Dwynesha "Dee" Lavigne is the founder and owner of DeeLightful Cupcakes, a gourmet cupcake and confectionary treats bakery.
In light of the global pandemic, many organizations have been faced with adapting or changing strategies to meet the needs of those they serve. In response, the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation launched the Lepage Center Mentorship program. Since early April, the Lepage Center has been matching entrepreneurs and small business owners with business experts to assist them with getting their companies back on track or re-imagining the services that they currently offer.
Tulane University and Freeman School alumni have been donating their time, with the Lepage Center, and sharing their professional experience with companies that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. These mentors bring a wealth of experience in the areas of strategic growth, operations, finance, marketing, technology, and innovation. To date, the Center has connected more than sixty companies with mentors.
We are pleased to share a few of our participants' comments from this experience.
Dwynesha "Dee" Lavigne is the founder and owner of DeeLightful Cupcakes, a gourmet cupcake and confectionary treats bakery. Due to the pandemic, Dee found herself without a baking facility or connection to her loyal customers. Dee needed to shift gears quickly and heard about the Lepage Mentorship program through JEDCO, one of the Center's community partners.
"Working with the Lepage Center and being paired with a knowledgeable mentor has been a great tool in transforming my business and taking it to the next level - Chef Dee Lavigne"
Tulane alumni, David Heikkinen, serves as Dee's mentor. They have been working together to build her company's online presence and to expand its product offerings. David is the founder of Heikkinen Energy Advisors.
Women entrepreneurs: Continuing a legacy, creating new opportunities
March 22, 2023
By last year, Chef Dwynesha “Dee” Lavigne, a lifelong cook, was already a well-established culinary presence in New Orleans. She had worked in the industry for years, owned a pastry business and hosted a periodic cooking segment on WWL-TV.
Chef Dee Lavigne is following in Chef Lena Richard's footsteps
December 22, 2022
In February of 2022, Chef Dwynesha “Dee” Lavigne founded Deelightful Roux School of Cooking, following in the footsteps of her heroine, the late Chef Lena Richard. It’s been over eighty years since a Black woman has owned a cooking school in New Orleans, ever since Richard closed hers—the first—to pursue opportunities in New York City in the 1940s.
Meet the chef behind NOLAs’ African American-owned cooking school
September 26, 2022
Chef Dee Lavigne learned to cook at the age of seven. After a brief career in accountancy, she decided to ditch the world of spreadsheets and focus on her true passion: food. Now she runs the first African American-owned cooking school New Orleans has seen in over 80 years, whipping up Cajun and Creole classics for hungry travellers.
The Black Creole Chef Who Paved the Way for Food TV
May 19, 2022
A belated celebration of Lena Richard. In 1949 — more than a decade before Julia Child’s television debut — a boisterous Creole chef put on a cook’s uniform and made history.
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
Receive exclusive offers and exciting news
You are subscribed. Thank you!