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Chante Basden poses on graduation day with her sisters and mother. Left to right: Carol Basden, Christina Basden-Farquharson, Deborah Basden (mother), Cinquetta Jones and Claire Basden.

Culinary, Baking Professional Transforms Family Business

Chante Basden is now at the helm of the family bakery business – Da Bes’ Yet Bakery & Patisserie.

For as long as she can remember, baking has always been a passion of hers.

“Since the age of five, I was always fascinated with the kitchen and would always ask my mom questions as she baked breads and pastries,” Chante expounded. “At the age of 10, my mom allowed me to bake my first birthday cake, and it was then that I knew baking was something that I would love doing for the rest of my life.”

Recently, Chante’s mother, Deborah Basden, placed the family’s bakery operation in her hands. Being such a meticulous person, she said her mother is confident of what she will accomplish, and it has her mind at ease.

Formerly known as Da Bes Yet Bakery, Chante said that said “patisserie” was added to the name when she decided to introduce cakes and fine pastries to the bakery. The update to the business name also lets their clients know that not only is the bakery selling bread, there are now a number of professionally made pastries to choose from.

Da Bes Yet’s clients can choose from: assorted breads (white, wheat, coconut, coconut swirl, raisin and garlic bread). Gourmet pastries include cheesecakes, layered cakes, ice cream cakes, guava duff and fruit tarts.

With even more mouthwatering choices to choose from – there’s doughnuts and twists, cinnamon rolls, assorted danishes, beef and pizza hot patties, birthday cakes, cupcakes, character cakes, wedding cakes, cake pops, giant cookie cakes, brownies and event desserts.

Chante completed her collegiate studies at Lincoln Culinary Institute/Lincoln College of Technology earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Baking and Pastry, Culinary Arts and in Business Administration and Culinary Management.

“I do like to cook at home for my family, but I chose this field because no matter the time of day, I would drop everything and bake if needed.”

In addition to the bakery, Chante is involved in two other businesses one of which is an online baking and culinary supply store called The Chef Factory Abaco. Fortunately, she has business partners to lean on, and at the bakery, she has hard-working employees to assist her.

“I can’t forget to mention how amazing our generational work has been. Macky has been with my mom from I was a toddler, and now she’s working alongside me!” she gushed.

Not only are the employees loyal, so are the customers.

“It’s the love. People literally come in and ask if we have prayer meetings over our products and for every time I laugh,” she shared. “We take our time to craft delicious confections and breads daily just to see the smiles on our customers’ faces.”

Apart from that, Chante said they “try to stay modern and trendy.”

Being in a technological era, social media has been one of her biggest marketing platforms for Da Bes Yet enabling her to market the bakery through Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat as well as word of mouth publicity.

If clients don’t see a product on their social media page, they are welcome to stop by and ask them to make it.

“Do you know what it feels like to instantly know when a product is fresh out of the oven? That’s what technology has done! It also makes you want to buy something that was not even on your mind, so I am truly grateful for it,” Chante expressed.

Customers are able to preorder an item online and pick it up when ready.

“It’s really giving us an edge on efficiency and quality. We complain about customer service being terrible, so technology fills the gap.

“It is our connection with customers that makes us Da Bes Yet Bakery & Patisserie. When clients come in from all around the world, their first reaction is, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that the island produced such good work.’”

After all, it is Chante’s goal to always provide a quality product with a lasting impression whether it is a pastry or a baking tool. She always wants clients to remember the great service they receive at Da Bes Yet.

“My focus is to encourage all Millennials that we can all be someone great! When I reveal my age to older entrepreneurs their first reaction is: ‘No way!’ That is the reaction that I’d like every young person to receive. That gives me joy and motivation, and lets me know that I must be doing something right,” she said.

For that, she thanks her family for being such a positive influence in the business’ success.

“Definitely my family. I have four older sisters that I can definitely say are always there for me, and helping in every aspect of the word business. They teach me things that they’ve experienced and the ins and outs of running a successful business.”

Therefore, returning home to Abaco after completing her studies was a must for Chante.

“I worked as the head private chef for the owners of the Boston Bruins, a hockey team, and I’ve never had as much passion for that as when I visited home and was able to work alongside my mother. It was true bliss.

“Abaco will always be home. I felt as if the island needed fresh bakers and new baking concepts. I’ve been around the world, and I’ve ‘lived the dream,’ but there was not a better place than here. It has been very profitable and rewarding.”

Currently, Chante is looking forward to giving the bakery a fresh, new feel with a rustic hint, and after being home for a year, she has a good handle on how the business functions.

“Strength and confidence is what I’m offering the public. Not everyone will like the products you make and everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I’ve realized that and have gained the strength to accept that fact. I bake because I love to, so that keeps me pushing no matter what.”

As an entrepreneur, she is reminded that she must always stay true to the business plan. Chante said that sometimes entrepreneurs want to bend the rules to accommodate everyone, but it is just impossible. Her advice is to be as accommodating as you can be within the business hours that you’ve set, and to always take time to learn your business trends and invest in the portion of it that brings you profit.

She certainly knows the importance of making time for herself as an entrepreneur, and as a nature lover enjoys spending time outdoors.

“Grow yourself, nurture yourself and make time for yourself,” she instructed. “This is where the balance of my significant other, AJ, comes in. I can become obsessed with working, and he helps me to realize that Chante, sometimes a breather is good.

“He’s fought cancer twice and to me that’s just remarkable. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or ready to give up, I just look to him for strength. If he can still get up every day and go to work, why can’t I? If he can push through everything that life has thrown, why can’t I?”

It’s also important to Chante to give back to her community, so she does that by supporting local organizations and churches by donating pastries and breads when needed.

“Even as a customer comes in, I’d include an extra little treat with their purchase. It’s all about giving and remembering that we all can do our part in some way. I may not be a doctor that can physically save someone’s life, but I can help to fight hunger through a meal,” she pointed out.

These small details go a long way with Da Bes Yet’s customers, and Chante is always open to hearing about what it is that the customers want or would like to see.

“They’ve been complimenting the fact that I’ve not given them a less product quality than what my mom has provided for many years. Also, I try to be as reliable as possible, and that’s been a great compliment,” Chante said. “Life happens, and sometimes we forget to order a cake or dessert days in advance, so I try to be there for them as much as I can.”

Da Bes Yet Bakery & Patisserie is located in the Blue Elco Properties Building, next to the traffic light on Don Mackay Boulevard. Their business hours are currently Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and closed on Sundays. Reach them at 1 (242)-367-3616 or at dabesyet@gmail.com, or follow the business on social media @DaBesYetBakery&Patisserie for additional information and updates.

About Canishka Alexander

Canishka Alexander was born in New Providence, but spent most of her childhood years on Abaco. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Abilene Christian University.

Although she has accomplished many things in life, her greatest accomplishment is being a mother to her four children. She loves God, her country and people of all cultures.

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