We had the good fortune of connecting with Leslie Soto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leslie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The thought process behind starting my own business was a result of being laid off in early 2020 due to the food industry’s reduction of workforce. For many years I had thought about starting my own business, but I felt it was too risky to leave my job and never really set something up. Early 2020 left me no choice, and I finally made the decision to start something simple that I was good at. I figured that this was the time to take a leap of faith and use my passion for baking and cooking to make a career of something that I truly enjoy. I wanted to start off simple and I began making chocolate covered strawberries, and custom cakes.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business primarily consists of making treats such as chocolate covered strawberries, apples, bananas, custom cakes, and making custom cake pops for birthday parties, weddings, gender reveals, and other special life moments. I love the fact that my business gives me the freedom to be as creative as I want to. I also love having the opportunity to make my client’s special moments even sweeter. I feel that what really sets me apart from others is my ability to use my imagination and creativity to fine tune and develop my client’s vision.
My journey has not been easy, and with everything worth having in life, there is a lot of hard work involved. I am really proud to say that everything started with baking cakes for my children out of our tiny apartment many years ago Every birthday, I wanted to make them feel extra special, so I would bake them custom cakes and other treats. This eventually became a tradition in our family and with time I began improving, so I began getting more creative. Once I felt confident, I began to post on social media, and that is when things began to get real.
The most important lesson I have learned is that you have to keep trying, making mistakes, evaluating your decisions, and trying a different approach. That is how I went from only baking cakes to crafting all kinds of treats, to now being an ambassador for multiple brands. I tried many things until I landed on a business model that provides me with work life balance that I need with 4 kids.
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.
I am a food lover, so I am always thinking in terms of enjoying company over a good meal. If my best friend was visiting, I would start by taking her to try some of the many restaurants in the area. I would make sure to try everything from a good hamburger, to Hibachi Grill, Mexican food, and of course Texas barbecue. We would also visit some of the local breweries, bars, and beer gardens. This is an area that is rapidly growing and full of many small businesses, so there are endless choices, of food, drink and entertainment. I prefer to consume local, so we would spend the majority of the time searching for those hidden gems.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to send a shoutout to my husband. He has been one of my biggest supporters throughout this chapter of my life. He constantly reminds me of how lucky I am to have identified my talent and passion, and encourages me to use them to make a career that truly makes me happy! He is always there to support me through the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.