Keva’s Mysterious Story
While a tropical storm rages outside, 10-year-old Keva and her six siblings, huddle inside. They listen as the incessant rain and ocean waves beat against the Bahamian rocky shores. Instead of fear, they feel euphoria. Keva’s single-mother is baking rum cakes, as she is known to do during times like these. The smell of spiced rum combined with the sweetness of fresh cake pierces their senses like rays of sun. When the storm finally ends, her mother known as the “Queen of Cakes” shares the rum cakes with the entire neighbourhood. Young Keva never forgets.
Born Susan Elizabeth, she’s nicknamed “Keva” because no one can imagine a poor native bare-foot tomboy with a name like “Susan Elizabeth.” She grows up swimming for conch shells, climbing coconut trees, and hunting caves for Sir Henry Morgan’s hidden treasure. Like many Bahamian children, Keva’s future is predetermined and limited. Her education stops after secondary school. Dreams never become reality, suffocated by life’s accepted futility.
Following the passing of their mother, Keva and her six brothers and sisters move to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. Parentless with scarce money for food and education, 13-year-old Keva works in a hair salon with her brother for the next eight years. Remembering her mother’s rum cakes, Keva teaches herself how to cook at 21. To her surprise, she is engulfed with new emotions of happiness and purpose. She has found her true passion – rediscovering her mother’s passion.
To make ends meet, Keva continues working in the salon. After a few years, she decides to branch out on her own as a personal beautician. This allows Keva to enter some of the most beautiful colonial homes along the beaches of Nassau. During these appointments, Keva brings home-made tasty treats to share with her customers. What starts out as gifts for her customers becomes special orders that even visiting tourists enjoy.
Although her Bahamian rum cakes are beloved, Keva doesn’t recognize baking as a profession. One day a customer asks, “Why don’t you open a café?” Keva faces a crossroads – a critical choice between what she knows or to adventure into the baking profession. Keva reflects on her life. The choice is to do what is comfortable or to embrace the adventure. For Keva, staying comfortable means standing still. Keva makes her choice by opening her first café – August Moon. It’s a success.
Keva’s passion for cooking and baking leads to operating two restaurants in the Bahamas over a span of twelve years. Keva’s rum cakes are again met with critical acclaim. Now married with two grown school-aged children, Keva faces another crossroads. Does she educate her children in the Bahamas or take them to their father’s home country of Ireland? Keva once again reflects on her youth and embraces the adventure by moving to Dublin, Ireland.
There’s a saying in the Bahamas, the sand from the beach that clings to your skin will always keep you connected to the islands. When Keva moves to Dublin, not only does she bring the sand in her shoes, she brings a dream of taking her rum cakes and Bahamian cuisine to the rest of the world, to share the experience and atmosphere of the Bahamian sunshine and beaches. What she doesn’t know is that Keva and Ireland have been connected her whole life. “Keva” is an Irish name. It means gentle, beautiful and precious. This describes Keva’s Bahamian rum cakes perfectly.
Keva’s dream and vision is not simply supplying delicious rum cakes and Bahamian cuisine to the world. It’s to send a message to the Bahamian people. A message to dream and chase that dream until it’s caught and transformed into a reality.
Keva invites you to embrace her dream in her mother’s inspired Bahamian Rum Cakes. The adventure continues with every bite.
Keva’s logo was inspired by the palm leaves of the coconut trees that lines the beautiful beaches and roadside of the Island of Nassau Bahamas, where she spent her childhood.