Doron Petersan didn't set out to create an empire, or change the way we bake. It just happened. Her vegan bakery, Sticky Fingers, based in Washington, D.C., is now the go-to destination for custom treats and baking kits that ship all over the country, and the Momtrepreneur is about to expand, again.

Why did she start a vegan bakery in the first place? "I love to eat," answers Petersan, her cheerful demeanor one of her assets. And she loved to bake, so it just made sense that she would create a way of baking her favorite foods that were vegan – and offer gluten-free options – and skip all the usual allergens that her son and his pals might have a reaction to.

As she grew her love of baking, she opened a shop inside the Beltway to serve others who might get cheered by the idea of a bakeshop full of cakes and cupcakes, cookies and other treats that were vegan, and available to be enjoyed by all. "People come in grumpy and they leave happy," says Petersan, who is now seeing her business model shift again.

Opening local bakeshops and cafes has its limits when scaling a business is the goal. Now she is relaunching her mixes and kits into the stratosphere, and the goal is to be a vegan or gluten-free version of Mrs. Fields or Tates Bakery (originally of Southampton, NY)  but this time she is building her business with vegan baking kits. The Sticky Fingers business model was dragged into the future when the classes of baking that she taught in person suddenly had to go virtual.

Her usual students, kids, and grown-ups alike were always provided with the exact measurements they needed to create a batch of cupcakes, a chocolate cake, or a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and suddenly when the pandemic forced everyone to start baking in their own kitchens and eating most meals at home, Petersan started shipping out the baking mixes and decorating kits for cupcakes all over the country. So now it's easy and delightful to bake cookies, cupcakes, and cakes, all vegan, and decorate them with sprinkles, frosting, chocolate chips, cookies & cream, s'mores, and all types of delicious, cheerful vegan embellishments, no matter where you live and bake.

"We found that shipping a cake is really, really hard," Petersan explains, and no matter how you box it, the thing never arrives as it left the bakeshop. So instead if you're about to celebrate a special birthday, graduation, or holiday, you order the kit and it arrives in the perfect measurements – no wasted ingredients or hard-to-find flours to worry about.

Sticky Fingers Founder Doron Petersan

"For Halloween, we are shipping out a traditional gingerbread house, but this one is a haunted house, with royal frosting made partly from chickpeas," Petersan says, her eyes lighting up with anticipation of the joy it will bring. She spoke to The Beet from the back room of Sticky Fingers' main bakeshop in an area that was once the dining room for customers  – but has now become a staging area for her growing shipping business. Her plan now is to open a proper warehouse where she can pack the popular baking kits off to future customers. The hope is that when these kits arrive, they will help the recipients "go from grumpy to happy" and spread the joy. Baking is a form of meditation, for Petersan, and she wants to help others feel that same escapism through getting messy with flour, sugar, and decorating kits.

"Baking isn't only about the eating, but about the fact that it's fun to bake and you know it's going to make people happy," she says. "For a fall afternoon, to leave your troubles outside of the circle of flour and the sound of the mixmaster, for that hour or so that you are baking with your family or solo, it can be a solace, and a step back from the uncontrollable events in the world."

For anyone who wants to bake a vegan cake or a gluten-free one, the Sticky Fingers website has everything you need to order, bake and decorate that special occasion cake. Or just because you feel like it.

Sticky Fingers' best sellers are the chocolate chip cookies – but there are so many kits to choose from you may want to order more than one. Say goodbye to "Grumpy," with these fun baking kits. Happy, sweet, fun times are ahead.

To buy your baking kit, go to Sticky Fingers' website today. Get 10% off your order with the code THEBEET. Valid through Monday, November 1.

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