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

  • http://www.thesun.co.uk Christina Earle

    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

  • http://www.thesun.co.uk Christina Earle

    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

  • Mandy Abbott

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

  • Mandy Abbott

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

  • http://www.seattlespectator.com/ Tina Pinedo

    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!

  • http://www.seattlespectator.com/ Tina Pinedo

    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!

  • Felicity

    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

    • DepressedCakeShop

      Hi Felicity! Please email Rebecca Swanner, one of the two LA Depressed Cake Shop organizers (secretmarmalade@gmail.com) and she’ll help you out. Another good place to start is to join the official Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/394866207268939/)

  • Felicity

    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

    • DepressedCakeShop

      Hi Felicity! Please email Rebecca Swanner, one of the two LA Depressed Cake Shop organizers (secretmarmalade@gmail.com) and she’ll help you out. Another good place to start is to join the official Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/394866207268939/)

  • http://www.redvelvetbaking.blogspot.com Jessica

    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

    • ValerieVG

      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

  • http://www.redvelvetbaking.blogspot.com Jessica

    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

    • ValerieVG

      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

  • http://www.heartfeatures.co.uk christabel smith

    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

    • ValerieVG

      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

  • http://www.heartfeatures.co.uk christabel smith

    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

    • ValerieVG

      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

  • http://www.creativementalhealthuk.com Sarah

    How do you make a cake Grey ?

    • ValerieVG

      a tiny bit of black food coloring in vanilla cake batter does the trick.
      xo,
      Depressed Cake Shop Los Angeles

  • http://www.creativementalhealthuk.com Sarah

    How do you make a cake Grey ?

    • ValerieVG

      a tiny bit of black food coloring in vanilla cake batter does the trick.
      xo,
      Depressed Cake Shop Los Angeles