“The Jennifer Hudson Show” is honoring Elise Smith, the founder of WinniE’s Bakery, as part of Mastercard’s Strivers Initiative to support Black women-owned small businesses.
Elise is a baker, recipe developer, and food stylist from Columbia, Maryland, who fell in love with baking at an early age thanks to her grandmother, Winnie.
Elise was inspired to start her own baking business shortly after she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer 10 years ago. While undergoing treatment, she developed and launched WinniE’s Bakery and learned so much about herself in the process.
Elise was cancer-free for almost a decade but was recently diagnosed with a blood cancer, which will eventually require her to receive a stem cell transplant. Elise says running her business has saved her life, and being able to bake for others has helped her through the years of treatments.
As for her plans for the future, Elisa told JHud, “I want to open an artisanal bakery-café. I want people to come and be a part of the community. I want to have local artisans there, and I want to have a rotating menu that really celebrates the seasonal edible agriculture that we have.”
To help her fulfill her goals, JHud and Mastercard surprised Elise with $25,000 to help her business thrive.
Mastercard has collaborated with Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) for more than 10 years and has donated over $65 million to help support cancer research. Now through July 15, Mastercard will donate one cent to SU2C (up to $5 million) when their cardholders tap or order online from qualifying restaurants and grocery stores. Learn more at priceless.com/SU2C.
Stand Up To Cancer is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.