Where have you lived? Which location was your favorite and why?
I have lived in Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Kansas. I have lived in Leavenworth, Kansas for the past 12 years. I have lived in Ft. Leavenworth/Leavenworth for so long that it has almost automatically become my favorite place. Leavenworth can be a really charming place and my favorite thing about it is seeing people come back that I thought I wouldn’t see again.
Describe Sweets, Inc. in your own words. What inspired you to start baking?
Sweets, Inc is a home-based bakery that provides specialty goods ranging from cakes, cookies, cheesecakes, cupcakes, and many more.
I started seriously baking at the age of 10 when I was given a Kitchen Aid for my birthday. Not one single person inspired me to bake, but my family has excellent cooks and food has always been the center of gathering. I also remember that whenever my dad would get back from a deployment or long TDY we would always make cupcakes together.
Can you tell us more about your work with Kansas DECA and what the organization does? As a member of the state officer team, what is your role, and what have you accomplished so far?
DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and colleges around the globe, and I have been a part of this organization all four years of high school. DECA has provided me with not only knowledge in business but also critical thinking and communication skills. At the high school level, DECA has given me the opportunity to be the senior manager of the three businesses located in my high school. We have a school store, coffee shop, and an apparel and accessory print shop.
In my sophomore year, I was elected as state officer (Reporter) for Kansas DECA and two weeks later COVID hit and everyone went into lockdown. Throughout my term, the other officers and I were able to revamp Kansas DECA’s social media activity and participation. This was one of my favorite leadership positions because our challenges didn’t stop us from accomplishing the goals we set forth.
Are there any other hobbies, organizations, or clubs that you are passionate about? Tell us more!
I decorate glue on nails - started doing this during quarantine because I couldn’t get my nails done. Also for baking and JROTC, I need them to be short so it works out that I can take them off when needed
JROTC - Have been a part of JROTC for the past 3 years, and I am currently the S-6, which just means I am in charge of video documentation for the battalion. I also help with the Instagram page.
What’s next for you personally and for your baking business? Any particular goals or exciting plans?
I have many goals for myself. In the fall, I will be attending Johnson & Wales University majoring in Baking and Pastry Arts, as well as Entrepreneurship. I am also hoping to earn a minor in Culinary Sustainability. With these degrees and mentorship, I am wanting to open at least two bakeries with an addition of a custom cupcake food truck that caters to weddings, birthday parties, company events, etc. I would also like to go back to earn my Masters’s in Culinary Education which will be helpful in my dream of opening a culinary education center to provide baking as well as cooking classes for all ages. I will also be specializing in teaching people with special needs and dietary restrictions like Liver Disease or Diabetes how to cook the foods they love in a healthy way.
What’s something that you wish others understood about military life?
When military teens talk about the struggle of military life, it is better for that person to just listen, than say that they understand what you are going through. When people say they understand it feels degrading.
What words of wisdom do you have for other current or future military teens?
Make the best out of the situation you are in.
Where can our readers follow your work?
Instagram - @sweets_inc_by_maya