'It’s a blessing': Baker's passion for cakes fuels her fight against cancer

Just Sweets has brought warmth and comfort to some customers during the pandemic, but it has also helped its owner through chemotherapy and two bouts with cancer.

Justina Hutton has always had a fondness for making cakes, but she never expected her labor of love would one day help her overcome a potentially deadly disease.

She said making the creative confections made her feel uplifted and kept her going during chemotherapy.

Hutton has made hundreds of cakes since starting Just Sweets back in 2016, including custom cakes based on everything from Jurassic World to Fortnight to Dr. Seuss, complete with a real goldfish inside a fish bowl.

Business is up at least 25 percent, Hutton says. She says it’s because people are looking for comfort during the pandemic and want to patronize BIPOC-owned businesses since the death of George Floyd.

Hutton says she has experienced that support firsthand as she has battled and beaten uterine cancer twice over the last few years. Her passion for baking and decorating cakes, along with the support of her customers and community, gave her the strength to persevere while undergoing chemotherapy.

"That made me think I can do this," she said. "I got this. And it pushed me to work even harder because I had someone depending on me, you know? Somebody has a wedding cake coming up, OK. I gotta get this done. I can’t ruin somebody’s wedding, so I got a lot of motivation from that."

Hutton hopes to open her own storefront by the end of the year, but she says that would only be icing on the cake of what has already been a sweet career.

"It’s a blessing that it’s taken me this far and it’s put me in this position I am in currently. I’m just really thankful," she said.

For more information about Just Sweet, click here.