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Meet Leilani Mendez of Sweets by Leilani in Alhambra

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leilani Mendez.

Leilani, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My love for baking started when I was little, I would bake things like cookies and cupcakes with my brother and cousins just because ..and it wasn’t until I was older that I started testing out from-scratch recipes and I started tweaking them to make them my own.

My small biz started off about four years ago, (business picked up about 2ish years ago) with just cake pops and cupcakes which is funny because I sworeeee I would never make cake pops again after the first time ever making them lolll—they were falling off the sticks, the balls were NOT round lol, my chocolate wasn’t even smooth enough to dip in ughh just a hot mess haha but yeah that’s where it all started. 🙂

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely not lol but hey the fun and growth has been in the journey. 😉 My top struggle has always been balancing my full-time job, mom life, my business and just life in general but I’m definitely working on it. It hasn’t been easy especially with the lack of sleep lollll, but I can say that I have gotten a lot better from when I first started. I’m so grateful for the love and support I get from my family, idk what I’d without them especially with my business.

Another struggle I have from time-to-time is saying “no” to some orders lol. Sometimes I get so excited to do the order especially if it’s a theme I’ve never had before or I think I can take on another order (or event) or a lot of the time I get an order from a regular client (or family member) lol next thing you know I’m overbooked and there goes my sleep for that weekend 0_o haha, but I’m workingggg on it lol

Please tell us about Sweets by Leilani.
Sweets by Leilani is all me (with a whole lot of help from my family)! From the baking to the supply shopping to the social media etc. etc. What started off as just cake pops and cupcakes has grown into so much more. My menu includes cake pops, cupcakes, decorated cookies, chocolate covered sweets, cakes, etc., etc., etc. (hit me up for a full list 😉 haha!)

And my services also include full dessert tables (desserts, decor, setup) which I provide for all kinds of occasions and themes 🙂 and for the past year, I start dabbling into pop-up events which I love! I specialize in different desserts, but my most requested ones are my cheesecake churro bars, churro de leche cupcakes, cake pops, chamoy apples, and cookies.

What I’m most proud about my company is how much it has grown and helped me grow as a person, and how much I’ve learned and continue to learn with each order/event/person I meet.

What sets me apart from others is that I am my own person, lol! My style is different, my recipes may seem similar, but they’re definitely my own, and the flavors I choose for my menu are inspired by my favorite flavors I grew up with, or that come from my own cultural background. 🙂

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Hmmmm a lot of my fond childhood memories does involve food hahah, but off the top of my head, one of my favorite memories was watching my Mama (my grandma <3) cook in the kitchen. I remember when she first taught me how to make “puto” (Filipino dessert).

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