The Life and Career of Warren Brown: Attorney Entrepreneur Turned Baker Restaurateur
by Judith Earley
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Brown initially went to law school to cultivate the credentials to work as an advocate in the area of reproductive health education. After graduating from Brown University, he worked as a reproductive health educator in Providence, RI, and in Los Angeles. However, he soon became frustrated that the curriculum he was required to teach was not applicable to the real life issues kids were facing. He decided he wanted to combine a law degree with advanced public health training, so he went back to school. While he was still working on his dual degrees, Brown realized that there were few opportunities to make the kind of difference he sought, and he took the position with HHS upon graduation.
Brown has been comfortable in the kitchen since his childhood in Cleveland, Ohio. His father was a big fan of his son's homemade burritos, However Brown didn't set his hand to baking until after he finished law school. One of his favorite recipes has always been a lemon curd cake recipe discovered in Bon Appetit Magazine, but his own unique cake baking style eventually evolved through experimentation with the highest quality ingredients.
Brown maxed out his credit card to buy an oven, a double-door refrigerator and other basic equipment and took a leave of absence from HHS. A business plan he created eventually landed him a loan guaranteed by the Small Business Administration for $125,000. Powered by enthusiasm for creating cakes and frustration over his career as an attorney, Brown made a New Year's resolution in 2000 to begin selling what he baked.
He maintained an exhausting schedule of full-time legal work followed by three to five hours a night in the kitchen for ten months. Brown opened CakeLove bakery featuring homemade cakes from scratch in March 2002 in the U Street corridor in Washington, D.C. He opened a second location Silver Spring, MD, and the company also hosts a website showcasing the company's cakes and anecdotes of his transition. Love Café made its debut in August 2003.
Brown has been a favorite in the media with appearances on, and articles in The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Dateline, Fox News Sunday, GQ (June 2005), Inc Magazine's 26 Entrepreneurs We Love (March 2005), People, Reader's Digest, Southern Living, Black Enterprise, The American Lawyer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Washingtonian magazine, The Plain Dealer, Brown Alumni Monthly, The George Washington University alumni magazine, What Should I Do With My Life? written by Po Bronson, Baking From The Heart, published by Share Our Strength, and Best Of The Best Of, by Marc Silverstein.
He can also be seen regularly on the Food Network in "Sugar Rush", in the kitchen whipping up incredibly creative and decadent desserts. The show also features other world-class pastry chefs sharing baking tips and sumptuous recipes.
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