PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Depressed Cake Shop is popping up in Portland once again on Sunday, Nov. 13. The dessert pop-up shop serves as a fundraiser for Baby Blues Connection, a non-profit organization that supports parents facing mood disorders.
The Depressed Cake Shop started off as a one-off event. In 2013, founder Emma Thomas organized a pop-up shop to raise money for a mental health charity located in the United Kingdom.
Many were inspired by the unique fundraiser and its slogan “Where there is cake, there is hope, and there is always cake.”
Almost 10 years since its first event, the Depressed Cake Shop is still influencing people all the way from the U.K. to the U.S. to raise awareness for mental health in a different way.
Portland’s pop-up shop is in support of Baby Blues Connection like it has been since 2016. But BBC has been running since 1994.
Now-executive-director Angie Fitzpatrick initially came to the organization as a volunteer in 2006. She says that she was experiencing her own postpartum depression when she began volunteering at BBC, which is a peer-support organization that also provides clients with external resources.
“So while there may be mental health professionals who are volunteers when they are working as part of the organization, they are peers,” Fitzpatrick said. “If you do the research, peer-to-peer support is really helpful in recovery from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.”
The desserts pop-up is the organization’s signature fundraiser that helps with its general operating expenses, and the event also fosters conversation about mental health struggles — a topic that is often seen as taboo.
“There’s such a huge stigma around saying that you are not happy or that you’re so anxious that sometimes you have a hard time leaving your house… but it is so common,” Fitzpatrick stated. “And if we could just talk about it a little bit more, a little bit more each time, then maybe we’ll get to the point where someday it’s not so unusual to say that you’re not feeling so well.”
BBC’s fundraising pop-up with the Depressed Cake Shop is next Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. at Opal 28, or 510 NE 28th Ave. The treats start at $2 and all of the proceeds go towards BBC’s mental health work.
There will be a variety of cakes, cookies and pastries made by both professional and amateur bakers. Attendees can RSVP here.
“There’s nothing scary about a cupcake,” Fitzpatrick said. “There’s going to an event that supports us that is going to have a speaker who’s going to tell their story, like a typical fundraiser would have, that could be a little bit more daunting. You have to want to be on the other side to be able to hear that story and be present at that event. But I feel like this is a really accessible way to support the organization to support mental health in general, and to have those conversations.”