I’m still young and growing in the wonderful world of STREAM. If I was older, I would tell myself to Never Give Up. Be innovative and creative. Continue the work because it’s so much to be done.

Who is Chef Simone Bridges?

 

 

 

I am CEO of Goddess Food Factory, Chef, speaker, author, STREAM advocate.  

 

 

Specialized Training:

Baking classes with grandma

 

 

Special Awards

(2017) Youngest winner “Taste of Black

(2017) Guest on Steve Harvey Talk Show

(2018) B.E.S.T. Youth Entrepreneur of the Year

(2018) Selected by Lebron James for his Always Believe campaign

(2018) Impact Jax Pitch Contest Winner

(2018) Filmed 3 Smile of a Child Commercials

(2018) Baked the World’s Largest Peach Cobbler at the Georgia Peach Festival

(2019) Shiva Robotics Youth Entrepreneur of the Year

 

 

How did you choose to pursue this field?

I will always hold dear to my heart the day that my grandmother, Phyllis Williams welcomed me to help her in the kitchen while she baked cakes. I would gaze at her for what seemed like hours, while she added ingredients and mixed batter. I studied every move she made. Sometimes she allowed me to lick the spoon when she finished whipping up her cake batter. Of course, I believed that I had received a grand prize. The batter was so yummy. I licked every speck. My grandmother is an old-school cook who is also a caterer; needless to say she can cook and bake anything. One day, I was finally brave enough to ask her if I could help. She looked at me and responded, “Girl, you’re not going to burn down my house.” I didn’t give up and inquired again. This time, without hesitation she pulled a chair from the dining room table and positioned it so that I could stand on it to see what she was doing. She proceeded to hand me a cup of milk and told me to pour it in slowly while she stirred the batter. I smiled at her and followed every instruction given. Yes, at only three years old, it was the beginning of living my dream out loud. From that point on, I never missed an opportunity to help her bake.

 

 

 

Who was your inspiration or role model that guided you to this field?

My grandmother, Phyllis Williams, and my mom, Arica Bridges are my two role models. My grandma taught me how to bake and my mom taught me how to run a business.

 

 

Did you always have the desire to work in this field? If not, what was your intended field? Why did you change careers?

Since I was a child (age 3), I have always admired being in the kitchen baking different treats.

Baking has always been what I have wanted to since I was three years old. As I got older I infused my love of science with my passion for baking. That’s how I became known as The STEM Chef.

 

What do you love most about your journey?

I love people. I’m so fortunate that I get to meet new people every day. I listen to their success stories and challenges. I share helpful tips on how I overcame challenges and used them as teaching lessons. I also give supportive tips to parents who are raising a young CEO. Some of my younger customers, ask me about how I started my business. It gives me so much pleasure watching them be so attentive and hanging onto every word that I say. Hearing about their dreams makes my heart happy. I love the way their faces light up when I tell them how proud I am. Another favorite thing I love about running the Goddess Food Factory is having a place for kids to come to learn about STEM/STREAM using culinary concepts. They learn how to bake delicious treats and have educational baking fun at the same time.  

 

 

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your journey?

I’m very proud to be a part of the STEAM Squad. Each member is unique and we are all united by our love for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. As for me, I have to add in the “R” for Reading. It’s the foundation of everything and that’s the reasoning behind my creation of STREAM. There’s an old saying, “There is power in numbers.” Therefore, being a member of The STEAM Squad allows for each of us to inspire more people. Collectively, we use our platforms to show other kids, specifically girls that STEM/STEAM/STREAM education and careers are important. We also show that there are various careers that are fun and meaningful. WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER.

 

 

 

What things would you want to see changed about your current job?

I’m very ecstatic about my job as a STEM chef, but I would love to have a mobile service that would allow me to bring my STEM baking service to others.

 

 

 

What are the most difficult things about working in your field?

One difficult aspect is being a young baker and not being able to register for certain baking classes. There are courses that I want to take in order to increase my skills, but most of the time I’m not old enough to register for them. Thank Heaven for YouTube, but I really love hands-on training. One of the bakers who help make our wedding cakes, Mrs. Earlena Anderson, gives me private lessons when I’m not learning from my grandma. She’s so much fun to work with and she’s extremely patient with me. She calls me Little Einstein because I learn really fast. A few of my customers, don’t believe that I make the treats until they come into the bakery and see me piping frosting on cakes and cupcakes. They are amazed. I’m always amazed that they are still amazed because I’ve been doing it for so long. Once they taste the treats, they’re completely sold after that. Mostly, everyone around town knows that I bake now, so I no longer have anything to prove. I just like to wow them with the taste of my treats.

 

 

What are your future goals related to your career?

My goal is to start a foundation that teaches and supply kids with tools to strengthen their inner power. I want to continue my work as a change agent in empowering kids to identify their SUPERPOWER. Each one of us has superpowers and one of them is that we can DO anything. We can BE anything! My foundation will also provide information and resources to kids about S.T.R.E.A.M. careers. I’m already doing the work, but I want to reach more kids. I will accomplish that through the foundation.

 

 

 

What tips would you offer to anyone thinking about entering into your profession/field of study?

Based on my experience, the three things that I would recommend to a future young mogul before starting their business is to first, identify their passion or their gift. They definitely want to make sure it’s something that they love doing and want to do very often. Making sure it’s something that they are willing to share with others and something that they know a lot about is a must. They will have to pitch their business to multiple people continuously, so making sure that they’re prepared is vital. Learning as many aspects of their business as possible is also a huge plus. They must remember that’s this is their business and if they don’t know what’s going on, then others may not see the full value and potential of their business.

Secondly, they must secure a good support team of motivators and at least one mentor. Having mentors to go to for advice is valuable. My mentors are Arica Bridges (my mom), Phyllis Williams (my grandma), Casey Kelly (owner of Blended Designs) and Chef Kenna (chef from Hell’s Kitchen Season 15). They love me and truly care about the success of my business. Moreover, I love positive energy around me. It keeps me going and I think better that way. I love when my family and I have power meetings. We generate great ideas and the mood is always right for brainstorming. When things get really hectic for me, having people who can help me create solutions makes everything better. Additionally, everybody loves praise. It makes me feel good when my work is acknowledged and my team celebrates my successes all the time. It makes me feel good on the inside. So, having a great group of people whose opinion they value and who will uplift them when times get tough, will save them from stressful moments and help them make great business decisions.

Lastly, watch a lot of growth mindset. They will help them learn to think positive thoughts. I love listening to Mr. Mario Armstrong’s Wake Up & Level Up podcast. He’s also the host of the Never Settle Show. He’s my personal favorite because he motivates me while teaching me business strategies. He’s a 2x Emmy winner and very knowledgeable. What I like most about mindset podcast and videos is that the messages have not only changed my way of thinking towards my business, but I don’t let other things bother me as much. I try to learn from my mistakes and focus on the positive portion of the situation. There is a bright side to everything. Think glass half full versus half empty.

 

 

 

How have you combated the stigma of being a “woman of color” in STEM?

As a kid, I haven’t thus far. In the future, I hope that the work that I do with increasing STEM/STREAM education will continue to be the focus, versus my skin color.

 

 

 

 

What advice would you give your younger self about your career journey as a “woman of color” working in a predominantly white, male-dominated field?

I’m still young and growing in the wonderful world of STREAM. If I was older, I would tell myself to Never Give Up. Be innovative and creative. Continue the work because it’s so much to be done.

 

 

 

Can you provide some words of wisdom to young ladies thinking about entering a STEM field as a career choice?

I say, “Go for it and don’t stop.” My mission has always been to inspire and empower kids to learn more about STEM/STREAM education and careers. I use my platform to teach and promote science, technology, reading, engineering, art, and mathematics. I encourage other youth to research STEM/STREAM careers and to think about jobs they may want in the future. I challenge them to think about what they can start doing now to be prepared for the technology era.

 

 

What is your favorite quote?

I often say, “Dream Big and Never Give Up.” It’s one of my favorite quotes that I use on a regular basis to motivate myself to dream bigger than big. When I face difficult challenges or when I’m having a hard time like trying to create a new dessert, I remind myself to work harder so that I can accomplish my initial goal. Sometimes I struggle and I know that everything doesn’t always come out perfect on the first try, or even the second or third, but I never give up. I just think of a different way to reach my goal. Sometimes I get someone to assist me or I take a brain break and come back to it at a later time. I also found that just simply breaking the task down into smaller steps that I can definitely achieve, helps alot. The phrase, Dream Big and Never Give Up is posted on a canvas in my room and serves as a daily reminder to reach for higher goals and that once I start something to see it through to the end.

 

How has your family been a great influence or support system?

I’m blessed and extremely thankful to have my entire family support my dreams and ambitions.

 

What are some interesting facts about yourself that you would like to share?

My name is Chef Simone Bridges. I’m a 13-year-old baker, author, speaker, STEM/STREAM advocate and owner of Goddess Food Factory. I’m well known for my unique twist on traditional desserts, cooking classes, and for hosting fun-filled parties. My delicious pastries have received raving reviews by celebrities, chefs, and residents in Jacksonville, Florida and beyond. On October 30, 2017, I was featured on Steve Harvey’s talk show, “Steve.” We had a great time baking my famous Snicker Brownies. 

 

As a student at Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts, my love for Science and Mathematics has also coined me the nickname of the “STEM Chef.” Due to an overwhelming number of requests for my recipes and my love for STEM, I created the ExS.T.R.E.A.M. Baking Program. Then, the ExS.T.R.E.A.M. Baking Subscription Boxes came into existence. They are monthly subscription boxes in which I infuse baking and cooking with Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.

As a motivational speaker and author, I have spoken to audiences of all ages about STEM/STREAM, the recipe behind my success and entrepreneurship. I’ve been the keynote speaker for Girlz Rock of Ft. Wayne (Indiana), KIDposium (Michigan) and served on several speaking panels. In the summer of 2017, I expanded my skills into writing about my love for unique foods. I became a junior chef columnist for Afrik Kalabash Magazine devoted to celebrating the uniqueness of African taste. Later, I co-authored The Science Behind It: Formulating Success at Any Age to show kids that they can do anything. I’m currently working on my very first STEM/STREAM cookbook, which will release in early 2019.

Although I’m only 13 years old, I have already begun to build a strong culinary resume. I’m the youngest winner in the 7-year history of the Taste of Black Competition. I’ve been featured on the cover of three magazines, and I have participated in major food festivals. I’m also a part of LeBron James’ Always Believe campaign and I can be seen on any given day on Trinity Baptist Network.

My mission is to inspire other young kids around the world to Never Give Up and to Think STREAM Big. Ultimately, my goal is to continue sharing my love of baking & science, and to one day establish a foundation with the main focus of empowering and growing kid entrepreneurs.

 

Follow Chef Simone Bridges:

Website: www.goddessfoodfactory.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/goddessfoodjax

Instagram: www.instagram.com/goddessfoodjax

Twitter: www.twitter.com/goddessfoodjax

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/simonebridges

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/goddessfoodfactory

Email: info@goddessfoodfactory.com

We hope you enjoyed learning about our latest “STEMsation”, please comment about how her experiences have inspired you, how your experiences can inspire others and nominate our next “STEMsation to spotlight their amazing accomplishments.

 

 

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