The Depressed Cake Shop Heads To Underbelly For Annual Mental Health Fundraiser
Cakes are fun, joyful and celebratory—usually. The Depressed Cake Shop features desserts with a meaningful twist. The icing is often monochromatic; the inside might be colorful, to show there is more than indicated by the exterior. Sales of these unusual cakes—often starkly beautiful, even in shades of black or gray—raise money to combat depression.
Now in its fourth year, The Depressed Cake Shop is heading to a new, larger venue: Underbelly at 1100 Westheimer. The event is on Sunday, October 29 from 2 to 5 p.m. All proceeds will go to The Montrose Center and the Greater Houston chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
The concept started in the United Kingdom in 2013, and that was also the year that baker Jody Stevens of jodycakes spearheaded the first one in Houston. The event, which features dozens of donated sweets for sale, used to be held at Paulie’s. However, it has become so popular that it’s simply outgrown the modest Italian restaurant.
As usual, many top pastry chefs, bakers and other professionals in Houston’s restaurant industry are donating custom cakes. Attendees will be able to bid on these great conversation-starters.
Here’s the lineup so far:
- Jillian Bartolome, Aqui
- Andrea de Gatari, Revival Market/The Bake Happening
- Dawn Paulson, The Bake Shoppe & Cafe
- Annie Rupani, Cacao and Cardamom
- Susan Molzan, Cherry Pie Hospitality
- William Wright, Helen Greek Food & Wine, Helen In The Heights
- Niko Dalman, Helen in the Heights
- Marina Mims, The Houston Club
- Johnny Wesley, HTX Nitro Creamery
- Jody Stevens, jodycakes
- Jonathan Levine, Jonathan’s the Rub
- Samantha Mendoza, Killen’s Steakhouse
- Victoria Dearmond, One Fifth/Underbelly
- Martha DeLeon, Pax Americana
- The bakery team at Phoenicia Specialty Foods
- Adam Doris, Presidio
- Jackie Burdisso, Maison Burdisso
- Victor Pucha, Maison Pucha
- David Buehrer and staff, Morningstar
- Lyle Bento, Southern Goods
Attendees who win the silent cake auctions must be present and take their winnings with them. The announcement of winners happens at 4:45 p.m.
In addition to the cakes up for auction, there’s a bake sale that features cookies, bars, brownies, macarons, cake pops, cake balls and more by local bakers. Nearby Blacksmith is providing coffee to go with the treats while Underbelly opens the bar with drink specials. Next door, The Hay Merchant is showing the Texans game and selling food for those who need to eat something more substantial. (It also sounds like the perfect spot to send a bored spouse.)
Dedicated parking is available both behind Underbelly and across the street at Blacksmith. Attendees can also park in the Legacy Community Health lot. Some street parking is also available, but be very mindful of signs to avoid ending the day at a tow lot.
Entry to The Depressed Cake Shop event is free. For those who want to help but can’t eat sweets, donations are also accepted online. (Click the button that says “tickets”; it’s actually set up for donations.)
Keep up with new developments at The Depressed Cake Shop Houston Facebook page.
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.