Jen Cumberbatch has been a crucial part of the Austin community since she moved here after college with her husband, Ashton. She’s an actress, activist, pastor, and amazing storyteller. But her focus has always been faith, family, and building community. These passions laid a foundation for the next generation, including her daughters and their own endeavors.
Family Traditions Lead to Sweet Endeavors
A little over 20 years ago, Jen Cumberbatch used to dole out a family recipe she’s since revised into what is now a business called Cumberbatch’s Sweet Tater Torte. “That’s what we do; we break bread. It’s in our culture. This has been passed down in my family,” Cumberbatch says as she talks about how food has become a huge influence on her and her family.
After taking a break from tortes, she brought them back in 2016. Now, she’s focused on creating tortes for this year’s holiday season, with the help of the youngest Cumberbatch, Elizabeth.
Liz Cumberbatch Continues Legacy of Food and Faith
Jen has shared her secret sweet potato torte recipe with only one person, Elizabeth, also known as Liz. The mother and daughter duo loves spending time together in the kitchen. Liz recalls summer breaks from college, filled with baking and selling her goods.
Liz Cumberbatch recently graduated from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, with a degree in Health Sciences. As a pre-med student, she is interested in cultural and social deterrents, for communities of color and those with low income. She’s spending a year back in her hometown of Austin to focus on her work as an assistant at Dell Children’s Hospital, under a pediatric neurologist.
Beyond her work at Dell, she also creates content for her blog, Faith with Flavor, which delves into her journey through faith, food, and fashion. Through her journey of faith, she tries to ease the fear of cooking by sharing her favorite recipes that are easy for anyone to follow.
Her future endeavors include a possible YouTube food series to connect people and further her exploration of food.
Mother’s Love of Storytelling Impacts Virginia Cumberbatch
Virginia Cumberbatch, Jen’s older daughter, took a different path. Yet her mother’s impact is clear, as Virginia’s agenda is to build community and awareness of others.
After graduating from Williams College in Western Massachusetts, Virginia Cumberbatch gained her master’s degree from Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas. She’s always had a penchant for storytelling, but realized her passion was social justice and marginalized communities.
After college, she spent some time in the public relations field, building relationships with programs such as Austin Area Urban League. She now serves as director of the Community Engagement Center at UT, where one of her overarching goals is to make the university less of an ivory tower and more of a community anchor.
Along with her work at UT, she started a creative collective, HUX Storyhouse, with her brother and cousin, combining their experience in the creative and marketing fields to tell stories for people of color and marginalized communities. She explains their mission, “Our passion is to use culturally relevant storytelling to help clients engage thoughtfully with markets across the black diaspora.” With everything on her plate, she is also readying a book, “As We Saw It,” which tells the story of integration at The University of Texas at Austin.
Cumberbatch Ladies Leave Their Mark
Look out for Jen Cumberbatch’s sweet tater tortes this holiday season in Austin, and expect great things from her strong, creative daughters.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Do you know any Austin families who are having a meaningful impact in our community?