To Top

Life & Work with Mahari Francis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mahari Francis.

Hi Mahari, 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 am the proud owner of HariSweetz LA where I was born and raised. I started baking for fun in November of 2018, just baking for my friends and family. I was an Ametuer with no baking experience except for helping my great-grandmother Dorothy and Grammy make desserts for family and holidays. My friends would always tell me I should start a baking business but I didn’t take it serious being that I was unsure. One day, my friend told me, “Why don’t you take your baking seriously? Your strawberry cupcakes are so good and moist!” I took her advice and started taking orders! In my second year of college at San Jose State University as a broke college student, I decided to start selling cupcakes and brownies. I would bake on the days that I didn’t have class and on weekends. Squeezing it in whenever I could. When the pandemic hit and schools were closed, I returned home and had plenty of time to perfect my baking skills and love for the craft.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
In the beginning, things were all right. As time moved on, I was very surprised at how much support and business I was receiving. As the summer was approaching, I realized that this wasn’t going to be easy working from 7 a.m – 4 p.m or even longer to complete multiple orders. It was hard trying to balance baking and time for my friends & family. Orders were getting more complicated. I decided to join an online baking class to help me improve my baking skills, learn the proper supplies to use, and what works for me. Doing so trying to educate myself on how to run a business and budget money for supplies. Being a 20-year-old young black woman and beating the odds of what others thought not letting negative comments break me pushed me to even go harder. “Not all business is good business” means don’t let customers get you out of character remain humble. Overall I embraced the struggle and those challenges helped me grow.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I specialize in cupcakes, shortcake jars, cakes, & dipped strawberries. I can also do others sweets if requested in advance. I started off just selling cupcakes and cakes. Now I have upgraded to making my own recipes from scratch. I am most proud of the growth of my business & the amount of returning customers. Seeing the smiles on my customer’s faces when they pick up their order is priceless. Knowing that I did my job and I made their day more special. What sets me apart from others is the dedication, passion, and love that I have for baking. Being a college student and running a business, and still going strong.

How do you think about luck?
I’m generally glad for the development of my business and the measure of bringing customers back. I wouldn’t say it’s good luck but baking changed my life for the better.


  • Cupcakes – $40 a dozen, prices vary
  • Shortcake Jars – Small$5 , Large $10
  • Dipped strawberries – $40 additional $10 for decorations
  • Package A – $125, Package B – $245

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: HariSweetz.l.a

Suggest a Story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in local stories