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Conversations with the Inspiring Josefina Salazar

Today we’d like to introduce you to Josefina Salazar.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Josefina. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Well, it all started way back when I was seven years old. I remember going outside and making mud cakes and pies. I remember my brother and I would make cupcakes and decorate them for our school holiday parties. Throughout the years, I was always making a cake or any type of treats for family gatherings. In 2008, I entered my first cake contest while working for Aflac. I baked a lemon cake and covered it with whipped cream and crushed pineapple frosting. I won first place and was so excited.

I come from a family who is very artistic and creative. I remember my mom would make our holiday costumes for the school plays, I have seven brothers who are very creative, some build custom cars from the ground up, some are master carpenters. One of my brothers is a CAD specialist. I have one sister who is very supportive. So, being artsy and creative is in our genes. Being an Army wife of 13 years was not always easy. I had to keep myself occupied throughout the years since my husband was an infantryman and a Sniper. Cooking and baking was an escape from the hectic lifestyle I was living during these years it helped me by keeping my mind occupied since he was away at war. My kids and grandkids means the world to me. They are great at letting me know how my cakes look and taste. Leave it to my granddaughters Roxana and Valerie for giving me suggestions or new ideas for my cake business.

Back in September of 2013, my granddaughter Roxana asked me to make her a 3-Dimensional Minion cake for her birthday. I did not want to let her down, so I decided to ahead and make this cake. I had no idea about structures for this cake. I looked on Google for pictures, went to YouTube for videos and tutorials. I baked 8 six-inch round cakes, went and bought fondant… something that I had never used in my life. I remember working on this cake day and night for fifteen hours straight. I was ready to throw in towel, when my husband, stepped in and started helping me. We finally finished at about six o’clock that morning. My granddaughter was so excited and no one else believed that we made that cake. Since then, I have been baking cakes and sweets for other people.

Has it been a smooth road?
There has been lots of struggles throughout my life. I battled anxiety and panic attacks for years and finally learned to overcome them. I have been thru so many obstacles and challenges along the way. Being a self-taught baker has not been easy. I have read books about baking, I looked at so many YouTube videos and still do. I worked 40 hours a week and still would come home and bake and decorate cakes for my customers. I had many nights where I did not sleep in order to complete an order for my customers, it has not always been a smooth road. Some of the struggles along the way were the sleepless nights, trying to juggle a full-time job and trying to run my business. Throughout my life, I’ve been faced with people who have doubted me to the point that I even doubted myself. With all this being said, it’s not easy trying to start your own business. I learned early on from my mother who always reminds my sister and me to be strong and independent. She has always told me that I can do anything I put mind to. In February of 2019, I decided to quit my job and make my dream a reality. Every day, you learn something new. No one said it would be easy. I want my kids and grandkids to know that they too can overcome anything no matter the issue. If you have a dream, DON’T GIVE UP!! Every day get up and go again. Finally, seek GOD in everything you do.

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
I have been lucky to have a mentor in my family. My brother with Ruben’s House of Classics has really given me good advice. My husband has also been there to help me out along the way. He is very supportive in my decisions and has been such a blessing. Monica with The Great Invitation has been here to give me great advice and has also helped me by getting me to step out of my comfort zone. If you are trying to find a mentor, look around you. They are everywhere. Ask the people you know if not look on the web.

Tell us about Josephine’s Cakes Sweet Treats & More. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
Josephine’s Cakes Sweet Treats & More is a home-based business that specializes in baking cakes with the finest ingredients. We can make all types of cakes like sheet cakes, structured cakes, 3D cakes, tiered cakes, and all types of other sweet treats for any occasion. People love are bigger than the usual gourmet brownies. One of our signature cakes would be the Chantilly cake. this cake is a vanilla cake filled with fresh strawberries and blueberries, then it’s covered by a mascarpone and cream cheese filling then topped with an apricot glaze. This is one of the most requested cakes. We specialize in customer service. I make sure that every customer gets treated with the utmost care. One of the things that sets us apart from others is attention to detail. I like to go back and go over the cake and make sure that you get an amazing design followed by a deliciously moist cake. Another thing that sets us apart, we also make custom cake toppers for any occasion. We also specialize in making fondant keepsake toppers. we enjoy and love to give back to our community by donating cakes and cookies. I have donated and worked with a nonprofit organization called Icing Smiles. They provide cakes and other treats to families that are impacted by the critical illnesses of a child. Making a cake for a sick child and knowing that I can bring a smile to them just touches my heart.

It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
My first book for baking was by Liz Marek. I have learned so much by reading her book and going to her website to learn more about baking and making pieces out of fondant. She is amazing. Another person I like to learn from is Rosie’s dessert spot. She is great at making beautiful pieces of art made from fondant. Pinterest has so many ideas. I like to go on Pinterest for inspiration.

Pricing:

  • Cakes start at $25.00
  • Brownies are 3.25 each
  • Decorated Cookies start at 1:25 each
  • Other sweet treats like cake pops, Rice krispie treats, chocolate covered pretzels, and chocolate-covered Oreos all start at 1.25 each
  • Cake toppers start at $10 each

Contact Info:

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