As the creative mind behind Sublime Brands’ distinctive doughnut and bakeshop concept, Founder & Creative Director Kamal Grant demonstrates a love for baking and bringing smiles to customers’ faces that can only be described as awe-inspiring. “I realized at a very young age that sweets make people happy, and that’s what I wanted to do with my life,” recalls Grant.
When an executive from Dunkin Donuts visited Grant’s high school foodservice class and discussed his trips to the doughnut research and development lab to taste the experimental treats, it sounded pretty sweet. After graduating, Grant joined the Navy and used his enlistment as an opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming a world-class baker. Serving as a baker among the E4 – 3rd Class Petty Officers on the USS John Young, Grant’s cinnamon rolls quickly gained the praise of his shipmates.
In addition to an opportunity to bake, his travels with the Navy also exposed him to international culinary treats and exotic flavor and texture combinations. Singapore’s ice cream sandwiches made with multi-colored bread and sweet red bean soup, Australia’s malt chocolate beverages and Dubai’s shawarma and rosewater forever changed Grant’s approach to baking. “While traveling around the world in the Navy, I learned that pastries weren’t just about baking; they also represented culinary art,” says Grant.
This newfound artistic appreciation led him to enroll in the Culinary Institute of America, where he focused on high-end desserts, plate presentation, classical techniques and the flavors and textures of award-winning chefs. During his time at the Institute, Grant interned with renowned pastry chef Keegan Gerhard at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans. Upon graduating, he refined his skills at the American Institute of Baking, where he focused on the science behind baking. Grant put these skills to use at his first job as a supervisor at the Flowers Baking Company, learning the value of “high volume, high quality” production.
Before long, Grant’s desire to create (and a fortuitous errand to purchase doughnuts) led him to notice a rental sign for an empty shop in Atlanta that would soon become his culinary vision, known since 2008 as Sublime Doughnuts.
“At Sublime, we present flavors and textures from around the world on a doughnut canvas,” he says with a smile.