WESLEY CHAPEL — Baking has always been her dream, having begun at about 6 years old, making cakes and cupcakes from Betty Crocker mixes.
In fact, Kristina Lavallee always wanted to have her own bakery. She went to college, earning a baking and pastry degree, as well as two bachelor's degrees in hospitality and food service industry in 2013. She worked in other bakeries, including at Publix.
Now, at age 28, Lavallee's dream became a reality when she started her own business, the Cake Girl LLC, in February. She has been making her sweet treats from scratch and selling them under a tent at farmers markets, festivals and other events throughout the Tampa Bay area. Since last month, however, the Cake Girl is no longer selling sweets under a tent. Instead, Lavallee has taken her business on the road with the Cake Girl truck.
"People always ask if I will open a bakery," Lavallee said. "But I don't want to. I love the idea of traveling and meeting new people."
The Cake Girl truck is a family affair. Helping Lavallee run her mobile bakery is her husband, Kirby, as well as her mother and mother-in-law. The mobile bakery features a variety of desserts. The biggest sellers are carrot cake, brownies and cupcakes. Lavallee's personal favorite? "Carrot cake, hands down," she said. She also has gluten-free items, including vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and brownies.
During the week, Lavallee works on special orders, including cakes and other items for birthdays, weddings, showers and other special events and parties.
Although not even a year old, the Cake Girl has been in the works since Lavallee's husband purchased her a "Cake Girl" license plate for her birthday back in 2010, while she was still in college and living in Orlando. Originally from Puerto Rico, Lavallee moved to Florida 13 years ago. She and her husband now live in Wesley Chapel, his hometown.
"The business name was actually my husband's idea," she admits. "But I put the business on hold while I planned my wedding."
The couple will have been married three years in November.
Lavallee also credits her husband with the idea of using a truck instead of setting up a tent at events.
"He thought it would be the coolest idea ever to have a truck," she said. "He's not just my husband; he's my business partner, my right-hand side."