Tina Elder-Cadoree became an empty-nester before turning her hobby of baking sweets into a business – Tasties y Tina. But once she made the move, she’s not only lived the sweet life, her customers have been able to taste it regularly via her baked goods. The Defender recently caught up with the native Houstonian to learn more about her start in business and where Tasties by Tina is headed in the future.
DEFENDER: How did you get started?
TINA ELDER-CADOREE: Well, I’ve been baking ever since I was a little girl, like seven, eight years old. I was born and raised in Fifth Ward, in my big mama’s kitchen. So, I know how to cook as well as bake, but baking is my favorite. And baking is something I did when my children were little. Once they got grown, they convinced me to turn it into a business, taught me all about social media and what I needed to do to start it. So, I did my research and became a cottage baker.
DEFENDER: What are some of the places people can go to buy your goods?
ELDER-CADOREE: People can contact me through my business phone, through Facebook and Instagram. I now have a website and I also have a cookbook on a baking cookbook on Esty that you could purchase. And we do delivery or we’ll meet you. We charge a small fee to deliver. We go to different popups. We come to the Shrine quite often. Actually, the Shrine’s Buy Black Marketplace is one of the places that I started. I do popups in Fifth Ward because I still have family in Fifth Ward.
DEFENDER: What are some of your specialties?
ELDER-CADOREE: Pound cakes. I do a sweet potato pound cake and peach cobbler pound cake. I do peach cobbler. I started making sandwich cookies. I do a red velvet sandwich cookie, carrot cake sandwich cookie. I make many different tea cakes, cookies, a variety of different things. My favorite is the peach cobbler and the old-fashioned pound cake. My new favorite is the sweet potato pound cake. It’s really good.
DEFENDER: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start a business?
ELDER-CADOREE: Don’t be afraid to do it. I did this for a long time as a side hustle once I got divorced to make ends meet. Sometimes I hate I didn’t turn it into a business sooner. But it doesn’t matter about your age. I’m older now, and to me now being older, I understand it better. I could’ve started sooner, but I didn’t. I didn’t have the courage at first. But once my children encouraged me to do it, I’m like, “Okay, I can do this.” Right now, I work a full-time job and do this, but my 2024 goal is to either get a food truck or quit my full-time job and have this going full-time.
DEFENDER: Do you have a mantra?
ELDER-CADOREE: I just constantly say my prayers and thank God, because I thought this was gonna be hard. It’s not hard at all. And I’m normally not a person that can speak in front of people, but it’s becoming easier and easier because in my prayers I ask God to guide me and order my steps. And with that, it brings you peace. It helped me to become more creative. When you sit and spend time and meditate and just focus and ask God, you have to be patient and you have to listen.
MORE ABOUT TINA ELDER-CADOREE
What high school did you attend: Phillis Wheatley, Fifth Ward.
Favorite desserts beyond the ones you cook: Butter Pecan ice cream. And that’s something else I’m getting ready to start making, homemade ice cream.
Favorite food: Seafood.
Favorite music: I like a little bit of everything, gospel, country, Zydeco, R&B and even a little rap.