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

Hi Cristal, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I first started this business as a hobby during the middle of the pandemic, all while working full time at the hospital. At first I thought it would be easy, because I wanted a distraction from work; however, the thought about it being easy was quickly thrown out the window when I gratefully started getting many orders! I honestly panicked, I found it so hard to balance both my day time job and my now, baking business. Overwhelmed with not knowing how to balance both. I sat down and thought about quitting the business. However, my family was a huge support system to find a balance in both! My siblings gave me tons of support like organization, photography, editing, and marketing. Even my best friend went out of her way to help me bake at times until I found a rhythm that I was comfortable with. After a few months I finally found a balance and found my true passion in baking! I was able to accommodate my work schedule around my business instead of my business around my work schedule. I was able to have specific dates to bake and also to prepare for my Pop-up events without having all nighters. I strongly believe finding balance is a ‘Key factor” in the success of our business. It can be a bit tricky like it was for me in the beginning; however, it’s possible. It just takes patience and the passion for your business to take those steps needed to find the balance.

What should our readers know about your business?
Conchitas Kikissz is taking the art of Mexican pan dulce (sweet bread) to a more artistic and gourmet level. I grew up eating pan dulce and to this day I enjoy it at family gatherings. Eating a piece of the pan with a cup of coffee is a must! I wanted to get creative with the Concha, which is our specialty. I wanted to bring honor to the original flavor yet create new flavors! Once, I started baking and perfecting different concha flavors, such as Oreo flavor, strawberry, and many more flavors, but our newest flavor is Fruity Pebbles. We also love creating themed conchas it’s an edible art that is amazing for themed parties. But we all know starting a business is not a piece of cake. It comes with challenges. Perfecting the recipes was not easy at all, which was my greatest challenge. I messed up quite a bit of dough, and while that meant learning, it also meant I was wasting and losing. However, sometimes to learn, we have to make mistakes. Creating the perfect recipe for each flavor meant messing up a bit. Baking is a science that makes it fun to learn what worked and what didn’t. Several lessons were learned at the beginning of this business. The biggest one was being patient with myself. Getting a business together is hard work, especially for someone who knows nothing about business. This process made me learn to be nice and patient with myself and that it was OK to mess up a bit because mistakes are the mother of success. These lessons create success for the next attempt! If you’re in that process, remember to be nice to yourself. I would love the world to know that Conchitas Kikissz bakes with the best ingredients possible, but the most important are memories of sweet times spent with our family and friends. We bake, so you can create those sweet memories while you eat your conchitas and drink cafecito. The biggest reason I started this business was that, while, I missed being away from my family during the pandemic. I reminisced about my family, and the memories that came to mind were those of us sitting around laughing and drinking coffee with a piece of Pan Dulce. That is why memories make a huge ingredient in our bread. We want you to remember the happy memories yet make new happy memories with your family and friends.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting, I would try to show her as much as I could from around the DFW area. I know for a fact I would have to take her to Carrollton City. They have some of the most delicious Korean restaurants. One of my favorites is DDONG GGO Fushion Pocha. They have delicious wings! We would order the Chicken Island this is a delicious plater filled with wings topped with cheese, and they bring it to your table turn on a little stove it melts in front of you. To drink we would have some mango passion fruit Soju which pairs great with the wings. After that we would go to dessert at Somi Somi it is a Korean dessert, a fish-shaped waffle cone filled with your choice of filling and soft serve. On a different morning, I would take her for a nature hike at Cedar Ridge Preserve this is one of my favorite spots to go walk and relax. After our relaxing walk, I would take her for breakfast at Good Day Cafe in Arlington. I would recommend she tries an omelet, their pancakes are also very good. On a different evening, I would take her to Arlington Inspired Nutrition Club for one of their delicious energizing teas. Plus, the owners are the sweetest along with the people that go there!

Before she had to leave, I would definitely have to have her try our home-baked Conchas! While eating a concha I would have her taste my ultimate favorite coffee which is Con Amor Coffee CO. The owner is doing a genius, she is putting a Latino flavor twist on her coffee! I would have her try a few of my favorites like La Maria Cold Brew, Chocoflan Cold Brew, and also Chicafresa Latte. This coffee goes so well with a freshly baked concha.

Those are a few things I would do with my best friend.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I strongly believe my business and even as a person I would not be where I am now. Without the help of my parents and siblings Ernesto, Maricarmen and Barbara. They have been my biggest rocks throughout this journey that has only began! They have helped in the tasting and perfecting of all the Pan Dulce I offer today. My husband of course is a huge huge support system! He was the one that said yes go for it and purchased my first Kitchen Aid for me! Thank you to him for believing and investing in my crazy dreams! Another person is my best friend Leigh Ann who has also been there when i started this business and she has helped me in many of my Pop-up events. Lastly, my beautiful amazing costumers who have supported me and still await to what is yet to come of Conchitas Kikissz.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/conchitas.kikissz/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/conchitas.kikissz

Other: linktr.ee/Conchitas.kikissz

Image Credits
Barbara Palomares

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