‘In college, I baked cakes for my friends, and I remember they could not believe how great everything tasted.’
“Every year for Christmas, my mom got me the new Easy-Bake Oven. I never followed the directions on the little packets. Instead, I’d create my own cakes. I loved that feeling. I have so many memories cooking on Christmas and making new and different cakes.
“I grew up in Wyandanch but, later, moved to North Babylon. In college, I baked cakes for my friends, and I remember they could not believe how great everything tasted. That was the first time I remember people truly enjoying my cakes. I was proud.
“During the height of the pandemic, someone asked me to make them a cake and I said sure. Then when they asked how much the cake cost, I had no idea what to say. I had baked cakes, but I was new at the decorating aspect.
I still get that same feeling I had baking on Christmas as a kid.
“After that, people kept asking for more and more and they wouldn’t take no for an answer. That’s when I decided to pursue it as a business. I was terrified that if I did it as a job, I wouldn’t love it anymore, but the magic is still there. I still have fun creating things and thinking of new ideas.
“There are times when I need to get the cake someone in an hour, and it feels like everything is falling apart. I’m thinking, ‘How am going to pull this off?’ Somehow, I always do. Then people say how beautiful it looks, and I just feel a part of the whole process. It’s an art. My favorite cake to bake is strawberry and sweet potato cake.
“I work two full-time jobs now on top of baking, so I’m usually baking late into the night. I’ve never gone to school for baking or taken a class. Nobody in my family really bakes. I am completely self-taught. My mom is still one of my biggest supporters. I can call her if I’m working late, and she will run to the store for me to pick up whatever ingredients I need. I am so thankful for her.
“Owning a bakery would be interesting. I would definitely have my best friend working with me. I dream of it being a small storefront somewhere on the Island. That’s the thing about Long Island, it’s expensive and you have to work really hard, but it’s also so beautiful. Making cakes has been a lot of fun. I still get that same feeling I had baking on Christmas as a kid. It’s therapeutic for me, and I love to see my progress.”
Interviewed by Maggie Melito