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Meet Vivian Muniz of Wanderlust Bake Shop in West Covina

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vivian Muniz.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Vivian. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It’s a funny story actually. I was looking for a creative outlet that would allow me to stay home with my son while providing some sort of income to help provide for our family. Originally I had thought of a little clothing store or creating invitations for people.

One night I was scrolling on the Instagram explore page and I came across a decorated Halloween sugar cookie post. That one post took me down a spiral of other cookie Instagram pages, in which thought to myself “wow all of these are so neat. I didn’t even know this was a thing”. I turned to my husband and I asked him “what if I sell sugar cookies, they look so easy”. From that point, I was so preoccupied with school, our son and I didn’t really mention the idea anymore.

Once Thanksgiving came around, I ordered some cookies for my friends. Ultimately I was not able to hang out with them and I thought they’d make a cute gift still. So instead of letting them go to waste, I told my husband to take them to his job to hand out. Sure enough his coworkers fell in love. He then proceeded without my knowledge to tell his coworkers that I made them and that I can make any kind of cookies they’d like. He works for a real estate office, so he had multiple orders that were placed that day. He texted me that he had a few orders and the cookies were expected by the end of the week which only gave me two days.

First off, I was upset because I had no intention of taking credit of someone else’s work. Secondly, I said okay and truly believed it would be a piece of cake. I was able to acquire tips and recipes from youtube and other bakers. My first order literally made me stress out and it was definitely a lot harder than I expected. I told my husband to give them to his coworkers for free because obviously, they were nothing compared to the Thanksgiving ones. They were kind enough to still pay me and till this day are regularly placing orders. So there it was my first cookie orders late November 2019. The start of a journey I had never imagined happening.

Now I also make cake donuts, cakesicles, and other baked goods. Wanderlust Bake Shop has brought me many challenges, yet much joy. I love creating and baking desserts for my customers. It fills my heart that they get to enjoy them at their gatherings or simply give them as a gift.

I’m close to my one year mark and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, friends, and customers. I’m truly blessed and amazed at how far I come. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

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?
For the most part, I can say that it has been a smooth road. My husband and family have been very supportive and have made it an even smoother road because they watch over Lukah(my son) while I bake and decorate. The flexibility of working from home has helped me with my time management and works well with a school schedule.

Of course, I have also had my handful of challenges. I struggled in the beginning with trying to get the perfect royal icing consistency for the decorated cookies. I also struggled with baking the cake donuts, at first they’d come out looking like muffins.

One of my main struggles is when I have a super busy week, I get hard on myself. Many people don’t understand that decorating desserts takes time and it’s a process. The late nights, no sleep at times, can be very frustrating. Yet I love it because I’m literally creating edible art. So I guess I mainly struggle with the thought of not spending enough time with my son during busy times. He’s helped me realize that it’s okay to take breaks but also that it’s worth the sacrifice.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Wanderlust Bake Shop – what should we know?
Wanderlust Bake Shop is a small business that focuses on creating desserts for special occasions. I specialize in handmade sugar cookies and desserts. I also bake dessert packages for dessert tables upon customer requests. I bake and decorate cookies, cakesicles, and cake donuts. Other types of cookies as well, pretzel sticks, and other desserts.

I’m proud of how far I’ve come and that I took the initiative to actually start this small business. Also even amongst the challenges, that I choose to continue with it every day. I’m proud that I make people happy and glad that I have those returning customers.

I would not say there is something characteristically that sets me apart from others aside from the support system I receive. Being a mother, a student, and a wife I would not be able to do this without other’s help. What I can say is having the drive, patience and being diligent is what helps me succeed and I truly believe anyone can achieve anything they set their mind too.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Honestly, my patience for one. I need a whole lot of it and I’m blessed with that characteristic. Friendliness and kindness are important as well. I’m dealing with customers so I do my best to accommodate to their needs and their visions.

Most importantly being positive. Although the baking industry is popular and a friendly community, it can be hard at times to not feel discouraged. Know your business is worthy enough and that it doesn’t have to be the same as other people’s style. When you come across difficult times, it’ll get better.

Pricing:

  • Cookies start at $36 a dozen
  • Cake donuts start at $3
  • Cakesicles start at $2
  • Other desserts are available upon request

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Matthew Gandara

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