Kei Okumura - Sugarbird Sweets and Teas

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A music video production producer turned classically trained pastry chef, Kei has spent the last decade creating and refining Sugarbird Sweets and Teas. Her unique perspective on pastry is influenced by both her Japanese heritage and the time she spent living and studying in Paris. While exploring the city, Kei fell in love with all types of cuisine (from fine dining to casual dishes!) and discovered the true taste of bread, brioche, eclairs, macarons, and more.  Upon her return to the states, Kei worked in fine dining restaurants, private cheffing and at bakeries while continuing to further her own culinary journey. Soon, she began blending dessert-like teas to satisfy her late-night sweet cravings while making desserts for friend’s restaurants. It was then that she saw firsthand how delicious treats and intentional tea time can organically create space for people to connect and share. Thus, amidst friendly support, rave reviews, and delicious baked treats, Sugarbird formally took flight, exploring and celebrating all things teas, sweets, and people.  Some of the most delicious moments in Sugarbird history have been in witnessing how tea time can foster deep conversations and connections; from sweetly side-stepping the stigma surrounding mental health to spark a movement for self-care, Kei has seen how simple bites and the gesture of holding a warm cup, that evokes comfort and feel like it can help people’s walls come down to reset, rejuvenate and reflect. Passionate about making it easy for you to take a moment to reset, be present, and connect with people you love, Sugarbird’s scones allow you to host your own tea break experience while still enjoying made-from-scratch goodness, anytime within 30 minutes!  Today, Kei lives with her husband, their two boys, and two dogs Mochi and Kinako.  When she’s not inventing a new scone flavor, she loves to be outdoors camping by the beach, mountains and play tennis.   As a minority and woman-owned and operated small business, Kei is proud to be empowering a diverse team of LGBTQ+ and minority bakers who love to make something sweet.