Hi all.. I’m (Kelly) back from Italy, where my brother got married in a Lemon Grove.. It was truly beautiful and a very emotional day!! No festival elements to shout about, but a lot of love and soul…

So on my way back from Paris yesterday I was reading about the Depressed Cake Shop pop ups that launched at the beginning of August..and are set to continue for the rest of this year!! We have missed a few in London but there are plenty more popping up in the UK and worldwide.

I think this is a fab concept.. My dad suffers very badly from depression and the illness has been a black dog in our family for as long as I can remember!! It’s an illness that can’t be described, understood or healed, but we can manage it and we can also spread lots of awareness so more people understand it…

The Depressed Cake Shop is a pop-up cake shop that sells only grey coloured cakes and other baked goods that are thematically tied to mental illness, with the purpose of raising awareness of mental health issues. Proceeds from the cake shops will be donated to a charity of the pop-up’s choice (but it was always be a mental health charity)

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The idea was conceived of by Emma Cakehead in the UK and so far, more than 30 Depressed Cake Shops have popped up all over the world – from Scotland to San Francisco – since the beginning of August, with many more to come.

The first shop launched at Suzzle on Brick Lane on the 2nd – 4th August. On the Sunday they featured a DJ set   Feeling Gloomy the world’s only club devoted to playing sad music. Got to check this place out!!

1 in 4 people will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives.

Mental illness is a disease that isn’t talked about. If someone has heart disease or diabetes or another chronic illness, you wouldn’t say “just snap out of it.” The Depressed Cake Shops – in addition to featuring unique, delicious grey cakes and other baked goods – provide a valuable platform to broach discussion about mental illness. And, the proceeds from each Depressed Cake Shop directly benefit a mental health-based charity of that shop’s choice.

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The concept is simple

The simple concept of the Depressed Cake Shops makes it easy for them to spring up all over the world. All bakers need to do it sell grey cakes and donate the money to a mental health charity. And they’re fun too. Bakers – many of whom use baking as a way to to manage their own mental illness and find joy – are finding creative ways to visually represent what mental illness means to them. For example, barely decorated cakes or cookies will communicate how depression can affect ability to work, the grey & dull consistent colour scheme that all fun can disappear from life. This will be a cake shop like nothing else seen before, the grey, sad-looking but delicious-tasting cakes will powerfully demonstrate the effects of depression.

But…cut them many of them open and you’ll see a pop of colour symbolising how depression coats everything in grey, but there is still hope to be found.

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Speaking about the shop Miss Cakehead comments, “Previous projects have made me aware that cake is a great way to get people discussing traditionally tough conversational topics so I wanted to create a unique experience to support those with mental health issues. Shockingly mental health issues are still considered a taboo subject by many and this must change. By doing a completely unique awareness campaign I hope that depressed cake shops will create an experience and environment within which it will be possible not to engage with the issues at hand, and the wider impact of these. It’s about challenging stigmas and labels. When someone says cupcake you think pink icing and sprinkles. When someone says mental health issues and an equally unimaginative stereotype will pop in 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.”

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The long term aim of the project is set up an official charity which will host series of baking therapy sessions around the UK, create a support network for those who use baking to help combat depression, and support bakers through the process of turning cake making into a business as their health improves. The Depressed Cake Shop team is also in talks with numerous brands about producing ‘grey’ products in a bid to continue building on a concept that has proved to be incredibly effective in raising awareness of mental health issues.

The Depressed Cake Shop is 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 our 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.

So all your bakers and wedding cake suppliers get some grey in your life.. It’s for a great cause (Don’t know about you but I actually love the colour grey)!!

Here are some upcoming pop ups….

Cardiff
Dates: August 30, September 1 (Time TBD)
Location: Cardiff Fashion Quarter, street TBD
Host/Contact: Pippa Ray (pippa-ray@hotmail.co.uk)
Join Cariff’s Facebook Group!

Cambridge
Dates: September 7th (10-5pm)
Location: Part of the Time to Change pop-up village, Christ’s Pieces Park
Host/Contact: (oz_osborne@btinternet.com)

South Lanarkshire
Dates: September 14 (10-2pm)
Location: St Johns Church Hall, Hamilton St. ML8 4HA Carluke, South Lanarkshire
Host/Contact: Donna Barrowman (Depressedcakeshoplanarkshire@outlook.com)
“Like” Lanarkshire’s Facebook Page!

Can grey cakes cure depression…. Maybe not but I think this initiative is great… Spread the word!! #depressedcakes

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