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Meet Sophia Cho of Chochi’s Sweets in Orange County – Yorba Linda

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sophia Cho.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Sophia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started baking in high school for friends and family. I loved seeing their expressions whenever they would try my sweets. Pinterest was an outlet for me to get inspiration and I loved watching the Food Network. My dream was to become a pastry chef or to open up a bakery. However, I knew baking would only be a hobby for me as it was not secure no matter how much I loved it. Throughout the years, I just baked on the side for fun.

In May of 2016, I decided to become a law enforcement officer. As cliche as it sounds, I wanted to help people, especially those that could not speak up for themselves. As a law enforcement officer, my expectations of helping those who could not help themselves were not being fulfilled. The job was far from the glitz and glam of the crime shows that you see on television. The longer I was in the law enforcement field, the more I realized this was not the career I wanted and these were also the times I kept thinking, “what if I had my own bakery? How would my life be? Would I be happy?” The “what if’s” would not stop, but it became stronger as I reached a point in my career where I was miserable.

In April of 2020, I quit my full-time job as a law enforcement officer and took a leap of faith to open my home bakery, Chochi’s Sweets LLC. Chochi’s Sweets came about as Chochi was my nickname in the Sheriff’s Academy and stuck with me throughout these years; it comes from my last name, Cho. Baking gave me this fulfillment that I was longing for and could not find anywhere else. I have learned throughout the years that baking was an act of love that often expresses what I cannot in words.

Has it been a smooth road?
For the most part, yes. I took a leap of faith and started my business in the middle of a pandemic. I know it was crazy and probably not the smartest thing to do, but it worked out for me. My clients have kept me busy throughout these times and I am so grateful for them. However, it was not always smooth sailing.

When I first started my business, I knew I wanted to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) as I wanted myself and my assets to be protected. Honestly, I had no idea on how to start or where to go and I did not have a background in business; my degree was in Criminal Justice. I also knew I needed different permits and licenses with a home-based bakery but I did not know exactly what I needed as the Cottage Food Permits differed by county and licenses differed by the city. With tons of research, endless days of stressing, and some tears, I formed Chochi’s Sweets, LLC and got my Cottage Food Permit from the County of Orange, and my city license from Yorba Linda.

I am sure I will have more bumpy roads in the future, but I am motivated and optimistic that I will push through no matter how bad I want to give up.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Chochi’s Sweets – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Chochi’s Sweets LLC is a home bakery located in Yorba Linda, California. I specialize in custom decorated sugar cookies, cakes, and bite size desserts for events and special occasions. When I first started my business, my focus was on bite sized desserts for events and special occasions. Honestly, I did not know much about sugar cookies, not to mention how to decorate one! However, with some research, I decided to give it a try! I loved how decorating sugar cookies gave me creative freedom and got my “creative juices” flowing. Now, decorated sugar cookies are my best-sellers! Decorated sugar cookies are a work of art and are luxury cookies. They cost how much they cost because of all the time and labor that goes into it. They are a labor of love!

What sets me apart from others is that I don’t quit. I push through and make sure I put out quality products with attention to detail in which I am proud to offer, even though times can be challenging. I am proud of my watercolor cookies that I individually hand-paint with the hand-drawn details with edible pen. I can definitely say not every “cookier” can do that which sets me apart. My love and passion for baking come through with every baked good that I create.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love Orange County! It is so close to everything and there are so many places to explore. Being a big foodie, I am so grateful to be living close to amazing food places as well as breweries. The only con of living in Orange County is that things are not cheap!

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