COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A Columbus bakery, Bake A Difference, is giving back to the community while owning its identity as an LGBTQ-owned business. 

(Courtesy Photo/Bake A Difference)

The story of Bake A Difference began in 2018 when owner Dean Vickers was working for a bank and caring for his father, who had been diagnosed with cancer. After his father died, Vickers knew he needed to make a change. 

Vickers recalls making cupcakes for a neighbor’s open house. The sweet treats were a huge hit, and Vickers was encouraged to take his cupcakes to the next level. 

With his husband, Scott Lanning, Vickers began selling his creations through pop-up shops. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he began selling his cupcakes online and would deliver the treats himself.

Vickers’ customer base has only grown and now specializes in gourmet cupcakes filled with frosting. Customer favorites include the Funfetti Cupcake with strawberry cream, the Buckeye Blitz Cupcake with peanut-butter cream, and the Death By Chocolate Cupcake with cream filling, ice cream, and a chocolate bar on top. 

The pair have also expanded their menu to offer an array of sweet treats, including muffins, sweet bread, cakes, brownies, and more. The online bakery also provides gluten-free options for its baked goods. 

While creating his vision for the business, Vickers knew he also wanted the bakery to be an avenue for supporting local charities. Bake A Difference now donates 5% of its online and pop-up sales to nonprofits advocating for causes near and dear to the couple. 

“I said to my husband, ‘I want to do something to give back,’” Vickers said. “I want to start a business that gives back to the community.” 

Bake A Difference has donated to Pelotonia, the Nina West Foundation, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Equality Ohio, and various cancer organizations. 

Since the beginning of Bake A Difference, Vickers and Lanning have been deliberate about owning their identity and celebrating their marriage openly. The pair hopes to lead by example for their two kids, Erin and Matthew. 

“I decided that I am done hiding — I love my husband, I would do anything for him,” Vickers said. “I don’t want [our kids] to feel like they should hide anything from us.” 

Vicker’s acceptance has been a journey. He cited past jobs where he hid his sexuality and relatives who were not understanding. Now, he celebrates who he is and, in turn, has been able to grow loving relationships with his family.

“It’s important to be yourself and to be kind to other people,” he said. “Be a part of the community and a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.” 

View when Bake A Difference could be coming to a pop-up shop near you here, and place an order online here.