Q: What’s your name, and what do you do?
A: Lex Evan, founder, CEO & Chef at LEXINGTON BAKES. I also spent 15 years working as a designer and brand strategist with some iconic skincare brands
Q: How did LEXINGTON BAKES come about? What’s the origin story?
A: LEXINGTON BAKES started with a curious question, "what's in this?"
Box mix brownies were my favorite growing up. As I got older, I started to question what was in the mix. Eventually my curiosity got the best of me. One autumn weekend in 2016 I bought a kitchen aid mixer and began teaching myself how to make all my favorite desserts from scratch. In a matter of weeks, I went from cookies and cupcakes to macarons and eclairs.
As I mastered the basics and realized how much better dessert is outside of the box, my curiosity turned to raw ingredients. Learning about highly processed and artificial ingredients, toxic pesticides, exploitative and forced labor practices, and inhumane treatment of animals in the food world left me with a bad taste. So, I started working with cleaner, organic, and more ethically sourced ingredients.
I always thought it would be cost prohibitive to start a bakery with these principles, but in Nov 2021 my IG community proved me wrong. I had posted a photo of my homemade brownies and people began DM’ing with orders. It was all a big misunderstanding.
I had no intention of starting a bakery, but I leaned into it. After some IG polling and communication of my ingredient story they convinced me to start LXB by pre-ordering $5,000 worth of my luxury brownies. Within six weeks I formed a legal business, rented a commissary kitchen, and baked and shipped the first 500 LEXINGTON BAKES brownies.
In 2022, I formally launched LEXINGTON BAKES with a mission to clean up dessert and a guiding principle of Radical Ingredient Transparency™ so you never have to wonder, "what's in this?"
Q: You’ve been in CPG for a while though - tell us more about your greater journey in the CPG space.
A: I jumped right into big CPG after earning my BFA in graphic design. I started working at a wet wipes manufacturer and got to design private label brands for all the major retailers in North America like Target, Walmart, CVS, Rite-Aid and more. Soon after that I began working on global CPG brands at Johnson & Johnson. For the last 10 years I’ve been working on iconic brands like Neutrogena, Aveeno, Clean & Clear and Johnson’s Baby.
The coolest part of my design career has been traveling the world and seeing my design work in every country. And I guess being able to redesign iconic brands from my childhood, that part is awesome too.
Q: How have learnings from big CPG helped you at Lexington Bakes?
A: When you spend 10 years working on the same brands you go through just about every kind of challenge there is for a CPG brand. Those learnings have helped me build a brand that is prepared to succeed in retail. The most important lesson is that retailers are your customers too, not just the people buying your products. So you need to approach your business with solutions for the needs of both retailers and people.
Q: In honor of Pride Month, how do you think other founders and brands can be allies to the LGBTQ community?
A: Well that’s simple. Inclusion. Go out of your way to make sure your brands are accessible and welcoming to the Queer community. And that doesn’t mean slapping a rainbow on your packaging or donating to Queer non-profits once a year. Brands have immense power in shaping our future by choosing where to do business. So choose to do business in states that support Queer rights. From your offices and warehouses to manufacturers and retailers, and even special events, prioritize doing business in states that support LGBTQ+ rights.
Q: What’s your big massive goal? Give us the biggest 🙂 and leaving this open ended on purpose 😀A: I want to take LXB global. I want to travel the world and not only see my designs on shelf, but my baked treats too.
Q: What’s your favorite way to eat tbh?
A: Drizzled on top of LEXINGTON BAKES brownies of course! Especially on our gluten-free Hazelnut Gianduja Brownies. 😉