Actress PaSean Wilson-Ashley Ventures Into Specialty Desserts with MamaAunties Vegan Baked Goodies

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Vegan foodPaSean Wilson-Ashley does business in Hollywood as an actress. But
when the director yells cut, Wilson-Ashley is baking up vegan goodies.

“Why
did I decide to start MamaAunties Vegan Baked Goodies? Well, there’s a
story.  A few years ago Whole Foods began making vegan chocolate chip
cookies.  They were rather expensive and since I liked them a lot, I
realized I would be spending a lot of money on the cookies.  I decided
to try and make my own,” recalls Wilson-Ashley. “I searched many recipes
vegan and non-vegan and came up with the recipe that I use today. From
there, I started experimenting with other desserts.”

And she had a
special inspiration for her new company’s name.  “The name MamaAuntie
was created by my niece and nephew. I had the great fortune of being
able to keep them every summer for the past 13 years and one day they
said to me that I’m more than an auntie; I’m a mama and an auntie and
thus the name MamaAuntie was born,” explains Wilson-Ashley.

Now,
Wilson-Ashley is baking up a storm. Her offerings include: Almond Butter
cookies; Banana Cake; Banana Nut Bread (Chocolate); Brownies with
Walnuts; Carrot cake with Cream Cheese Frosting; Chocolate cake with
buttercream frosting or chocolate buttercream frosting); Chocolate Chip
Cookies with pecans or walnuts; Coffee Cake; Lemons Bundt Cake;
Persimmon Pumpkin Spice Cake; Red Velvet Cupcakes with cream cheese
frosting; Vanilla Cake with vanilla or chocolate frosting; Vanilla
Cupcakes with caramel frosting; Chocolate/Vanilla Cake with chocolate
vanilla frosting; and even Vegan Ice Cream.

Wilson-Ashley has
funded her home-based startup with product sales. There have been a few
challenges. “In California, if you want to sell to anyone other than
friends and family you need a cottage license.  In order to get a
cottage license you have to label your product in a certain way.  So
researching that and taking a food handler’s course are the main
challenges,” she says. 

One thing that has, fortunately, been
easy has been balancing her side hustle. “Balancing acting and a
home-based baking business has been quite manageable.  I bake on the
days that I don’t have auditions.  Since acting has been a little slower
lately, it really hasn’t been a problem.  But even when things pick up,
I don’t anticipate a problem because I can always bake ahead.  I don’t
have to worry about things going bad because all of my products are
dairy-free.”

Wilson-Ashley is excited about the next phase of her
business. “One of my goals for 2016 is to increase sales.  I also
intend to have at least two of my products in coffees shops.  I would
also like to get into a farmers markets,” says Wilson. “My long term
goal is to have MamaAuntie become a recognized  brand.  I would like to
be the Black Martha Stewart.  I would also like to launch MamaAuntie’s
vegan waffle mix in retail stores. The time is right because I am in a
point in my life where I want to have multiple streams of income and
have multiple outlets to express all of my creativity.”