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Meet Jenna Main of Simply Irresistible Cakes and Catering in La Habra

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenna Main.

Jenna, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I began my love for baking as a young child. Many memories I have from growing up are in the kitchen with my father baking cookies and cakes. I was always so fascinated by all his kitchen gadgets and I wanted to know how all of them worked. As I got older, a new love bloomed; art. Not really believing at the time, that a career could be made with my love of baking, I decided to go to college and get a degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design at San Diego State University.

After college, I was interning as a graphic designer and longed for the days when I wasn’t sitting behind a computer in a cubicle. I loved working with my hands having the freedom to move about. It was then that I decided to enroll at a local junior college in a baking class. My chef at the time told us about all the job opportunities in the food industry. From there I began to research this field in more depth. It was soon thereafter that I quite my graphic design internship, headed to Colorado to get a degree in baking and pastry from Johnson & Wales University. It was there that I was able to combine my two passions of baking and art through a whole new medium of cake decorating. From there I was hooked. I read books, took classes outside of school. I was thirsty to learn more.

Upon graduating, I received an internship at a bakery back in California. My internship started as a baker, but it was not long before I was hired as the assistant cake decorator. I was so fortunate to learn and work with one of the most talented cake decorators I know. She not only became my mentor, by also my friend. I learned so much at this position and I began posting all my creations online through social media. It was then that my aunt, Jennifer, approached me about going into business with her. I had dreamed about owning my own business, but thought that was a road I would take much later in my life. We met several times and tossed the idea around. Her and my uncle, Kermit, had been successful entrepreneurs for 20 years having owned their own catering business, although they had never dabbled in the dessert world. After talking with my husband, family, and close friends, we felt like this could be an amazing opportunity to pursue a dream of mine. So I took the leap, joined forces with the Jones family and Simply Irresistible Cakes & Catering was born.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
This question made me laugh… I think anyone who has gone into business for themselves could not possibly say it was a smooth road, but that is part of the adventure. From the very beginning we hit many speed bumps, some we truly believed we would not be able to recover from. We dealt with issues with our contractor missing deadlines, our architects’ measurements being off, which made us have to move a floor drain 3 inches to pass city code inspection, our landlord not having the parking lot up to code, which somehow effected our opening date. It felt like we would have to quit before it even all began, but somehow, someway we made it work.

About a year after we originally began construction, we opened our doors. That first day is something I will never forget, the exhilaration from finally being able to share our product with the community, but pure exhaustion from the journey. I knew opening your own business would be hard, but it was even far more difficult than I could have ever expected. Thankfully, the community took a liking to our products, and what we have to offer. Spreading the word and making a name for ourselves was a major challenge that first year. People have high expectations and we did not want to disappoint. As the years have passed, we still have our struggles, but there seems to be far more good days now, even great days that outweigh the tough ones. By no means do I think we will ever be struggle free, but having pride in the work you do and seeing someone smile when they see their custom order makes the struggle worth it in the end.

Please tell us about Simply Irresistible Cakes and Catering.
Our business it double faceted. We have a bakery storefront in which we sell baked goods out the door and take orders for custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies and a variety of other desserts. We are also a full-scale caterer that tends to the needs of weddings, corporate events, and any other party in which you would like to have delicious food catered.

What sets us apart from others is our belief in high quality products. Even to this day we use real butter, milk and cream. We use some of the highest quality chocolate and cocoa available. We don’t make our products out of boxes or cans, each recipe is developed and made from scratch. Many of our recipes have been passed down through generations. Having been proved by the test of time. Our products are made daily to ensure freshness. We take the time to sit down with our customers, or clients as we like to call them, to hear their needs. We believe that there is so much more that goes into cooking and baking than throwing ingredients into a bowl, we believe that love needs to also be a primary ingredient. We want to understand the vision and needs of every person who walks through our door. Get to know them in hopes that we will see them again soon. The best compliment we can receive is making a couples wedding cake, then their baby shower cake, and then their child’s first birthday cake and so on. Watching our community grow with us gives life to the brick and mortar building are store front is in. It motivates us to get up at ungodly hours, work long days, and go weeks without a day off. It is why we opened this business in the first place, to pursue our passion and share that passion with the community.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Starting over would be tough, lots of sweat and tears has gone into this business thus far. Somethings I would have done differently would be ask more questions. We trusted many of the professionals we worked with, sometimes too much. We should have been more inquisitive in delays before they became missed deadlines.

We should have hired an employee or two and had them properly trained prior to opening day, rather than being ignorant enough to think we could make it work with just the two of us.

Have the foresight to know that growth takes time, it certainly does not happen overnight. That hard work will pay off.

A different name… turns out irresistible is a terribly hard word to spell. Even having written it hundreds of times now, I still sometimes get is wrong. Naming a business is challenging.

Although all the mistakes we have made along the way have been frustrating, and trust me there have been plenty, they have helped shaped our business and the goals for our future. We have been so blessed thus far and truly look forward to what is yet to come.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Brian Carter
David Do
Christine Martinez
Nicolette Moku
Belinda Philleo

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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