‘My great grandparents had a bakery in Costa Rica and I grew up with my mother baking cakes as a little girl.’
“My great grandparents had a bakery in Costa Rica and I grew up with my mother baking cakes as a little girl. I started my baking business at 30 when I was living in Tennessee with my first husband. I wasn’t as good as I thought I was and had to refund money and there were a lot of tears. I talked to my mother and she inspired me, she sent me whatever she had left of her baking tools. To this day, I have four of the spatulas she gave me. After my divorce, I moved back to New York and I was working odd jobs and I ran into my current husband, my brother’s childhood best friend. We met up, it was supposed to be a causal dinner among friends on a Tuesday but it lasted 6 hours and ended at my dining room table over a bottle of wine looking at my old pictures of cakes and he was like, ‘Why aren’t you doing this?’
I always wanted to stay at home with my kids and work from home. I wanted to raise my kids myself and this allows for that.
“From that night, we were inseparable, and we were married four months later. We had a baby right away, I quit my job at Bloomingdale’s when I was pregnant because I was having trouble with the pregnancy. I had five miscarriages until I had my first child. I’m OK with it; God doesn’t make mistakes. Now I have two natural sons and one bonus son I had the privilege to help raise. I wanted to go back to work and my husband was very adamant baking was my gift. It became hectic with small children and my Mom was living with us. Hurricane Irene came and wiped our house out, we rebuilt and then Hurricane Sandy came and wiped our house out even worse. We had to gut and redo the house again. He went to his parents a block away, they had a split house and two kitchens and said, ‘Do you mind if she works out of here?’ I have been working out of there since 2013.
“I always wanted to stay at home with my kids and work from home. I wanted to raise my kids myself and this allows for that. I can always reach out to my mother and my sister for advice, like how did you make this icing, I remember the flavor being like this. And the business, Bella Latina Cakes, is still growing. It’s really hard if you don’t have family support, it’s not impossible but boy it makes a huge difference.”