For Sharene Hyslop, baking is a way of life. Since she was seven-years-old, she has loved being in the kitchen, and translated that love into a profession when she graduated from the Lincoln Culinary Institute in 2005.
Hyslop, 36, lives here in New London with her daughters, who are 10 months, 5, 12, and 14 years old. She works full time as a Job Coach for Buckingham Community Resources and also works as a licensed PCA.
She has been building her business, Sweet N' Elegant by Sharene, since 2016, and in 2018 her cheesecake was featured on the menu of Harp and Dragon in Norwich. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing though, and she has been discouraged by chefs she worked under who told her that there isn’t money in baking. However, Hyslop has kept a positive outlook. She says that you should “never be afraid to fail, believe in your craft even if you’re the only one.”
While she is working long hours at her regular job and caring for her children, she has to find the time to put into her developing business. She doesn’t want to take time away from her girls, so she works late, baking while everyone else is sleeping, and then wakes up at 6 a.m. most days to do it all over again.
She says she didn’t know how much people loved cheesecake, but it is one of her most popular items, and also her favorite thing to bake. There is a lot of love that goes into it - it’s time consuming, needing a water bath and gentle, long baking to create the perfect texture and prevent surface cracks. Ultimately, she would love to have a food truck to sell her confections so that she can “get out and put smiles on peoples faces.”
Hyslop says her biggest challenge has been juggling being a wife, mother of four, working two jobs and trying to start a business. Despite that, she is focused on her goal, and says that, “the reward is her children seeing their mom as successful.”
Brenda’s Note: This profile is part of my “Small City, GREAT Women” Photo Project, which celebrates the women of New London, CT who are doing great things. If you know a woman who would be a good fit for the project, NOMINATE HER HERE.