Amirah Kassem’s personal brand is all about sparkles and smiles—but also serious business and psychedelic baked goods. Her bakery, The Flour Shop, has developed a cult-like following since it first opened its doors in SoHo in 2012. Amirah’s creations are out-of-this-world and one-of-a-kind, but don’t take it from us—you’ve probably seen her Insta-famous rainbow cake, which always contains a different sort of candy explosion. This cake, inspired by pinatas, is the perfect analogy for Amirah: it’s multidimensional, playful, and full of sprinkles.
Over the past six years, the entrepreneur has harnessed her contagious energy and love of the color wheel to grow The Flour Shop into a multi-million dollar business. Her business is such a clear product of her personality, and that passion has a distinct DNA—one that plays with nostalgia, loudness, fun, and sugar. So much so that she colloquially refers to her team as the “Sprinkle Squad.” From her early days as an Easy Bake Oven connoisseur, all the way to 2018, Amirah is living proof that you can build a business on fun and flour.
What inspired Flour Shop and how did its branding come about?
Growing up in Mexico and baking with my mom was pretty much where it all started, drawing inspiration from my colorful culture and childhood imagination!
Your cakes are all over social media. What inspired you to create the rainbow cake?
Pinatas! I love birthdays so I decided to combine all of my favorites, cake, rainbows, sprinkles and pinatas!!!!
If you could have a meal with someone, living or deceased, who would it be and why? What would you eat?
Willy Wonka! We would meet at his place and eat wallpaper!
What do you crave in life?
What about your job makes you feel the most fulfilled?
Spreading Joy! One sprinkle at a time.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
NEVER GROW UP. - Peter Pan
What’s been the biggest surprise or highlight of your career to date?
You’ll find out in April when my book comes out!
Where does your passion/drive come from?
EXCITEMENT! As long as you're excited about something passion and drive will follow
What keeps you up at night?
Whose career really inspires you?
What has been your biggest opportunity or biggest challenge as a woman in the food industry?
My upcoming collection with Williams-Sonoma! It’s so magical and I can’t wait to share it with the world!
The pastry industry is huge. How does Flour Shop constantly stay fresh and relevant?
Easy: Be yourself—there’s only one of you! Don’t look at what others are doing!
When you hit a bump or hurdle in your career, how do you find a new road + switch gears to find success?
Expansion can be difficult, but learning to grow through a magical team was key! Spending a good amount of time teaching and training your team is more important that just filling roles.
What are you toasting to in 2019? What are you most excited for?
More Flour Shop locations, my first book, and my collection with Williams-Sonoma!