.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

Press Release: Acclaimed Nashville songwriters to perform in support of TTU student scholarships

WACO, TX – The second-annual “Chords & Conversations” Songwriters event is set to return on March 30 at the Waco Hilton and will feature three Nashville songwriters who will perform acoustic versions of their hit songs in support of Texas Tech University Higher Education Teaching Site at Waco, directly benefiting Waco-campus students through scholarships.

According to Dr. Lewis Snell, director at TTU Waco, this event is a rare opportunity for music goers to connect with three of the most acclaimed hitmakers in the music industry in an intimate, live performance and discover the stories behind the songs.  

“Not only will each artist perform acoustic versions of some of their most well-loved compositions, but they will also relate stories about the people, places and circumstances that inspired those songs,” Snell explained. “More importantly. The event will give you an opportunity to support—in a powerful way—local college students who are pursuing their dreams.”

Set to perform are Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame member Bob Dipiero, three-time

Grammy Nominee Lee Thomas Miller, and “Song of the Year” Nominee Wendell Mobley, who have penned more than 30-combined chart toppers, including Blue Clear Sky, Take Me As I Am, The Impossible, Fast Cars and Freedom and How Country Feels.

The event will start at 6:30 p.m. and include a pre-show reception catered by Hilton Waco’s executive chef Nathaniel Gay, the performance, and then conclude with an after-show reception where visitors are invited to mingle with the artists over coffee and dessert. 

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for this event. For more information, please contact Lewis Snell at 254-299-8288 or email at lewis.snell@ttu.edu.  Individual tickets for the event are now available for $150 each and can be purchased at https://www.depts.ttu.edu/waco/chords-and-conversations/ or visit the Facebook page @TexasTechWaco.

Baylor Scott and White – Hillcrest Seeking Bilingual Spiritual Care Volunteers!

By Matthew Hoffman, MA, BCC

We began, about three years ago, the “Good Friends Volunteer Spiritual Care Program” out of a conviction that within our city, there is a “community of healers,” who if given proper training, in some very basic spiritual care and visitation ministry, under the help and guidance of our professionally trained Staff Chaplains, could come into the hospital context and make a difference in the lives of people in need.  

Since we began this volunteer program, with now, visits numbering into the thousands, having taken place, this hypothesis has born itself out to be true, that there are everyday people, who can stand as “healers,” in sacred places, like that of a patient’s room, and by doing so, can make a profound, health giving difference in the trajectory of people’s lives.

Here in Waco, we are seeking to take the “Good Friends” program and pilot a new version of this to help mobilize volunteers from local bilingual/Spanish speaking congregations to the help advance the care of our Spanish only speaking patients.  Coming into a hospital can be a very anxiety producing experience.  How much more so if you speak a different language than the majority of your healthcare team?  By being a member of the Good Friends program as a bilingual volunteer you will be a welcomed presence offering prayer as desired, a listening ear and making people aware of the other spiritual care resources that would be available to them.  

  • Through the Good Friend Program you will be trained in areas of:
  • How to minister to the spiritual and emotional needs of the sick.
  • Discover the unique nature of hospital ministry.
  • How to care for people of diverse religious traditions and cultures.
  • Being a ministry of presence
  • The ministry of active listening

If you would like to be part of the Good Friends program as a bilingual volunteer, or if you just want to grow in your ability to care for sick within your own faith community (for pastors, who would like to send members to this training for added help in their congregation, please do so!), join us on Monday, March 25 from 1-430pm at the Allison Auditorium at Baylor Scott and White Health-Hillcrest Hospital. You can RSVP to Chaplain Matthew Hoffman @ matthew.hoffman@bswhealth.org    


Chaplain Matthew Hoffman is a Board Certified Chaplain who serves at the system level as a Manager of Baylor Scott and White Health’s Faith In Action Initiatives (CTX).  He oversees the development of various spiritual care programs in many of BSWH’s hospitals within its Central Division, as well as its local and international humanitarian aid and medical missions programs. 

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

Press release: The Deep in the Heart Film Festival announces: Kodak Filmmaking Masterclass, Working Actors Panel, Filmmaking Locations Tour

Waco, TEXAS (March 11, 2019) Deep in the Heart Film Festival collaborates with industry professionals and government officials to bring innovative film education to Waco. On Saturday, March 30th the Deep in the Heart Film Festival presents three educational sessions that dive into the art and business of filmmaking in Central Texas. Festival VIP pass holders receive access to these sessions in addition to all films and parties. Individual tickets for the sessions are also available for the first time through the Deep in the Heart website: www.deepintheheartff.com    

Super 8 filmmaking workshop

This Super 8 filmmaking workshop, presented by Kodak, covers a brief history of Super 8, and focuses on using Super 8 film today – discussing (and showing) films and music videos, highlighting what film stocks are available, and diving into how to find and choose the best camera for your projects. In addition, attendees get a sneak preview of the new, yet-to-be-released, Kodak Super 8 camera with digital display. Deep in the Heart is one of the first festivals to profile the camera. Plus, attendees get hands-on experience filming with super 8 cameras and film.

About Kodak Presenter, Norwood Cheek:

Norwood Cheek’s passion for filmmaking began when he was 15, making in-camera edited Super 8 short films. He combined his love for film with music and began shooting and directing music videos – primarily on Super 8 and 16mm. He has directed more than 80 music videos for such artists as She & Him, the EELS, SuperChunk, AFI, Ben Folds Five, French Kicks and Squirrel Nut Zippers. He directed and ran the Flicker Film Festival in Chapel Hill and Los Angeles from 1994-2010 and wrote the Flicker Guide to the World of Super 8 filmmaking.  He has led Super 8 filmmaking workshops at festivals, art centers, museums and universities around the world.

Session is March 30th at 1:30 pm. Tickets available at www.deepintheheartff.com

 Panel Discussion

Sam Henderson, Baylor University Lecturer of Theater and Film, facilitates a panel discussion including Texas talent agents and working actors from both Austin and Dallas. This is an open and informative discussion on how to land roles for both TV and film in Texas. With shows like “Queen of the South” and “Fear of the Walking Dead” currently filming in Texas, this panel will be of great interest to Waco area talent looking to appear on screen.

Session is March 30th at 3:30 pm. Tickets available at www.deepintheheartff.com

 Film locations Tour

The Film Locations Tour is a guided tour of Waco film sites for film scouts and filmmakers, conducted by the Waco Film Commission and Convention & Visitors Bureau. The is a driving tour of Waco aboard a motorcoach with possible stops at the Historic Village, Brazos Park East, and other locations. Attendees will have all their questions answered regarding filming Waco, find out about the benefits of production in Central Texas, and network with attending filmmakers.

The session is March 30th at 10:00 am.  This is a free event, but tickets are required.  Please reserve your seat through www.deepintheheartff.com.

For further inquiry, please contact Festival Co-Director, Samuel Thomas at info@deepintheheartff.com or 817-800-0643  

ROOTS Natural Hair Club at Baylor University: More than Just a Hair Club

By Gabrielle Chaney

The idea of creating a natural hair club at Baylor University started in my 2001 Honda in Spring 2017. My friend, and now former president of ROOTS NHC, Victoria Ellison and I were casually discussing how it would be a great idea to create an organization on campus dedicated to promoting, celebrating, and educating people about black natural hair on campus. Three weeks later I start receiving text messages and emails about becoming an officer on campus. I was shook! We started something that I would never have thought would be possible at a predominantly white institution.

We started ROOTS Natural Hair Club at Baylor in the fall of 2017 with only four officers: Victoria E., President; Kelcey M., Vice President; Gabrielle C.,Treasurer & Social Media; and  Morenike T., Secretary. For the 2018-2019 school year we have six officers and want to continue growing on campus. Michelle O. (front right), Gabrielle C. (2nd right), Kelcey M. (2nd left), Dr. Scott; advisor (front left), Jayne J. (back right), Chia N. (back left), Victoria M. (not in photograph)

The start-up of ROOTS NHC was not easy. In the beginning, many students did not understand our purpose and were skeptical about having a new organization on campus, administration did not understand our vision.

To gain traction we knew we needed to find something different to attract people to attend our meetings. One huge initiative, which we still continue to do, was providing natural hair products and samples to students who join our organization or students in need. “Why not provide something useful and cost efficient for students to try in their hair?” we thought. In the black community, natural hair products are not cheap. Quality brands of natural hair shampoo and conditioners for black hair can cost over $20, so our goal is to try and provide opportunities for students to win prizes, hair products & samples that natural hair companies provide us, at every meeting. We have been blessed to receive donations and support from huge companies, such as Aunt Jackie’s Natural Hair Products, As I Am, Curls, Cantu, Palmers, Do Gro and many more. 

The concept of our meetings is that hair is the starting point for larger discussions. We have discussed issues such as colorism in society, natural hair in the newsroom and journalism, natural hair in the business world, hair education, and even hot topics such as culture appropriation and the historical roots of African hair. The conversations dive deeper into loving the skin God has blessed us with, appreciating the hair on our heads, and educating non-blacks on the importance of black culture.

As a result of these conversations we had the idea of creating a hair event. We hosted the ESSENCE Hair Show & Expo at Baylor in the spring of 2018. We worked to bring vendors and to have hairstylists showcasing their work. At the event we provided giveaway products, free haircuts, and performances.

This year we will be hosting the 2nd Annual SPRING FEST Hair Show & Expo at Baylor University. Our goals in planning this event are to invite the entire Baylor and Waco community to witness something new and unique in Central Texas. The event has gained traction from start-up businesses, entrepreneurs, and local businesses.  We will have vendors from Waco, Dallas, Houston, and Austin that specialize in natural hair products, hair accessories, skin care, and so much more. We will be hosting even more performances, vendors, bigger prizes, free food and haircuts than last year. All of the ticket sales will be donated to the Family Abuse Center of Waco, Texas.

I am blessed to have this opportunity and grateful for how far our organization has come in the past two years at Baylor. As I close my senior year, I only pray our work as servants of God will continue through this organization.

ROOTS Natural Hair Club is more than just a hair club. We want every attendee at our meetings and events to leave feeling loved and appreciated. I pray, as a president and advocate for black culture, that I have helped cultivate leadership in my officers and freedom of expression in all our members and attendees. We have great ideas and I know that, if we have the drive, ROOTS NHC can reach even further in accomplishing our dreams.

If you are interested in attending the SPRING FEST Hair Show & Expo it is on March 30th, 2019, from 2-6pm at Baylor University’s Bill Daniel Student Center. Tickets are $2 presale and $5 at the door. You can purchase tickets through www.Eventbrite.com, type in “SPRING FEST Hair Show & Expo.” All ticket sales will be donated to the Family Abuse Center.


Gabrielle Chaney is a senior Athletic Training major at Baylor University. She is from Missouri City, Texas, and originally from Lafayette, Louisiana. Her career goals are to work as an Athletic Trainer and Physical Therapist for a University. Eventually, she would like to have her own business. She loves getting to know people, watching sports, music, cooking, and also discussions on social justice and activism. One of her big passions is ROOTS Hair Club at Baylor University. “This organization allows me to have a voice on campus and express the love of hair and community!” she says. One of her other passions is leadership and working on becoming a better leader. “I believe Baylor University has cultivated an atmosphere where my leadership abilities have had room to grow and shine,” she says. “I am grateful for my time at Baylor and ready to see what the world has in store for me in the future.”