Industry: Philanthropy

Founded: 2013

The Depressed Cake Shop is a pop-up concept that sells gray 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.  To date more than 30 Depressed Cake Shops have popped up all over the world – from Scotland to San Francisco, Los Angeles to Sri Lanka.  Since the inaugural shop opened in August, 2013 this all-volunteer effort has raised over $70,000

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 5 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 gray cakes (or other baked goods) and donate the money to a mental health charity. Why gray? Because the color represents what depression does: It coats a beautiful life in gray. 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 gray cloud, hope remains.