Ingra D. Chandler Tookes-The Orlando Times
Orlando Woman’s History Being Made “With Lots Of Love And Prayer”
BY DR. BARBARA J. MCLEAN-SMITH
Photo Cutline: Ingra D. Chandler-Tookes
ORLANDO - Ingra Chandler-Tookes, sole proprietor of “Sweeter than Sweet Desserts Orlando”, a dessert haven has taken Orlando by storm. Originally from Pensacola, Florida Ingra grew up in a family household where baking was a daily occasion. Ingra’s mother, who came from a “family of bakers and cooks” was known around Pensacola as she baked cakes, pies and made several types of candy for their church and neighbors. Ingra said her mother was known to bake “at least 15-20 pies at one time and to freeze them for the family to enjoy at any given time. At that time, the family did not have the fancy mixers and other kitchen appliances of today. Everyone in the family pitched in to help bake and to make candy. Those times are fond memories of my childhood,” says Ingra.
Ingra is a graduate of Alabama State University. Her sister had relocated to Orlando for work and after Ingra graduated, her sister invited her to come to Orlando. Once here, Orlando became home to Ingra in 1987. Ingra is married with two adult sons who are now entrepreneurs in their own right.
Chandler-Tookes is an entrepreneur who, like her mother, started out several years ago baking cakes upon request for family, friends and her fellow-church members. Ingra continued to bake upon request until her “Home baked requests became a business.” Her family, friends and peers encouraged her to “go into business”; her kitchen had become a hot spot for special desserts that were requested for special events. Sweeter than Sweet offers “old fashioned southern style” delectable cakes, sweet potato pies, bread and banana puddings, peach cobbler and more.
Mrs. Chandler-Tookes, affectionately known and referred to others by her first name “Ingra” continues to receive more and more requests not only with residents in Orlando but with people in Orlando’s surrounding communities of Ocoee, Maitland, and Altamonte Springs, to name a few. Her business venture, “Sweeter Than Sweet” began in 2016 although she had been baking for others since 2006. Each dessert is made from “scratch” and made with lots of love and prayer. When asked what were her “challenges” if any? She promptly replied that “limited space keeps her from expanding to the capacity she would like”. However, the space concern didn’t either slow her down or stop her as her sales have increased exponentially. Ingra likes to bake her goods without too much interruption so she mostly does all the work single-handedly. Chandler-Tookes says “Her mission is to leave each customer talking about her goods and their experience enjoying the desserts long after they are long gone.” Ingra continues to take orders and continues to offer “pick-up and delivery”.
With one of her specialty’s being Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Icing, she has been able to get her goods into popular establishments around town. “Sweeter Than Sweet” old-fashioned southern style desserts may be found served up and sold to go at Bubbalous; Seafood Station; and Harlee’s BBQ and Grill. These scrumptious desserts made for any occasion may be delivered to your front door as shipping is available.
Mrs. Chandler-Tookes is a member of St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal church under the pastorate of The Reverend Terence R. Gray. Ingra holds the position of Financial Secretary and has served in that capacity for many years. Not only is St. Mark AME her place of employment, she is very active in her church and is very quick to let you know just how solid she is in her faith, giving all honor and glory to God.
You don’t want to miss Orlando’s History making “Sweeter than Sweet Desserts, Orlando”. To see Ingra’s menu and to place orders, please visit sweeterthansweet.com. Sweeter Than Sweet Desserts may also be found at Barker Park Farmer’s Market.