Keelie Banks, owner of Suga Bakers, is hosting a popup event at 7451 Madison St. on Nov. 7 from 1 to 6 p.m. | Photo provided

“My goal is to help others conquer the kitchen with poise, patience and perseverance,” said Keelie Banks, 35, owner of Suga Bakers, talking about her new blog and her love for inspiring others.

But that statement takes on extra meaning when you learn about what Banks refers to as “a unique set of challenges.”

Seven years ago, she was diagnosed with retinal pigmentosa, a rare genetic disease that causes vision loss.

“With the help of God and my amazing support system, I remain committed to making my dreams a reality,” said Banks.

Banks started baking 13 years ago.

“What started out as a way to make extra money during my college years turned into a full-fledged passion,” Banks said. But she’s always enjoyed creative endeavors and hobbies, like sewing, decorating and entertaining.

She lives nearby in Bellwood, so she’s familiar with Forest Park, where she frequents restaurants, including Shanahan’s and Scratch Kitchen. Creativita is another favorite: “Painting and wine have become one of my new birthday traditions,” Banks said.

In her new blog The Sweet Life, at, she talks about her love of baking and shares recipes, like Ultimate Pumpkin Muffins and Pumpkin Praline Pie.

Decadent desserts, including German chocolate cake, red velvet cake, and a variety of cookies will be available for sale at Suga Bakers popup at 7451 Madison St. on Nov. 7 from 1 to 6 p.m.