What began in 2016 as a solo operation in Lisa Allain’s home kitchen quickly grew into an award-winning bakery in downtown Welland, Ontario. There, Lisa and her Talent 2 Design team design decorative “edible pieces of art.” Her cakes and treats have earned multiple local awards and she’s also been recognized as Welland’s woman entrepreneur of the year and a top 40-Under-40 business leader.
Lisa’s story is one of unique perseverance. After college, she worked as a nurse, but suffered a serious brain injury after a car accident in 2008 and required extensive rehabilitation. Two years later, doctors diagnosed her with a brain tumor, ending her nursing career. A single mother of three kids, she relied on the food bank to feed her family.
After discovering a passion for baking, she launched Talent 2 Design in 2016. But challenges persisted. In January 2018, a flood destroyed her home and commercial kitchen. Lisa pressed on, opening the storefront bakery two months later in a “sink or swim” gamble. Then in June, doctors discovered her tumor had grown and she was rushed to surgery. Still, in this critical time for her business, she kept at it.
Today, Lisa employs a small staff – each of whom has a disability – and is eyeing expansion to a second location. She is also an ambassador for the Brain Tumour Foundation and the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation.
“Rise believed in me, saw something in me that I did not see myself. I was given a second chance, and my goal is to do the same for others with disabilities. I can not only provide for my children but give back to the community.” – Lisa