Bougie Cookie Boutique destroyed by flames

Chanelle Kimber was having the worst day of her life. 

On Wednesday, the 31-year-old mother of two daughters received the news that Cheryl Avery, her 75-year-old grandmother, had been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.

“My grandmother is my lifeline,” Kimber said. “It was completely devastating.”

It is her grandmother who takes care of her daughters — Adalynn, age 8, and Korey, age 3 — when they are not in school. It is her grandmother who takes care of her mother, an Army veteran who is nonverbal after suffering a series of strokes. It is her grandmother who helps out at her new bakery, The Bougie Cookie Boutique. 

That evening, Kimber and her cousin gathered in her living room to process the upsetting news.

And then they noticed a wisp of smoke coming up through a heating duct. 

Within minutes, Kimber’s horrible day would become much worse.

‘A very, very hard worker’

Kimber fell into baking by accident. At the age of 18, she started working in the bakery at Wegmans in order to put herself through college. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Roberts Wesleyan University with the goal of becoming a medical researcher.

But she found that her real love was baking, and decided to continue working in that field with the ultimate goal of starting her own business. 

Maria Flores

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