I Am Café (We're moving on up!)

My name LaShawn Raybon but my friends call me the "Cafeteria Lady". I started Cakes by the POUND Bay Area, my baking business nearly 3 years ago with only one pound cake recipe. I've since been a recognized vendor throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, satisfying clients throughout the State of California, Nevada, New York, and Texas.  Most recently, awarded the Eden Area/Castro Valley People's Choice Award. The thing is, we really need your help...

Serving great food to satisfied customers has always been fulfilling and a means to relieve stress for me. It's also the one time that my daughter is most confident. My main reason for starting this business is to gain the flexibility to work with my “especially-unique” daughter. After being laid off for having to take so much time for school visits and doctor’s appointments, being an integral part of her educational career was my only option, single mom or not. I baked my first cake to try something different, to conquer my fear and literally challenge myself out of depression. One cake led to 35, those cakes led to (my first love) food, food led to catering, and we now have the opportunity to transition, turning a home baking business into the I Am Café market.
My daughter is watching me, learning every aspect of business. And I can truly say I've never seen her blossom more than when we are interacting with our customers. I know it's a bit cliché to mention my grandparents owning a restaurant in the San Francisco Fillmore District and my wanting this all my life. But this dream is just within our reach and I'm so excited about it!

The best news ever!!
We have already secured the building, licensing and permits for the I Am Café, but we need your help to make this dream a reality.

Your donation will fund:

·       Commercial Kitchen Fees - to professionally prepare menu items within proximity of the Café

·       Hiring 2 Part-Time quality team members at livable wages

·       Café materials/supplies (listed in update)

·        (PUT ON HOLD) 1  Ford Transit delivery vehicle with vehicle build out - including shelving, energy proficient heating and refrigeration cabinets to be able to transport meals safely

Whether we raise $100.00 or are blessed enough to reach our goal, we are grateful for whatever you can contribute. We will be opening in SUMMER 2018 and hope to secure funding by May 15, 2018!

I Am Café will not only be a place where patrons can dine on a fresh-food-fast menu based on local ingredients, but will also serve as a base for our food delivery service and catering.  All of our meals will be hand crafted from scratch, from fresh pasta to homemade cakes and desserts.  We will also use local produce to keep revenue in the community and our menu will be seasonal, changing as the seasons change.


We are partnering with the Mandela MarketPlace to transform this Ashland, California apartment building into a thriving retail space. Within what was once considered a food desert, I Am Café will be the only standing Fresh Food Café within a 13 block radius. In the upcoming days, we will post a photo/video touring the building and talking more about our plans for the future.

I sincerely thank you for your consideration and I understand that not everybody is in a position to donate, but would greatly appreciate if you could share my story with your friends and family!

Thank you, again!

LaShawn Raybon
"The Cafeteria Lady"
  • Rahwa Neguse 
    • $50 
    • 31 mos
  • Gyda Williams  
    • $50 
    • 32 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 32 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 32 mos
  • Kathy Meares 
    • $50 
    • 32 mos
See all


LaShawn Raybon 
Oakland, CA
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