Baking dreams come true

Adriana Hernandez begins cake supply store

She looks down, hands covered in flour. The counter is full of baking supplies as far as the eye can see. She’s on a schedule, working endlessly to meet a deadline. Birthday parties and special occasions happen left and right, but what would these festivities be without the celebratory cake?

After meticulously confirming recipes, dates and everything in between, she stares at the chaos on the table. The supplies are here, but they’re not quite what she’s needing. She’s not looking for generic, not “good enough.” She will not settle for anything but the best, highest quality supplies. These supplies here on the table just aren’t up to her standards. She’s lacking something.

Adriana Hernandez’s inspiration to initiate her store, All For Your Cakes, sprung as a result of not being able to locate supplies she needed to make her cakes. Having adequate supplies for baking was essential to Hernandez, as she made a living as a home baker.

“After having worked 10 and a half years at [a] check company, [I decided] to quit [and] start baking cakes at home,” Hernandez said. “After realizing I couldn’t find [cake] supplies, that’s when I started to research and started considering the possibility of opening my own business.”

Following a period of careful consideration and planning, Hernandez decided to put her plans into motion. The idea of opening a business was a frequent topic of conversation with her sister, Araceli Prado, who later decided to pitch in and become involved in the development of the store.

After realizing I couldn’t find [cake] supplies, that’s when I started to research and started considering the possibility of opening my own business.”

— co-owner Adriana Hernandez

“She believed a lot in the products,” Prado said. “She believed a lot in the market and she knew there were people like her who needed [cake supplies]. That’s when I decided to get involved, to help her.”

The partnership between the two sisters helped ease the tension of opening a business. However, it did not eliminate the toll of being an entrepreneur, as it is often an excruciating, time-consuming process. Hernandez recalls the early days of the store and her initial struggles in terms of seeing development.

“To see results after opening the business, it took about two years,” Hernandez said. “The first six months were the hardest because it was all spending money [and] not seeing any gain.”

Yaysa Sanchez, a current employee of All For Your Cakes, looks back fondly on the two years she’s devoted to the store. New to the United States, Sanchez found the store on Google and quickly became a frequent customer. She applied to the store shortly thereafter and has since completely transformed her life.

“I worked for 15 years as a specialist [in Puerto Rico],” Sanchez said. “After Hurricane Maria hit the island, I came here, just looking for a moment of peace after the disaster. And then, I started baking cakes. I used to bake cakes when I had my [practice], but it was more like a hobby or second job. When I moved here, I decided to start from zero.”

The business has undergone a great deal of changes in the duration of its eight years, consisting of relocation and frequent modifications. The distinctiveness of their business, Prado believes, is due to their willingness to listen to customers, establish individual relationships and keep up with trends.

“I think what makes [us] different is that we’re always innovating,” Prado said. “[We listen to] people’s needs, we don’t stay in the same circle. We don’t settle [and] we’re always trying to offer more.”

It isn’t just the wide availability of cake products that reels clients in, but the additional opportunity to learn. At All For Your Cakes, customers have the chance to experience the world of baking and creating for themselves. A wide variety of classes are offered to customers, ranging from how to decorate cookies to working with sugar paste. To further expand the education process, Hernandez and Prado have managed to get in contact with international chefs and have them teach classes to customers.

[We listen to] people’s needs, we don’t stay in the same circle. We don’t settle [and] we’re always trying to offer more.”

— co-owner Araceli Prado

“[We have artists] come from places [all around the world],” Hernandez said. “We have a chef from France coming to teach a class in May, a chef coming in from Colombia in September and in November, we have an artist from Spain coming to teaching a model class.” 

For Prado, a continuous challenge in working at All For your Cakes has been her lack of knowledge in terms of cake-making. Despite the restrictions, she makes the best out of her role as a boss by finding effective ways to assist those around her and educating herself on the most useful supplies to facilitate the crafting process for others.

“I don’t know the business [as well] as the others do because I don’t have the [same] abilities,” Prado said. “I don’t know how to make cakes, but I do see that the ones who make cakes have everything they need. [I’m always] trying to find easier [methods] so they can do whatever they need to do, [as well as] offer them new supplies that we might not have here [and try to] get them. [I also] contact people from other countries to see if they can supply us with products that we don’t have here in the United States.”

Looking into the future, Hernandez and Prado hope to expand All For Your Cakes. Expansion would not only be ideal for business, but for customers as well. Clients would have rapid access to cake supplies for their projects by not having to make the commute to one particular location.

“I would love to be able to grow this business,” Prado said. “[I would love to] have [more than] one store. I would love to be able to offer these same products, but in other parts of the city, [so customers] don’t have to travel as far.”

The atmosphere is hectic as tasks constantly demand to be completed. However, despite the daily hassle, the kind culture Hernandez and Prado have implemented into their store makes the commitment worthwhile for both the sisters and employees.

“[This is] a very good environment,” Sanchez said. “I never feel [like] I wake up because I have to. I’m glad I have this job, that I [get to] come here. It’s a good thing to have a job that doesn’t make you feel like those Facebook memes. ‘Oh, Monday again.’ You wake up and you [feel] good [going] to work. You don’t feel heavy. It’s very [nice].”