Becky Morris, Celebrated, Woonsocket, RI
Creating Her Own “Tablescape”
Becky Morris of Celebrated, a Rhode Island dessert catering company founded in 2017, is a tablescape expert. What’s a tablescape? A tablescape is a dessert landscape that’s artistically laid out on a banquet table and, of course, delicious. In 2015 Becky began making vegan desserts in her home and gifted them to her friends. One day a couple asked her to do a tablescape for their creme-da-la-creme Halloween party. The tablescape was a festive take on Halloween and included soft lavender and rosy orange cupcakes. It defined Becky’s craft and ingenuity (fluffy vegan cupcakes is a matter of chemistry) and gave her an idea. “I was never one to want a 9 to 5 job. I always knew I would be my own boss since I was 18. I just didn’t know in what. And I’ve always been a creative type.” she says. Seeing how the witch-in-a-folktale color scheme perfectly fitted the couple’s personality, something in Becky sparked. She looked at the tablescape and thought, “I could do this for a living.”
Becky began her catering company in a shared commercial kitchen, which was part of a now defunct national program called PilotWorks. The communal kitchen had a sense of togetherness. Becky baked beside other new entrepreneurs, such as Vic’s Craft Ice Cream and Whisk Me Away. Becky shared their struggles and joys. The celebratory spirit of a co-working space was serendipitous for Becky. After all, her business began as a fun hobby she could share with her friends and now she was becoming friends with other local bakers. Celebrating everyone who came to the table (or in Becky’s case, tablescape) was a major motivation for Becky and so she named her catering service Celebrated.
With the message, name, and food of her business in place, Becky took her desserts to farmers’ markets and parties for her clients. As her creative endeavor became a reality, Becky began to run into logistical challenges. “Should I hire someone? How about marketing? How can I actually grow my business?” she wondered. In life she had never been shy about challenges. To test her recipe-making, Becky created New England’s first and only vegan macaron. She had won her self-imposed macaron challenge and decided this was no different. Hiring, business expansion, and branding were simply new topics, on which she wanted to better educate herself. Becky enrolled herself for the CWE’s Retail Bootcamp. The camp was great. Each week a local entrepreneur would give a guest lecture and familiarize the students on the in-and-outs of business. At the end of the retail Bootcamp, there was a pitch contest which Becky won. CWE rewarded her with free, expert marketing help for one year. With the help of CWE, Becky streamlined Celebrated’s logistics. Today she has fifteen weddings booked for 2019 and three employees.
One of Becky’s biggest accomplishments was when she became a full time business owner in 2018. September 2018 marks the achievement of the goal she set for herself when she was eighteen to be her own boss. In the beginning she would nanny during Celebrated’s slow season. But now she has bookings well into 2020. In fact, her schedule is so full that she plans to buy a commercial kitchen. With all these changes, Becky sees Celebrated’s growth as a natural progression, and there is one steady constant: Becky’s favorite thing to do is still to make tablescapes.
Special thanks to CWE volunteer writer, By Lela Kulkarni