News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Mar. 3, 2021: The US’ First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, is winning praise for her patronage of minority and immigrant owned businesses, including recently, one owned by a Caribbean immigrant brother and sister duo.
Dr. Biden recent patronage of the Sweet Lobby in D.C. for Valentine’s Day treats drew enough attention to warrant news articles announcing the fact. Especially as many minority-owned SME’s are struggling to stay afloat in the pandemic.
The First Lady purchased more than $100 worth of cupcakes and macarons. She then posted on social media about it.
The Washington, D.C.-based boutique bakery bills itself as the “ultimate advocate for your sweet tooth.” The Sweet Lobby is owned by the Trinidad and Tobago-born Dr. Winnette McIntosh Ambrose and her brother Timothy McIntosh.
The Sweet Lobby is owned by the Trinidad and Tobago-born Dr. Winnette McIntosh Ambrose and her brother Timothy McIntosh.
Ambrose says Biden purchased more than $100 worth of sweets during her 10-to-15 minute visit, including a “luxe” 20-piece macaron gift box, a “classic” six-piece macaron box, and a dozen cupcakes in an assortment of flavors.
“From what I hear from my staff, she was absolutely lovely and so was her detail,” Ambrose says. “All my staff took lots of pictures.”
McIntosh Ambrose emigrated from her native Trinidad and Tobago to attend MIT. After graduating with bachelor’s degrees in Chemical Engineering and French Language and Literature, she went on to a career in the cardiovascular device industry and holds the patent for the first FDA-approved device for carotid stenting. Following her time in industry, Dr. McIntosh Ambrose earned her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.
As a biomedical engineer, she combined stem cells and biomaterials to rebuild the layers of the retina and cornea, with the ultimate goal of restoring vision in patients with damaged or diseased ocular tissue.
McIntosh Ambrose opened The Sweet Lobby in June of 2011, with her brother Timothy, during the last year of her postdoctoral fellowship. Within months of opening, her baking talents gained international attention when she won Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.
In the nine years since its inception, McIntosh Ambrose and her team have grown The Sweet Lobby from neighborhood treasure to national brand, and in 2015, opened Souk, DC’s globally-inspired market, bakery and café.
In addition to retail, Souk and The Sweet Lobby serve wholesale clientele throughout the USA, including some of the nation’s premier food retailers, luxury brands and coffee shops. Signature products include French macarons, croissants, kouign amann, canelés, madeleines and gourmet cupcakes.
In January of 2018, McIntosh Ambrose won Food Network’s Chopped, becoming the first person in the history of the network to win both Cupcake Wars and Chopped.
She has personally trained The Sweet Lobby’s bakers, with whom she works on a continual basis, to introduce daring new flavor incarnations, like goat cheese, caramelized pear and spicy curry mango, alongside classic varieties.
The Sweet Lobby has been featured in numerous print, television, radio and online forums, from The Washington Post, NBC, and Fox, to National Public Radio and CNN.
Ambrose, however, just missed Biden. She was on her way in from her other bakery and market, Souk, when a manager texted that they had a “visitor” this morning. An attached photo didn’t immediately download. “I’m like there staring at it—Who was it? Who was it?”
Ambrose is hoping the Bidens will make a return when she is there: “We’ve got to have a raincheck. Dr. Biden, holler at your girl, please, next time. Just shoot me a message. Hit me up in the DMs.”