We want to introduce you to Zoey Bakes and its owner and operator Maria Tereso. After we spotted her unique cakes on Instagram, we decided she was the baker to make us a TWE cake for Valentine’s Day.
Impressed with her baking skills and her fascinating designs, we asked her to come up with something festive we could give to a non-profit near where she lives in Las Vegas so that they could celebrate Valentine’s Day along with us. Meet Maria and take a look at her wonderful cakes.
TWE: How long have you been baking, Maria?
MARIA TERESO: I’ve been baking for about eight years now and loving it. I got my associate’s degree at the College of Southern Nevada in 2021 while continuing to grow my business.
TWE: What got you started with Zoey Bakes?
MARIA: My mom was looking for a class in the baking newspapers, and she found a lady that did classes in Spanish. At first, I didn’t really want to go because my Spanish wasn’t that good to understand her fully. But my mom motivated me to give it a try and was the one who even paid for both of us.
TWE: Tell us about our TWE cake that we are donating to Debbie Isaacs and UNSHAKEABLE, the Las Vegas non-profit she founded in 2016. It helps women get back in the workforce after facing all kinds of trauma including homelessness and domestic abuse.
MARIA: The TWE cake was really fun to make. It’s a chocolate cake I make from scratch, of course, along with the raspberry mousse. Baking can take up to one hour with these cakes along with another hour to decorate. How wonderful that it is going to UNSHAKEABLE!
TWE: Was it hard to start your own business, Maria? Please explain who Zoey of Zoey Bakes is.
MARIA: I only did it for family. My mom worked at the Bellagio Hotel and would take my practice cakes to her job for her co-workers. It was very hard to get my name out there. I had to really think of ways. One of my biggest challenges was advertising.
The name for Zoey came from the oldest of my three children, 10-year-old Zoey. It actually took me about 2 months with different fonts and colors and names that I liked until I got down to deciding on using hers. She was also one of my biggest motivators. She said, “You can do it, Mommy!” at the age of 4.
TWE: What’s the most fun cake you’ve made?
MARIA: I would say when I get an order for Disney cakes. I am a huge Disney fan. But mostly I enjoy all my cakes. Each one of them has their own kind of special story and touch. Every cake is made with love.
TWE: You operate out of your house, right? If someone’s interested in a cake, how do they get it? Do they have to pick it up? What’s the best way to get in touch with you if people want a cake.
MARIA: I do fully operate out of my home. The best ways to get in touch would be through Facebook, email, Instagram or by phone ( I usually text). Pick up is available or I do offer delivery throughout Las Vegas.
TWE: Do people ask you for a low-calorie cake or no sugar?
MARIA: I have been asked about my cake with sugar. I do use a really nice buttercream that doesn’t taste too sweet, and people can actually enjoy the cake.
I can only do so much because I am a cottage license business. I don’t do mail order.
TWE: Do you have a tip you can share about making really tasty cakes?
MARIA: Never give up. If your cakes don’t come out right, bake it again. I would recommend YouTube. That’s where I got most of my filling recipes.
Keep it moist right when it comes out of the oven. Saran wrap it. When you’re ready to fill use a simple syrup to keep the cakes moist.
TWE: Lovely to get to know you. We can’t thank you enough for making our Valentine’s Day special! Here’s a digital piece we can share with everyone! The women at UNSHAKEABLE cut the cake beautifully!