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Rising Stars: Meet Matthew Valentine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Valentine.

Hi Matthew, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Sweet Valentine Bakery provides handmade, small-batch sweets and treats made to order just for you and your loved ones.

Just before the pandemic lockdown, a friend of mine asked for a cake recipe for his dad‘s birthday. Since I know and love dad, I offered to make the cake myself. And to keep it simple, I decided to make a Bundt cake. They posted on social media and raved about it. By the weekend, we had orders for two more cakes. Little did we know that I would soon be home from my restaurant job due to the pandemic. One hundred cakes later, my wife and I looked at each other and thought we might be onto something special.

Six months after that initial Bundt cake, Sweet Valentine Bakery was born. We have expanded our offerings from just a ten-inch Bundt cake. We now offer to take and bake cinnamon rolls, silky banana pudding, amazing pecan pie, peach cobbler, brown butter chocolate chip cookies and various sugar cookies.

My wife and I both inherited our sweet tooth and even a few recipes from our grandmothers. I received a cookbook from my grandmother for my 10th birthday. I still use that cookbook today and now my handwritten notes are in that book right beside my grandmother’s handwritten notes. I baked and sold my first peach cobbler from that book at ten years old and have not stopped baking since then.

We are still family-operated and our storefront is social media. We deliver throughout the south bay and south Los Angeles within a 10 mile radius of Compton, close to Cal State Dominguez Hills. We also wholesale cake slices to coffee Del Mundo in Los Angeles on Vermont and 74th St. Our cake slices cake can be found there every weekend.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road has certainly been blessed along the way. Being able to set my own schedule has been great having a family with three young children at home during the pandemic.

We have definitely faced small business obstacles. From supply issues to rising costs of ingredients and goods. Staying relevant is always a concern in the social media age but we thankfully have a great and growing base of support.

Burn out is definitely a concern. Some days we feel that we can conquer the world another day as we wonder if we’re doing the right thing at all. Through it all, we love sharing sweet treats with good people. And it has been a great time to be able to share joy through baked goods.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Cooking is all I’ve ever wanted to do since childhood and I have always worked in the restaurant industry. During high school and immediately after, I worked for a small family-owned southern bakery called Rico’s bakery in Carson. That bakery operated for over 20 years before Rico retired. I graduated from culinary school and worked in a James Beard award-winning kitchen. From there, I became executive chef at Houston’s Restaurants. I transitioned to front of the house management and moved on to join Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse up until the pandemic.

I am proud that I set out to learn all that I can about restaurants and food operations. I have done that at every level and have worked every position in restaurants. My experience includes line cook to chef, bartender to service manager.

Most of my experience is upscale American cuisine. And now, my focus is southern-inspired baked goods.

So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
The best way to find it is on social media, specifically Instagram. We also have a website www.SweetValentineBakery.com. All of our information, menus, orders and contact come through those channels.

Pricing:

  • Small items $16
  • Large and specialty items $32+

Contact Info:

  • Email: sweetvalentinebakery@gmail.com
  • Website: www.SweetValentineBakery.com
  • Instagram: SweetValentineBakery
  • Facebook: SweetValentineBakery
  • Twitter: SweetValentineb

Image Credits
Juls Megill Justin Paguio

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