What is the Depressed Cake Shop?

Lemon Meringue Tarts by Miss Insommnia Tulip Depressed Cake Shop
Lemon Meringue Tarts by Miss Insommnia Tulip

The Depressed Cake Shop is a pop-up concept that sells grey colored cakes and other baked goods with the purpose of raising awareness about mental health issues. Proceeds from the cake shops are donated to a charity of the pop-up’s choice. The idea was conceived by Emma Cakehead in the UK and to date more than 30 Depressed Cake Shops have popped up all over the world – from Scotland to San Francisco.  Since the inaugural shop opened in August this all-volunteer effort has raised over $46,000.

Everyone is talking about The Depressed Cake Shop.  It made Oprah’s Gratitude List in the December, 2013 issue of O Magazine, and has been featured in such outlets as Time, the Huffington Post, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, The Daily Mail, Daily Candy, The Hollywood Reporter, BBC and The Guardian.

1 in 4 people will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives.
Mental illness is a disease that just isn’t discussed.  If someone has heart disease or diabetes you would never say “just snap out of it.”  The Depressed Cake Shops provide an experience that encourages discussion about mental health issues, including — but not limited to — depression.   The proceeds from each Depressed Cake Shop directly benefit a mental health-based charity of that shop’s choice.

The concept is simple
All bakers need to do is sell grey cakes (or other baked goods) and donate the money to a mental health charity. Why grey? Because the color represents what depression does: It coats a beautiful life in grey. Many of the Depressed Cake Shop bakers use baking as a way to battle their depression. They decorate the cupcakes, cookies, and other delicious items with designs that represent their depression and encourage discussion. Often, underneath those dark designs, is a bright pop of color inside. Because underneath that grey cloud, hope remains.

“It’s about challenging stigmas and labels,” says Emma Cakehead. When someone says cupcake, you think pink icing and sprinkles. When someone says ‘mental health,’ an equally unimaginative stereotype will pop into most minds. By having grey cakes, we’re challenging the expected, and getting people to challenge the labels they put on those who suffer with a mental illness.”

The Depressed Cake Shop began as an Eat Your Heart Out Event, a collective of UK based food artists leading the way with creative food presentation, innovative edible projects and ground breaking edible art techniques. The key aims of the movement are to promote creativity in food, give talented individuals the chance to shine, be discovered and build their own self-sufficient businesses. As part of the support network we also offer guidance, advice and media training on how to manage the many media opportunities that come along as an inevitable result of being involved with Eat Your Heart Out.

Original post that inspired this one from Emma Cakehead here

24 Comments On “What is the Depressed Cake Shop?”

  1. Hi there,
    I’m a health writer from The Sun newspaper and I’m really interested to speak with you with a view to writing about it in Me, The Sun’s health pull out.
    Would you be interested?
    Please do let me know. I’m on christina.earle@the-sun.co.uk or 0207 782 4348.
    Thank you
    Christina Earle

    Reply

  2. Hi there,
    I’m a health writer from The Sun newspaper and I’m really interested to speak with you with a view to writing about it in Me, The Sun’s health pull out.
    Would you be interested?
    Please do let me know. I’m on christina.earle@the-sun.co.uk or 0207 782 4348.
    Thank you
    Christina Earle

    Reply

  3. Hi,
    The Winchester Depressed Cake shop update is that it will be on Saturday 12th October in the Covert in Winchester City centre.
    Thanks

    Reply

  4. Hi,
    The Winchester Depressed Cake shop update is that it will be on Saturday 12th October in the Covert in Winchester City centre.
    Thanks

    Reply

  5. Hi there! I will be attending the pop-up Cake Shop this Saturday in Seattle. I am writing an article on behalf of the Seattle University newspaper, the Spectator. I would love to speak with someone from The Depressed Cake shop prior to the event. If this is a possibility please let me know, my email address is pinedoc@seattleu.edu.

    Thank you very much and I look forward to Saturday!

    Reply

  6. Hi there! I will be attending the pop-up Cake Shop this Saturday in Seattle. I am writing an article on behalf of the Seattle University newspaper, the Spectator. I would love to speak with someone from The Depressed Cake shop prior to the event. If this is a possibility please let me know, my email address is pinedoc@seattleu.edu.

    Thank you very much and I look forward to Saturday!

    Reply

  7. Hello, I was trying to get in touch with someone at your company to discuss partnering on an upcoming event in December to raise money and awareness for mental illness.

    Could someone please either email me at felicity@davidstarkdesign.com or call at (718) 245-1534.

    Thank you! Best, Felicity

    Reply

  8. Hello, I was trying to get in touch with someone at your company to discuss partnering on an upcoming event in December to raise money and awareness for mental illness.

    Could someone please either email me at felicity@davidstarkdesign.com or call at (718) 245-1534.

    Thank you! Best, Felicity

    Reply

  9. Evening,

    Inspired and enthused by this amazing event, I was wondering if I could somehow get involved. I really want to run something similar in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, in support of Mind Sheffield for mental health awareness. They are fundraising for a mental health awareness guide to specifically help the student population, with getting help and understanding the signs of difficulty. I would love to know if this is possible.

    Warm wishes,

    Jessica

    Red Velvet Baking

    Jessicaaleisha@hotmail.co.uk

    Reply

    • Jessica,
      Apologies for the delay. We do not check these messages as much as we should. It is quite easy to get involved. First, join our Facebook group Depressed Cake Shop. A lot of the information is there.
      It is fun and easy to pop up your own shop. We collect and bake gray goodies and promote our shops via facebook, twitter and local press.
      If you need any more advice I check our Facebook page a bit more frequently than this one. You can find us at
      facebook.com/depressedcakeshoplosangeles

      All best,
      Valerie Van Galder

      Reply

  10. Evening,

    Inspired and enthused by this amazing event, I was wondering if I could somehow get involved. I really want to run something similar in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, in support of Mind Sheffield for mental health awareness. They are fundraising for a mental health awareness guide to specifically help the student population, with getting help and understanding the signs of difficulty. I would love to know if this is possible.

    Warm wishes,

    Jessica

    Red Velvet Baking

    Jessicaaleisha@hotmail.co.uk

    Reply

    • Jessica,
      Apologies for the delay. We do not check these messages as much as we should. It is quite easy to get involved. First, join our Facebook group Depressed Cake Shop. A lot of the information is there.
      It is fun and easy to pop up your own shop. We collect and bake gray goodies and promote our shops via facebook, twitter and local press.
      If you need any more advice I check our Facebook page a bit more frequently than this one. You can find us at
      facebook.com/depressedcakeshoplosangeles

      All best,
      Valerie Van Galder

      Reply

  11. Hi, I have been reading about this and think it’s brilliant! Would love to talk to you asap with a view to potential collaboration on a feature for a UK magazine. Thanks so much, Christabel Smith

    Reply

    • I am so sorry for the delay. We do not check these comments as much as we should. I will send you a note to your email address.
      all best,
      Valerie Van Galder

      Reply

  12. Hi, I have been reading about this and think it’s brilliant! Would love to talk to you asap with a view to potential collaboration on a feature for a UK magazine. Thanks so much, Christabel Smith

    Reply

    • I am so sorry for the delay. We do not check these comments as much as we should. I will send you a note to your email address.
      all best,
      Valerie Van Galder

      Reply

  13. How do you make a cake Grey ?

    Reply

  14. How do you make a cake Grey ?

    Reply

  15. I would like to send an email. Where should I send an Email to? Mine is sangsun256@gmail.com please send me one!

    Reply

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