We had the good fortune of connecting with Calista Elizondo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Calista, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started baking seven years ago when I was 10. You can say that I was inspired to bake after watching Kids Baking Championship on the Food Network. I even went through several rounds of auditions/interviews for season 3 of Kids Baking Championship on Food Network.

I founded Calista Grace Bakes, a DFW-based cottage bakery, in February 2021 to share my love of baking with others and to continue honing my skills. In addition, my dessert shop is committed to creating baked from scratch desserts.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Since 2021, I’ve had the pleasure of creating baked from scratch sweet treats for local businesses, family, and friends. It’s been a wonderful and rewarding experience. I’m genuinely thankful for the opportunity. In addition, I’m excited to share that my goal for 2022 is to give back to the community by donating 100% of net proceeds towards my fundraising campaign, “Ice Skating for Youth”. To provide some background on this initiative, I’ve been ice skating since I was seven. I’m now 17 years old and still skating away. I’m currently part of the synchronized skating team at the Galleria Dallas Ice Skating Center. I’ve enjoyed participating in this sport and would love to provide the opportunity to others. In response, I’m combining my love for baking and skating with a fundraiser to go towards ice skating classes for disadvantaged and underserved youth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I have raised over $1000 to date. As a result, I will be able to sign-up over ten children for beginner skating lessons during the summer II session. My fundraising efforts continue.

There are several ways to give and get involved. Those local to Dallas-Fort Worth can order some baked from scratch sweet treats. I’m also hosting a monthly baking class on Eventbrite where I teach how to make scrumptious polvorones, aka Mexican wedding cookies. Or donations may be made directly to my GoFundMe campaign.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Our week would include shopping, eating, and pool time. First, we would visit thrift shops in Dallas for some vintage wear: Thrift World and Goodwill are two great stores. Then, with our newfound wardrobe, we would head to Lewisville to eat some yummy Korean food at Zion Market. There’s a restaurant for each day of the week. Next, to satisfy our sweet tooth, we would visit MC Snow in south Irving for raspas and other sweet treats throughout the week. Finally, we would end our week at the Las Colinas Omni Hotel pool on a ResortPass, where we would drink mock piña coladas.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There is so much to learn when running your own shop and more to learn when baking for the public. The learning opportunities are ongoing, from knowing what you can and cannot sell to pricing products appropriately to providing a positive customer experience. I am fortunate to have outstanding and supportive parents to help me along the way. Plus, I am thankful for the resources and guidance provided by the Texas Cottage Food community.

Website: https://calistagracebakes.wixsite.com/dessertshop

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/calistagracebakes/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/calistaelizondo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/calistagracebks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/calistagracebakes

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