Wendy Gonzalez, a March 2014, graduate of the Professional Baking and Pastry program at UAV came to the realization she had two options, keep trudging to her job in Los Angeles or start her own business. In other words, play it safe or strike out into the land of entrepreneurship.
It started when Gonzalez decided she would make her daughter a specialty birthday cake, and after a lot of research, work, and restarts, she did. Family and friends noticed the cake, and the requests started immediately. There were requests for birthdays, weddings, quinceaneras, and baby showers; cakes that looked like, purses, cartoon characters, pets and cupcake trees.
Gonzalez says, she didn’t mind helping out family and friends, because she was doing what she loved, so it wasn’t work. However, she wanted to make sure she was doing it properly, so she watched a lot of baking shows on television and she was on YouTube day and night, but still felt something was missing.
While driving on Sierra Highway, Gonzalez noticed something she had never seen before. The University of Antelope Valley offered a Professional Baking and Pastry program, this was it, just what she was missing.
“I wanted learn the science of baking, new and professional techniques, how to control costs, and how to purchase the best supplies within budget. I wanted to be a professional in this business, I wanted to become certified in Professional Baking and Pastry, and I accomplished that with education, hard work and sticking to it at the University, “said Wendy Gonzalez.
Gonzalez’ first day of work after graduation was filled with frazzled nerves as she entered the Los Angeles Country Club, a job she acquired after one of her instructors recognized her talent and called an employer he knew would appreciate her skill level. She reported, the pastry staff was very welcoming, encouraging, and reinforced she had received an excellent education.
When Wendy Gonzalez was confident her custom cakes were at a competition level, she decided it was time to open Simply Sweet. The first thing she thought about was her four children and how she and her husband had grown accustomed to her guaranteed salary. She thought about her great coworkers and executive pastry chefs, and then she unfortunately remembered her daily commute to LA and that the reality of it was she was working for someone else.
After a few discussions with her family, instructors, and the LA Small Business Development Center, located on the UAV campus, preparation of her business and strategic plans, and financing in place, she was ready. She knew it would not be easy, but she knew she was ready to begin her journey.
Simply Sweet opened November 2014 with a collection of unbelievable custom cakes, cupcakes, éclairs, napoleon creams, French baguettes, pan dulce, cookies, and too many other baking and pastry treats to list. Photo gallery on Facebook®. Gonzalez has books and books with photographs of her work including a royal pillows cake, specialty wedding cakes with beautiful sugar flowers, and a truck cake with lifts and lights.
While browsing and deciding what to order, ask for a slice cornbread, yes cornbread, amazing, and she makes it daily with fresh kernels off the cob, it is beyond description, and will give you an idea of the baking expertise in this shop.
“I am grateful to my instructors, especially Chef Gino Anaya, without whom I could not have stayed on track. As an entrepreneur I must have the same resolve chef taught me, I have to keep my head down and get it done. My entrepreneurial leap is scary sometimes, but with the support of my team and husband, it’s going to work out,” said Wendy Gonzalez.
Simply Sweet - (661) 718-7193, is located at 2520 East, Palmdale Blvd. Palmdale, CA