TikToker Keith Lee who helps support small food businesses surprises Brooklyn bakery owner on ‘Good Morning America’
NEW YORK — Keith Lee has become a viral sensation for his food reviews on TikTok, which help bring new customers and new life to ailing small businesses. The food creator recently brought his talents to the Big Apple for a sweet surprise.
On Thursday, Lee joined Good Morning America to meet Akim Vann, owner of the Bergen Bakery in Brooklyn, and deliver a non-cake shop treat.
Eight years ago, Vann started her business in the heart of Brooklyn with a goal to reinvest in her neighborhood and serve as a role model for children in the community.
“My mom really took the lead to curate a space that wasn’t just for her,” her son Chi Osse told GMA.
Vann’s friend, Anita Bushell, explained that the small business owner used “her exceptional math skills” to set up “this extra setting at the bakery where she teaches students and works as a student trainer.”
Another close friend, Dawn Siciliani, added, “More people need to see women, women of color, single women, mothers doing things that are unique to them.”
Osse, meanwhile, called his mother “wild” and “inspirational.”
“She always believed in us,” her son continued. “If people tell me I can’t do something or have to wait my turn when I know I’m ready, I still go out and do it and achieve it because that’s how I was raised.”
After welcoming “GMA” and Lee to the bakery Thursday morning, Vann was still unaware that a TikTok feature highlighting her food and work was actually a ploy to revitalize her business.
“It feels so good,” she said after hearing the kind words of her friends and family.
Lee, who visited the bakery earlier in the week to share his experience, told Vann, “Your customer service was through the roof and you had no idea who I was.”
He also praised their green tea latte and sea salt chocolate chip cookie as the best he’s ever had.
To make the moment even sweeter, “GMA” surprised Vann by handing her a $10,000 check from Duncan Hines, leaving her in ecstasy.
“Shut up,” she said with a big smile. “Oh my god, thank you very much.”
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