A native of Cebu City, Philippines and the daughter of a retired US Airforce Master Sargent, Shirley Hughes has lived all over the world and pulls from her multifaceted cultural experiences as inspiration for her culinary artistry. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History at the College of Charleston, and her artistic talent is evident in the beautiful desserts she creates. She’s come a long way from her many years in the fitness industry when a few cupcakes were a longed-for cheat meal; now she spends her days creating sophisticated, classic creations that are as delightful to see as they are delectable to taste. Opened in 2011, Shirley’s charming Sweet Cheats bakery has become a local favorite in her beloved Cabbagetown, a neighborhood on the east side of Atlanta with a rich history and an exploding culinary scene, where she is both a resident and a business owner. With another location recently opened in the northeast suburbs, Shirley is bringing her special brand of pastry artistry to the masses.
Shirley dedicates herself to her community in many ways, whether supporting local non-profit organizations or collaborating with small local businesses on local projects and festivals. In 2017, Shirley was nominated and accepted into the prestigious Les Dames D’Escoffier, an honor bestowed upon only 1,400 women globally. Shirley embodies Les Dames’ mission to promote excellence in the culinary arts while providing education, mentorship, and support for philanthropic endeavors locally and all over the world.