GW Law School graduate Warren Errol Brown reached the likes of Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Tiger Woods last week as People magazine named him one of America’s top 50 bachelors in its July 2 issue.
Although some people stuck in the monotony of daily office drudge can only dream of pursuing their true heart’s desire, Brown has turned his dream into a reality. After using his dual degree in law and public health from GW to land a $48,000 job litigating for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Brown turned in his suit and tie for flour-spattered shoes and the biggest oven and mixer $10,000 can buy.
“I want to be as happy as I can,” the 30 year-old said with a smile as white as the confectioner’s sugar he sprinkles on a `New German Chocolate’ cake. “I love food, and have been cooking all my life.”
Brown sells baked goods online through his company, WEB Cakes – something he never imagined he would be doing a decade ago.
Brown was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Brown University in 1993 with a major in history and American foreign policy. He was also president of his class.
After graduating, he spent two years working as a health educator in Providence, R.I. and Los Angeles, where he faced difficulty teaching high school students reproductive health issues with “inadequate (teaching) material.”
He went to GW Law School “for credentials” with the hope of getting people to notice “the valid issues of sex education.”
At GW, Brown remembers law professor Luize E. Zubrow who taught him “the meaning of priority.” He said law professor Roger E. Schechter was also a good influence on him.
Brown said he liked law school because it taught him “to think in a different manner, sometimes even think backwards.”
Once Brown received his GW master’s degrees in law and public health in 1998, he went to work for the federal government. He said he realized that “people are not interested in sex education because it’s too controversial.” Brown explained he felt that making an impact in this arena would take years of struggle, and his heart just was not in it.
It was then he found solace in bowls of cake batter. In November 2000 he left his law career to become a full-time baker, and in January founded WEB’s Cakes. He sells his gourmet products to well-known D.C. hangouts such as Tryst in Adams-Morgan and Dean & DeLuca in Georgetown.
“The phone is ringing off the hook,” his publicist, Paul L. Berry, said.
Brown and his cakes began to receive attention after Judith Weinraub wrote a feature article for The Washington Post following his path to full-time baker. The two met at La Cuisine in Old Town Alexandria, where she gave him her card in October 2000.
“I was hit with total luck. She said my cakes were fab,” Brown said.
Today Brown can be found in front of a hot oven in Laval’s Good Food To Go, at 1845 14th Street.
“I’m doing it because I think it will work,” Brown said.
The business-savvy baker went from buying a book called “How to Bake” while cooking for his housemates during law school to taking a cake decorating class at the L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda. In the fall he will open his own unique shop at 15th and U streets.
“A lot of people see me as living out their dreams,” Brown said. “But I say do what you want to do, let your heart lead.”