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Conversations with Johany Torres-Maya

Today we’d like to introduce you to Johany Torres-Maya.

Hi Johany, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I started baking at the age of seven years old with my mom. Before I was born she owned a bakery in Guatemala. However, due to a massive earthquake, she had to close down and come to the U.S.

Shortly after coming to America she started her cake business from home. Once I was old enough to help her, I quickly started helping with small tasks. For example, as young as seven she had me greasing cupcake tins, coloring buttercream, and mixing batters. As I got older, I learned more of the science of baking and how to make the cake layers and buttercream on my own. By 18, I was already baking cakes frosting them and giving them to close family & friends. After high school, I went to college and majored in psychology not knowing exactly what I wanted to do. At the time, I didn’t know if I wanted to pursue baking or explore my options. However, while I was in school I started working part-time as a housekeeper in a hospital. After some time working at the hospital, I quickly realized that I wanted to get into nursing.

So I completed a nursing assistant program at the college I was already attending. After working for some time as a nursing assistant, I moved up to become a psychiatric assistant. After working ten years at the hospital, I started getting burnt out working long hours 12-hour shifts daily and sometimes 16 hours, I started hating going into work. At the time I had no time for baking but always missed it. It wasn’t until I had my 1st born that I decided to resign from the hospital and take care of my daughter. In my journey of being a mother and taking care of my household, I started getting back in tune with baking. I started taking small cake orders for friends & family. Everyone including my husband always encouraged me to keep baking, so I did. After ten years of baking, ups and downs, and 100s of cakes, I was finally happy. Baking is my happy place, it’s where I feel like I can express myself and when I need a break, I just take it. Now I’m a mother of two, a wife, and a full-time cake/cakesicle instructor doing online classes & one on one classes.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It’s definitely not been a smooth road. My baking career has been quite eventful, to say the least. It just so happens that when I started baking from home there were no tutorials or YouTube I had to learn from trial and error. I made many disastrous cakes, but I learned from each one. The more cakes I made the better I got. Coming from a family of immigrants it’s never an easy road. My mom and my father taught me to work hard for what you want and that nothing in life will be handed to me. In the industry of baking, as a Latina, it’s very difficult to get noticed we have to work twice as hard.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Since 2016, I got into the artistry of cakesicle making. A cakesicle is very much like a cake pop but in a popsicle shape. It has a cake filling center and an exterior coat of chocolate. In 2019, I made a set of Bee cakesicles that went viral on social media and after that, my Instagram just grew quickly. What sets me apart from others is that I don’t like to do what everyone else is doing. I like to create pieces of edible art that no one has ever seen before.

Do you any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
Going to Puerto Rico with my brother & dad and staying there all summer long. Swimming in the ocean, taking hikes in the rain forest, and eating Puerto Rican food!

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