Culturas Corner highlights individuals who make their community a better place through their work, business, volunteering or activism. Today we learn more about Orange County-based confectionery Sweet Treats by Alba Rodriguez.
First, can you tell us a little more about yourself?
Hello, my name is Alba Rodriguez. I graduated Ocean View High School in 2013 and received my Bachelors in Communication Studies in 2018.
Why did you start Sweet Treats? How did you first come up with the idea?
I suffered a stroke in February 2018 and part of my therapies was recreational. Recreational therapy focused on activities I enjoyed doing before the stroke. One of them was baking. My parents and doctors realized how much it helped me get out of bed, that it was one activity they helped me focus on. After being discharged, my mom would ask me to bake all different kinds of desserts. She would take me to any store you can think of to buy the ingredients and bakeware essentials. One day I became intrigued with the Impossible Cake, also known as Chocoflan. Chocoflan has a top caramel custard and the bottom is chocolate cake. I began looking into it and decided to give it a try. My first attempt was good, but I felt like I could do better. I tried different versions until I had the right one. My family thought I could begin selling to friends and family. After Chocoflan, I started to make jello’s and it all began from there.
Tell us about the treats! What makes yours special?
As time continues to go by, I add more items to the menu. I’m constantly looking for new recipes and I’m keeping up with the new desserts/ ideas that get introduced. I feel like I can make something for all different types of age groups.
What future do you see for Sweet Treats?
I would like to expand my business and hopefully have my own bakery one day. I would also like to gain more customers.
What is your favorite cultural memory?
Being part of the Mexican culture, being around family during the holidays is a huge tradition. This includes always cooking and baking with them. I cannot point out my favorite, but I love being in the kitchen with all of them. Smelling the different kinds of spices and aromas is the best.
Answers have been edited for length and clarity. Know someone who should be featured on Culturas Corner? Nominate them here.