PORT ST. LUCIE PEOPLE
NAZHI ARI-ANNA DIOR FORREST
Lives in: Port St. Lucie
Occupation: Founder and CEO
of Nazhi Thee Baker, LLC and the
Family: Parents, Michael and
Nashanta; brother, De-Armani;
sisters, Shakarrah and Italiyah
Education: Sophomore at Treasure Coast High School
Hobbies: Baking, hip-hop dancing, raising awareness for
sickle cell anemia
Who inspires me: Oprah Winfrey. “She’s such a positive
leader, always telling people not to give up. I want to
Something most people don’t know about me: “People
sometimes don’t believe that I have sickle cell because I’m
Switching to a healthier diet made a dramatic difference.
Recently, when the youngest daughter’s blood was checked,
zero inflammation was evident. “‘Keep doing what you’re
doing,’ the doctor told me. He was shocked!” Nashanta says.
A healthy organic diet made Nazhi and her sisters feel better,
but it did nothing to satisfy her sizable sweet tooth. Nazhi
enjoyed baking; she began to experiment, first with peanut
butter cookies. “I used raw peanut butter and organic ripened
bananas for sweeteners. The cookies looked weird, but they
tasted pretty good,” she says. Her personal favorite? “Coconut
Nazhi loves baking and is dedicated to her mission of helping those with
sickle cell anemia and educating others, but she is also asked frequently to
speak about entrepreneurship.
Port St. Lucie Magazine 41
goddess bundt cake.”
As her baking adventures expanded, Nazhi shared goodies
with her neighbors, eventually starting the business, Nazhi
Thee Baker. “I want kids to enjoy treats that won’t make them
feel worse.” Her company’s motto is “We bake with love,
a little slice of healthy heaven.” Products may be seen and
ordered at her website, www.nazhitheebaker.com.
Florida law allows individuals to use unlicensed home
kitchens to produce and sell baked goods. A stickler for quality
control, Nazhi does all the baking and packaging herself.
She hopes to get into her high school’s business program to
hone her skills. “Having my big brother as a business partner
has also helped,” she says.
During cooler months, Nazhi sells her healthy goodies
at the Port St. Lucie Farmer’s Market and various vendor
events; she also participates in special events at Joe DiMaggio
Children’s Hospital in Miami. Proceeds return to the business
or for back-to-school or annual Christmas toy drives. Nazhi
and her family also give out TLC bags to hospitalized kids
with sickle cell anemia containing information on prevention
and coping strategies.
Designing the distinctive company logo was a joint effort.
A young woman holding a cupcake wears a chef’s hat with
a crown motif. Since the main focus is awareness, several
“sickle cells” can also be seen. Beyond awareness and offering
healthy sweets, however, Nazhi inspires kids with sickle cell
anemia and other chronic conditions, giving them a sense of
A child of her times, Nazhi is active on YouTube, Twitter,
Facebook, and Instagram. She’s also been featured in K.I.S.H.
magazine and on television with Good Morning Washington
and Lifetime’s Live Life Forward with Adrian Paul. Nazhi and
her sisters also manage the Sickle Cell Slayers page on Facebook
to inspire and encourage others.
Nahzi Thee Baker is definitely a family affair. Although Nazhi does all
of the baking and packaging, her older sister says Nahzi lets the others
help clean up the kitchen. In the family’s kitchen are, from left, Nazhi,
Nashanta, Italiyah and Shakarrah.
Why Nazhi THEE Baker? “‘Thee’ can mean God, or ‘one
and only.’ I wanted to be a little different.” Nazhi certainly
paints a different picture of what it means to deal with chronic
disease. “I want other teens to realize that they shouldn’t
give up on their hopes and dreams. I have sickle cell anemia
and have been able to accomplish a lot. They should have
Nazhi’s father works as a journeyman insulator to keep
supplies on hand for Nazhi’s baking. In addition to supporting
her mission by purchasing baked goods, sponsorship opportunities
are available. This year, Nazhi Thee Baker Angel
Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has cut back on certain
projects. “We don’t have any grants,” says her mother. “No
one gets a salary. All money goes back into the foundation.”
The goal of most entrepreneurs, even kidpreneurs, is to
make money. Nazhi is making a difference. E