Brown Sugar Retreats: Bakechella Overview & Giveaway

Jun 23, 2023 | Travel | 11 comments

Friends, there’s a new cookie event in town! If you’re looking for a more intimate experience where you get to make new friends, learn different techniques and the business of baking, you don’t want to miss out on Brown Sugar RetreatsPorsha and her team have been doing cake retreats for years, and they’ve started to offer cookie/treat-related events as well. IF you’ve ever been to any event by Porsha, you know that she makes sure you’re also well-fed and taken care of throughout the event. Compared to larger scale conventions with 500+ attendees, this is much more laid back, and not as chaotic/stressful.

(btw: This isn’t a sponsored or paid post. No one asked me to write about it, and all opinions are my own.)

Last year (2022), I attended Brown Sugar Cookie Retreat in Dallas- it was an event of about 100 attendees, and we all attended demos and hands-on activities in a single room together.

This year (2023), I just came back from the New Orleans Bakechella event, and we had a little less than 100 attendees with a similar format. To summarize, this retreat consisted of 3 days: treats, decorated cookies & cakes. People had the option to attend all 3 days or a subset of the days. Everyone is in the same room for the entire event, including vendors. Breakfast and lunch are included in the ticket price, and those who attended all 3 days received an incredibly generous grab bag.

Brown Sugar Events hold a special place in my heart due to the positive, diverse and laid-back environment, which allows me to relax into an authentic me – an experience that many attendees share. Here’s a quick recap of the event with highlights (people + food)

I made some new friends and really connected with people on a human level- something that’s proving more important to me than making business connections. This last year has been a challenge for me personally (more on that HERE), and this really helped give me some much-needed perspective.


Last week, I got to attend Bakechella in New Orleans, hosted by Porsha and her team at Brown Sugar Retreats. It was such a fun, soul-recharging event and I got to connect with so many humans from all walks of life. I gained a ton of perspective on life and business, and feel like I’m finally coming out of my slump. Thank YOU all for inspiring me.

♬ Happy Summer – Vin Music

Special shoutout to Sanny, Hannah and Alison for hanging out on Day 1. Loved catching up and getting to know everyone better and having deeply meaningful conversations about life. To Mayen- the most unexpected new friend who I connected with on a very personal level.  To Jessica- who spent a ton of time with me dinnering and at the airport, talking about life, health relationships, thank you <3. To Sandie and Arlene, who I love to see every time we get together for great laughs and incredible conversations (+ love seeing Arlene’s outfits & eating amazing food per Sandie’s recs), and Hector who basically babysat us and drove us everywhere: thank you. Much love to all the attendees – because of YOU, we GET to do this! And lastly + most importantly, so grateful to Porsha and her team (Haley, Capricious, Nakesha, Kendria, Crystal) for running a smooth event.

The next Cookiechella is already scheduled for Kansas in October 2024. Details are pending, but you can keep an eye on Brown Sugar Retreat’s IG and website for more info as it becomes available. I plan to be there and hope to see some of you there, as well.

I’m also giving away some of the swag I received from the event + a few donations from the Borderlands Bakery shop. If you’d like to enter to win, simply leave a comment below with one skill you’d like to learn at these workshops: be creative! Do you want an in-person, hands-on icing workshop? Or a french macaron class? What about some specific techniques? Did you want a breakout session to discuss marketing a sales for your cottage business? Or even things like branding and merch development. What about baking for a cause? YOU tell US so that we can make this happen for you. We are also interested in hearing any suggestions for fun activities in the future– remember, we’re here to connect and have fun, not just learn and do business.  Open worldwide, and I’ll announce the winner on June 27th.


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  1. Anna

    Id love a cookie class on handwriting without using a projector, tips and tricks on how to get consistent pretty results without investing in a projector

  2. Lisa He

    Test Comment

  3. Kelly M

    This event sounds awesome! It would be nice to have something more intimate than other larger events.

    I’d love some time management tips from other bakers. How do you keep everything fresh between several decorating/drying processes? How soon before an event do you bake? Any tips on baking/decorating steps that can be run in parallel?


    I would like a class on mixing colors.

    • Michelle

      Like the time management….and color theory. But this definitely sounds like an interesting retreat. Now real interested. But more with consistencies and some other techniques (smeer, crackle, puff, airbrushing without going onto other areas when highlighted)

  5. Jeanine

    Color mixing for sure. And planning a set details

  6. Jackie Truzzolino

    I’d love to participate in a class or watch a video teaching us how to make various kinds of flowers on our cookies. I also like the other suggestion on lettering.

  7. Julie-Ann Ricci

    I’m not good at working out colour palettes, so a class on colour theory would be appreciated.

  8. Brigette Evans

    I would love to learn about becoming comfortable when it comes to promoting yourself and your work. I would also like to learn more about making your products stand out through packaging, the kind that sets you apart from the other bakers at farmers markets/events.

    • Lisa He

      Hi Brigette, you’ve won our giveaway! Please email me with your full name and shipping address so we can get the prize pack to you: help@borderlandsbakery.com – thank you!

  9. teresa owens

    I would love to attend a handwriting class.


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