It was 2020, the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. A former teacher, Grace Nash, had lost her new job in IT, was dealing with the loss of loved ones, and was recovering from surgery after two car accidents had left her with severe neck pain. Most days were spent crying in pain on the couch, questioning life, and… watching Cake Boss.

“I was in a really dark place,” Grace recalls. 

One day, she decided to bake a cake herself. A chocolate Reese’s peanut butter cake, to be exact. “It was so pretty. When I finished it, I was jovial,” Grace says, the sense of amazement still evident in her voice. “Nothing else had mattered to me while I was baking. All the pain and sorrow were gone since I was so focused on getting the cake done.”

So the next day, she baked another one, and another one the following day. She hasn’t stopped baking—and smiling—since. “When I finished it and it was pretty, it made me even happier,” she says. “So, I started baking just to keep happy.”

Grace’s Tiers Bakery opened in North Richland Hills, Texas, in May 2022.

Grace’s first husband died unexpectedly 35 years ago. Her eldest son, Curtis Nash Jr. ( who goes by Nash), was just eight years old at the time, but in the aftermath of that tragedy, he made a promise to his mom: that he’d always take care of her. 

Curtis Nash with customized cupcakes at the bakery.
Curtis Nash works as head cupcake decorator at Grace's Tiers Bakery.

“He has been true to his word,” Grace says.

Nash played basketball collegiately at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and then played professionally in Europe for a decade. No matter where he was, when money was short for his mom, he sent whatever she needed.

The way Nash, now 43, sees it, he’s just repaying his mom. She’s the one who bought him his basketball shoes, put him in basketball camps, and dragged him right off the court during warmups (true story) when his grades weren’t good enough.  

Grace’s Tiers Bakery is self-funded, with a chunk of that funding coming from Nash. But his involvement goes well beyond finances: he’s become his mom’s head cupcake decorator at the bakery.   

“How crazy is that?” Nash laughs.

A green tiered cake with roses and a princess and frog silhouette.
Grace makes cakes for any type of occasion or holiday.

“Let Us Bake You Happy” is the slogan at Grace’s Tiers Bakery. What started as Grace’s passion project in her apartment’s kitchen has blossomed into a six-days-a-week, 80-hour-workweek labor of love at their brick-and-mortar location. And Grace’s baking has made a lot more than just herself happy. 

The bakery specializes in custom cakes and cupcakes but also bakes pudding cups (get the strawberry shortcake, Nash suggests), cookies, and more. Just looking at their Instagram account will leave you hungry for dessert. They offer 25 different flavors per day, and as delicious as the food is, it’s the customer service that Grace and Nash take the most pride in. While Grace bakes in the kitchen, Nash is regularly found up front, greeting guests and keeping the line moving along with their restaurant point-of-sale from SpotOn.

It’s all resonating: Grace’s Tiers Bakery has nearly 600 Google reviews and a perfect 5.0 score. 

“I don’t do it for the money. I do this because I love what I do,” Grace says. “When I see a customer’s face light up because of something I made, that’s a feeling unlike anything I’ve ever felt.”

Grace's Tiers Bakery specializes in custom cakes.

Grace and Nash just celebrated the two-year anniversary of Grace’s Tiers Bakery. Considering their previous career paths as a teacher-turned-IT specialist and a professional basketball player, they are still somewhat in disbelief of their current reality. But they wouldn’t trade it—and the time it means they get to spend together—for anything. 

“This woman is 61 years of age. She never gave up on life, even with all the stuff she was going through. She never quit. So for me to see all this now, it’s an inspiration,” Nash says. “No matter where you are in life or how old you are, you can always find purpose and passion.” 

To get to share that passion with your son? Well, that’s just icing on the cake for Grace. “It’s a godsend to be able to work with your son,” Grace says. “There’s trust. I know he’s going to give it his all since he was taught to give it his all.”

Grace’s Tiers Bakery is open Monday through Saturday, leaving Sunday as Grace’s one day of rest. Nash usually handles the decorating, but for Mother’s Day on Sunday, he and his wife will handle the cooking—and baking.

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