Monday, April 28, 2008

Mother's Day Cakes...

The Famous Strawberry Squares that started it all...



I met Alex Llaneza's mother at Hardcore Gallery, on N. Miami Ave., and she beamed when she told me the tale of his 'secret recipe' cakes. I thought, in honor of Mother's Day (and if you need to do some last minute cake-buying), I would share Alex's story, in his own words.





"Growing up in a family where eating well and often was of utmost importance, and most family members are food connoisseurs (going all the way back to my great-grandmother, Oportuna Cueto, looking to an old family recipe when I wanted to make some extra money was intuitive.

It all started my sophomore year of high school when I noticed guys making decent money selling sandwiches. Realizing that specific market was saturated, I decided to try selling dessert. Coincidently, there was this amazing cake my great-aunt, Tia Berta Llaneza, would make at family lunches (recipe was handed down by my great-grandmother) which not only did I love, but I found it to be pretty addictive. From a business standpoint I thought it was perfect!

I presented the idea to my mom, Rochi Llaneza, and she quickly jumped aboard for the production. We cut the cake into 24 pieces and packaged them in individual zip-loc bags. The next day I came home with $26…selling them at a dollar a piece, I had to auction off the last two. The cakes were a hit!

But things quickly got a little more complicated. I went to an all boys high school, Christopher Columbus, and what I was doing was technically not “legal.” Initially, I had the support of certain teachers, like Mr. Lightfoot, who allowed me to sell during the first few minutes of class, but eventually I got caught. After a week of detention and some advice from teachers and friends, I brought a couple guys on the team and gave them a percentage of sales. This went on until I graduated, and I made more money my senior year of high school than my first year in college working at a bank.
As friends went away for school I continued getting requests so I set up a small website. In the mean time, I've pursued another family business and hobby, and opened a cigar store, Puros Fine Cigars, with my cousin Alejandro Alcorta. Ultimately, my experiences have led me to conclude that working at something you are truly passionate about will almost certainly lead to success."




Chocolate...................................Lemon

Happy Mother's Day...

7 comments:

  1. That is an awesome story! Thank you for sharing!!!! Now I am going to go to bed hungry wanting Strawberry Squares.

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  2. Danny, love the blog and thanks for making my Mother's Day special with Alex's story. He makes me proud.

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  3. Having both ordered and eaten these Strawberry Squares, I can say that they are delicious!! It's hard to keep any as left-overs when we have ordered them. What a great story...

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  4. I've been lucky enough to have tasted these cakes and they are AWESOME! I took some to Washington for my brother who works in the Pentagon. I was told to send more or they would send out the Marines to get some! Alex, congratulations on your business savvy and Rochi, obviously you ROCK as a Mom!

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  5. here is the link to their store www.myspace.com/puros1

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  6. Rochita querida, no he probado las torticas ( les tengo que probar) pero mi esposo se fumo los puros que según el estaban buenísimos!!!

    Que maravilla de niño!!! te felicito a ti y por supuesto a Alex!!!
    besototes
    aisen

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