Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Leyesa.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
My passion and love for food led me to create a just-for-fun food Instagram account, Foodologie in 2014. It initially unfolded as an account where I posted aesthetically pleasing foods from some of my favorite places to eat. Then, it slowly became an account that helped feed me as a broke grad student, as restaurants began offering free food in exchange for a post or two. After I graduated, I quickly began my career as an Occupational Therapist and found myself too preoccupied with my career to continue to keep up with Foodologie. Plus, I finally had an income and was able to afford to buy food versus having to barter for it. Fast forward to March of 2020, at the beginning of quarantine, I found myself with more time at home than I was used to. It was then when I finally decided to tackle something that had been on my bucket list for quite some time: learn how to bake. At first, my attempts were unsuccessful; I took to Instagram my failed recipes poking fun at the awful creations I had made.
However, after many trial and error attempts in finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, I finally had a success! With that confidence, I began experimenting with tarts, other cookies, and even pasta! Present day, Foodologie has now turned into a small baking business. Since my first sale, which happens to be on my birthday, May 3, I have had a consistent order list with a waitlist sometimes upwards of 2.5 weeks. I offer pick-up, delivery, and ship nationwide. Although it’s still a brand new business, I have already landed a spot on “Los Angeles Top 25 Cookie Bakers” by Los Angeles Entrepreneur Magazine, all thanks to votes from loyal customer base. It’s incredible to think about how far I’ve come in such little time. However, I have never worked harder or felt more passionate about anything in my life, so it’s truly incredible what passion and hard work can do.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Since I am brand new to both the business and baking world, the road has been far from smooth. I have made many mistakes, from multitasking while baking resulting in burnt cookies to accepting way too many orders in a day causing me to stay up until 4AM baking. However, in hindsight all these bumps in the road have helped shape me to become a better baker and business owner. While I still have many obstacles to overcome, I am so thankful for all the lessons I’ve learned so far.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Foodologie, LLC is a small baking business that offers a small menu that includes: my signature Chocolate Chip Cookies, Salted Toffee Chocolate Cookies, Churrodoodles, Vegan Chocolate Tarts, and Ube brownies. More recently per request from many customers, I ventured into creating vegan cookies as well. I created Foodologie Baked Goods unintentionally, but I am so glad I did. Since its inception, I created something within Foodologie called “Baked Goods for the Greater Goods” where I donate either my baked goods to local organizations or I donate a portion of sales to a non-profit organization at either a local or global scale. I created “BGGG” as a collective opportunity for myself and anyone who wants to participate as a way to add some goodness into this world, especially during these unprecedented times.
I also created this because I felt so fortunate to have spontaneously found a new hobby that I happen to be really good at; so much so, I was able to make it my side hustle! I am so proud of what Foodologie Baked Goods has become so far. Not only has it been successful but it’s given me a new purpose and passion. I truly see and feel the potential of what Foodologie can be. As far as what exactly? I am not entirely sure, but I am excited for the possibilities. I have never put so much of my energy and efforts into something, but that’s only because I love what I’m doing and I truly believe that this could be something greater than what it already is.
Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
All of this is going to sound cliche, BUT I truly believe it’s my determination, willingness to put in the work, and staying genuine to who I am, are all major factors to my success so far. Creating a business is not easy; far from it. I often will sleep late and wake up early because I am determined to make the most out of my day. I am willing to work as hard as I can, no matter how tired I may feel, just to make sure that I am prepared for the days, weeks, and months to come. And, I do my best to stay true and genuine within my brand not just for the sake of it but for my sanity as well.
When it comes to this line of work, creativity is a huge component to what sets you apart from all other baking businesses and while it’s common to be inspired by others, it’s also very tempting to copy or imitate what others are doing. However, what I have found is it’s always important for me to take a step back and consciously think about what it is I want Foodologie to be and represent; versus just putting something out there just for the sake of it or it’s what seems to be doing well for others. I strive for Foodologie to be as genuine and authentic to who I am and so far, I think I’ve done a good job at that.
- Vegan Desserts stating at $10
- Cookie sets starting at $18
- Ube Brownies at $23
- Address: 3183 Wilshire Blvd. 196F82 Los Angeles, CA 90010
- Email: MARIA@EATFOODOLOGIE.COM
- Website: www.eatfoodologie.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foodologie_/