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Meet Michael James Peterson of Its The Petersons, The Sweetest Treat in Inglewood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael James Peterson.

Michael James, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I moved to Los Angeles over ten years ago to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. I received a full scholarship to the renowned Debbie Allen Dance Academy, packed my bags and arrived in Los Angeles mid-December in 2009. After only nine months of formal dance training, I was signed to my first agency as a professional dancer. From there, I was able to dance on multiple tv shows, a feature film, and even travel internationally. Much to my surprise, right as my career was taking off, God interrupted and intervened. I was invited to the AMS region of the City of Angels International Christian Church this time seven years ago, and everything changed. I saw the truth of the scriptures and was baptized May 13th, 2013… I was saved. As audition emails kept rolling in, I found myself turning them down left and right. My relationship with God and being His representative meant more than booking that gig. So I had to pivot and began a number of entrepreneurial pursuits as well as a career in the restaurant industry. Fast forward through years of building my resume and skill set, I decided to start consulting and helping to open eight different restaurants in the Los Angeles area, the most recent being for Matthew Kenney and Caffe Luxxe.

With my wife we own a home-based baking business named The Sweetest Treat and just recently launched our family brand “It’s The Petersons”. We dated for about two years before we made it to the altar for our FIRST KISS. We now have our amazing daughter Grace Michelle Peterson who is 16 months and a superstar. We created “It’s The Petersons” to help show other people not our victories but also from our failures and defeats. In this day and age created a new narrative for the family is hard but we are determined to show that no matter the family dynamic, culture, or emotional ecosystem you were born into, that you can make a change for yourself. We want to change the statistics and have fun while we do it, and make a few cookies and cakes along the way!

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?
Since moving to LA, it has been the most transformative, challenging, joyful, saddest times of my life. There is just something about your twenties. Personally, it seems like every year I look back and I can’t recognize myself. The first five years were the most difficult by far. As an artist, you get accustomed to the “couch surfing” lifestyle but there were a few times I was without a place to stay. Homelessness is far beyond the person you see standing outside of your local convenience store. I have been homeless six times and each time seemed to be a more stressful situation than the previous. My final instance, I was sleeping on the couch of the studio I was a work study at, wondering how this had happened.

You could read that and think of the immediate physical challenges. When the dust settled from those, it was beginning of the pursuit of emotional healing. I arrived in LA at 18 years old, with tons of ambitions but with so much internal scarring as well.

I believe one of the recent challenges have been being able to be a father, husband, provider, brother, son and every other title I hold as well as pursuing my creativity. Recently I have had an awakening in a sense to give myself fully to this burning in my heart. When your responsibilities grow there are some things that naturally take a back seat and they should. Provision for my family should always take priority and through these times, I have also realized that I am my best self when able to be expressive creatively. Creating content, production, blogging, all scratch that itch for me and I am learning how to maintain prioritizing my family, faith, and now my creativity as well.

I had to come to a place of acceptance that regardless if my craft is able to be monetized, it still it worth pursuing and developing.

Please tell us about Its The Petersons, The Sweetest Treat.
I would call myself a serial entrepreneur. It is in my blood. My father has owned multiple businesses that made millions and so I have always felt this constant nudge to be one. My babies(businesses) are The Sweetest Treat which is our first business we began together. It was originally a way for us to spend more time together and do something we love to do. My wife Jasmin and I both love the kitchen and it is where we both feels tons of inspiration and excitement. It’s been a way for us to share our love with the world.

Recently, we decided to finally step out and create It’s The Petersons. We have been through many hurtles as a couple and wanted to begin to share with the world and allow people to laugh with us along the way. We want to create inspiring and authentic content of the modern day family.

At The Sweetest Treat we offer a variety of baked goods from banana bread and banana pudding to orange dream bundt cake. We pride ourselves on being adventurous and exciting! We are always in the kitchen developing new recipes and redrafting our current ones. We want to be the best and that takes work and adjustments. Our mascot is also a motivation for our success. I want to bring visibility to a mascot like ours. Representation is vital and growing up, it is important being able to see and identify yourself in your surroundings and of those on elevated platforms. That their story can also be your story. Their success can be your success. Being father to my daughter, I want her to be confident that her caramel skin won’t be a deterrent of her potential or something to dilute her talent and skill.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
This is a tough one! Although my childhood was rather challenging, I have a very distinct memory with one of my most influential people in my life…my sister. We were riding in Los Angeles and I couldn’t have even been ten years old yet. We were just driving and listening to Lauryn Hill. Growing up, she was a refuge for me. She has been a confidant for my entire life and has helped to shape me as a human being. This memory for some reason has never dimmed or faded. It is as clear as the day it happened. Simple. It is a memory I will always cherish. In a sense the memory has never stopped. We still see each other all the time and live a 15-minute drive away from the other. We still ride together, but just in a different way.

This may also be why I have a deep love for Lauryn Hill’s music.

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Image Credit:
Dacosta Collymore Photography

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