LAKELAND — In just five years, Chequita Blake has gone from selling her cupcakes from a makeshift table to having her own storefront at Lakeland Square Mall. 

Blake, 43, started giving out samples of her “fresh, moist” cupcakes at her son’s Little League baseball games. She said the look on people’s faces told her that she had a quality product, which would eventually become her business: Blue Velvet Cupcakes. She had also been selling cupcakes to family and friends.

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In 2016, Blake walked the entirety of Lakeland Square Mall, praying over her next step. The following year, she started selling her cupcakes at a table in the mall before getting promoted to a kiosk in front of Dillard’s in late 2018. After her lease with the kiosk ended, she left, with plans of securing a larger space where she could bake on site. 

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