Warren Brown has had his own show on the Food Network, and appeared on Oprah. His chain of bakeries, CakeLove, has several locations around Washington, DC and does a thriving online business. He has written four cookbooks so far, and speaks compellingly to kids about the importance of pursuing their passion. Before Warren became a baker, he practiced law.
He went to law school hoping to become an advocate for better sex education, an issue he had been working on since college. He didn’t like law school, and practice was no better. Baking became his refuge. It was more rewarding than practicing law, especially when people tasted the final product. “I liked the feeling of knowing that I could make something special, fairly quickly, and lay claim to it. It gave me an accomplishment I could point to.”
Although leaving law to run a bakery didn’t sound like a great idea to his friends and family, Warren had confidence. He knew nothing about entrepreneurship, but he was a quick study and he had a credit card. In March 2002, he opened the first location of CakeLove. Local publicity led to national coverage and a guest spot on Oprah. Warren has since appeared on the Today Show, Martha Stewart Radio, NPR, CNN and the Wall Street Journal.
Everything Warren has done, from college forward, has stemmed from his passion for solving problems. His advocacy for better sex education led him to law school. His need to find some joy and a sense of accomplishment in the face of an unsatisfying legal career led him to baking. His desire to figure out how to bake a better cake led him to CakeLove. He writes cookbooks in part to help people learn to cook and bake for themselves and to spend more time in the kitchen. “It’s the best room in the house,” he says.
Warren isn’t sure what problem he’ll solve next, but he isn’t lacking options. “The world has its share of problems to solve,” he says. “I’m most interested in the ones that have a big impact, but which we don’t really talk about.”
Readers, what problems do you want to solve? Could those solutions lead to your next career?