Home Sweet Home: How Angela Logan Saved Her House By Baking
by Wendy Wilson, ESSENCE Magazine
After a bad storm last December caused serious damage to her home in Teaneck,, things for Angela Logan went from bad to worse. The contractor she hired ended up causing even more damage to her house, forcing Logan to pay $50,000 in repairs and leaving her house unfinished. The modeling agency that hired Logan went belly up without paying her several thousands of dollars for jobs she had already completed. That’s when her mortgage payments started to go downhill. Next thing the 55-year-old actress/model knew she was close to losing the house she has lived in for the last 20 years to foreclosure. That’s when she decided to set a goal and bake her way out of her problems. Logan was able to raise enough money to make her mortgage payments and may have even found a new calling through this experience. She spoke to ESSENCE.com about how she used her famous Mortgage Apple Cakes to save her from imminent foreclosure, who helped her get the word out and what she hopes other people will learn from her story.
ESSENCE.COM: How did you come up with the idea to sell cakes to help raise the money you needed?
ANGELA LOGAN: I met with a counselor who told me about a refinancing program called Making Homes Affordable. I signed up for it but it took at least three months to get a response from them. Once we did, they said, okay, now you have to make the first payment. This program was going to significantly decrease my mortgage but in order to get it I had to pay off all my bills and make three mortgage payments for the rest of the year. I had to find a way to get that money. So, I made a plan. I was going bake and sell 100 cakes at $40 per cake in 10 days.
ESSENCE.COM: How did you start reaching out to people?
LOGAN: I called key people who I knew had a broad outreach. I started taking classes to become a nurse, so I asked people in my class if they would buy a cake. I had been involved with fundraising projects for the Cultural Arts Coalition in my community. The director called everyone she knew who knew me. I started calling my actor friends, people at church and set up a Web site. Within five days, I sold 42 cakes but I still needed to sell 58 more. At that point, a friend called the local paper, and they did a story on me. Once we did Fox News and other media outlets, I couldn’t answer my phone with the number of people requesting cakes and wanting to help.
ESSENCOM: Did you make all these cakes yourself?
LOGAN: Everybody in my household helped out. My fiancé made sure the kitchen was ready for me every morning, and my sons would wash dishes and help cut apples. My older son helped set up a database for all of our customers. Everybody had an expertise, and it became a family effort.
ESSENCE.COM: Did you ever think about how exactly you were going to bake all these cakes in your home?
LOGAN: We got about 500 requests in the first week. Calls from all over the United States came in, as well as London, Canada, Germany and Hong Kong. A blessing came when the Hilton hotel in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, said we heard about your story and we’ll let you bake in our kitchen. They gave me four ovens and a huge mixer where I could make 20 cakes at a time. Then Zoe’s Cupcake Shop in Teaneck, New Jersey, said we’ll let people do pickups at our shop. We were still trying to figure out how to distribute the cakes through the mail when Bake Me A Wish came to our door. They said we will donate the shipping of those 500 cake orders to people around the nation. If everything goes well, we’ll be in a long-term partnership with them.
ESSENCE.COM: What would you tell other people who are about to lose their homes to foreclosure?
LOGAN: If the entire community is starving, why can’t everyone put a little in the pot to help out? People came to my rescue, and I think that set a model for what can be done in other communities. We don’t have to watch our neighbors go under. I would also suggest they make a plan, set a goal and then get some help. I let people know I was having a problem, but that I had a way that I believed I could get out of it. When people know you have a plan, then they’ll be more likely to want to help.
For more information on Angela Logan’s Apple Cake, go to bakemeawish.com.