November 2023 Edition
Talent 2 Design
Delectable art that’s made to be edible and affordable
A series of challenges changed Lisa Allain’s career plans and ultimately compelled her toward building a successful business.
Lisa was a young mother who had just started working as a nurse when a horrific car accident changed her life. After enduring extensive medical predicaments and personal setbacks, Lisa’s fortunes turned around on her youngest child’s first birthday. Having made cookies that every guest raved about and wanted to buy more of, the idea of baking as a business venture took root.
Although Lisa had never baked before, she was artistic and thoroughly enjoyed decorating. In 2016, she began baking cakes for birthday parties out of her home, then moved to a bigger house with a second kitchen that served as her commercial bakery. This was the beginning of Talent 2 Design, her business with the motto: edible pieces of art – affordable prices.
Allain often did her baking after her three children had gone to sleep for the night, and business quickly took off. Her recipe for success was keeping her delectable products simple, beautiful, and affordable.
Another tangle with misfortune took place when a backed-up sewage line caused flooding in the commercial kitchen and paused her ability to bake. The situation was a breaking point, but Lisa refused to be deterred by the setback and used the opportunity to move the business into a stand-alone bake shop in a downtown Welland storefront. The grand opening was in 2018, but the true taste of sweet success would come after several more significant obstacles.
The arrival of COVID-19 meant Talent 2 Design had to immediately adapt their business model, shifting to an e-commerce website and introducing curbside pickup, delivery, and shipping. At the same time, Lisa required major brain surgery and aggressive radiation and chemotherapy.
During this time, Talent 2 Design looked to move from its existing space into a larger location at its present-day site – 626 East Main Street – complete with a dream kitchen and warm Parisian atmosphere. The business now provides a party area for hosting birthdays, classes, and events.
Despite countless setbacks, both professional and personal, Lisa’s steely resolve and focused determination carried the business forward. Today, after further business expansion and diversification, Lisa is running Talent 2 Design and Balloon by Design out of the same location. Balloon by Design specializes in stuffed balloons, helium arrangements, and balloon décor, a perfect complement to the custom cakes, cupcakes, and cookies on site.
Talent 2 Design has received numerous awards and accolades, and Lisa oversees a staff of five employees and a few co-op students. With much gratitude for the support she has received from the community, Lisa does what she can to give back, donating baked goods to a church food bank and local schools, events, and charities.
Lisa is proud of her success in the face of setbacks and has plans to expand the business with a second location and sell her products in retail stores.
To learn more about Talent 2 Design and Lisa’s story, be sure to visit: talent2design.com/about
- Type of business: Bakery
- Started in Welland: 2016
- Number of employees: 5
- Custom cakes, cookies, and cupcakes
- Decorating classes
- Birthday parties