What began as a passion for food and baking became a family and women-owned business with a focused cause. Read on to learn how Stacey Donayre, an awarded personal chef, started The Fudge Pie, all the while keeping a children-focused cause in mind.
The Fudge Pie Founder: Stacey Donayre
After one delicious bite of the fudge pie recipes, you can tell that Fudge Pie Founder Chef Stacey Donayre has had some impressive culinary training. But her love for cooking started with cooking for her grandmother who praised Stacey’s cooking at a young age.
As she got older, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Culinary Institute of America, where she trained with some of the most premier chocolatiers and pastry chefs in the world. After graduating, she interned at the world-famous Le Cirque restaurant under the tutelage of Chef Jacque Torres. Stacey then went on to teach the professional pastry program for the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Mexico City.
Stacey made the career transition from teaching at the Culinary Institute to running her own pie business when she moved from Mexico back to the US with her family.
Originally, the Fudge Pie started as a way for Chef Stacey to raise money to support her daughter’s non-profit. Her daughter, Aylah, had started Charitable Arts, a 501(c)3 that encourages children to help underprivileged children in the U.S. and abroad through the use of art. They needed a way to support the business, so Stacey sold her delicious and unique versions of fudge pie recipes.
Building the Fudge Pie Business
After the initial inspiration from her daughter, Stacey began her business with her husband, Fernando. Stacey and Fernando started the Fudge Pie in 2019 by going from a charitable drive to an E-commerce store. Fernando’s background in business and finance, as founder and CEO of INCA Investments, a Latin American Investment Specialist firm, combined with Stacey’s culinary skills, provides the perfect balance to the company.
Stacey has described how Fernando turns dreams into reality by setting small goals every day. He has assisted Stacey in creating The Fudge Pie from a business perspective. Fernando describes that Stacey is “right-brained” as the creative genius, where Fernando is the “left-brain” and is mostly analytical and methodical.
The whole family is involved in the business in any way that they can help. In addition to Aylah, they have a son, Braden, along with four cats and their amazing dog Buffett (who is a frisbee superstar). Many nights the kids help by folding boxes and delivering pies. They have also helped recruit friends and family to help with special and essential projects like building a website. It truly is a family effort with Stacey at the forefront.
Hopes and Missions
Today the Fudge Pie Co. donates 10% of all profits to Charitable Arts and other charitable organizations dedicated to helping underprivileged children. While we are fighting COVID-19, the Fudge Pie is donating $5 with every pie purchase to Feeding South Florida. So far, they have donated over $2,000, which will help support lower-income families during these tough times.
Chef Stacey’s ultimate goal is to wholesale Fudge Pies in grocery stores around the country. In addition to distributing her pies countrywide, she would like to use the profits to replicate CARE Elementary schools. The mission of CARE Elementary School is to provide a nurturing Christian environment where children from the Overtown, FL community receive the best opportunity for academic success and character development.
A Focused Fundraiser
This year, due to COVID-19, CARE had to cancel its traditional annual fundraiser and replace it with a new kind of socially distanced fundraiser! So the Fudge Pie employees volunteered and donated over 60 pies for the gift baskets! Volunteers dropped off all of the baskets to donors from a school bus from CARE! Volunteers also followed behind in their cars and made some noise, further thanking the donors of this incredible cause. You can check out some of the photos of the event below!
Find The Fudge Pie
The Fudge Pie ships nationwide, so be sure to check out many of their delicious flavors, including the best-selling classic chocolate and the maple pecan. Also, be on the lookout for their special pies of the month with flavors ranging from almond raspberry to matcha green tea to speculoos cookie pie. They’re all delicious!