by Samara Postuma
For Abby Jimenez, owner of popular Nadia Cakes in Maple Grove, business ownership happened almost accidentally.
Abby was pregnant with her third child and juggling a newborn and one-year-old. “I knew I wasn’t going to be able to go back to my job,” she said.
So she signed up for a cake decorating class during her extended maternity leave and really enjoyed it. That class was her only formal training ever.
Soon she started making fondant cakes here and there thinking if anything she could make a couple a month to help pay for groceries. She made what she now calls a “choppy” website and handed out cards naming her endeavor after her second daughter.
“I didn’t want my boss to know what I was doing on the side so going by ‘Cakes By Abby’ was out of the question,” Jimenez said explaining the name of the business. “We called my middle daughter Nadia Cakes so it was fitting.”
The business grew quickly with cake baking reality shows on major networks and cupcake shops gaining in popularity after a year and a half of working from home, Jimenez decided to open a retail location.
It was harder than it seemed. “We couldn’t get financing,” she said explaining that walking into a bank with no business or baking experience besides a home business wasn’t going to cut it in the current economy so with a $5,000 loan and a credit card, she opened up shop.
“We were flat broke, we didn’t even have money for change in the register,” she said.
Nadia Cakes was successfully immediately in Palmdale, California and soon, two months after opening soon, Jimenez was asking her husband, Carlos to quit his job to become the CFO. The first thing he did was consolidated the couple’s debt. At the time the couple had $18,000 in credit card debt in addition to the opening of the retail store.
Just two years after opening their Palmdale location the couple knew they wanted to expand but weren’t sure where. They were also ready to get out of California.
“We took a 5 1/2 week cross country trip and looked at the market, this area really didn’t have anything like it,” Jimenez said.
During construction of the Maple Grove boutique-like cupcake shop, she appeared on TLC’s Cupcake Wars and won $10,000. Jimenez and her family now reside in the Champlin area.
Again, their second shop found instant success. “Our customers are very intense and loyal,” she said. Don’t believe her? Check their Facebook page and you’ll see customers just going crazy over new flavors and specials on a daily basis.
So what makes Nadia Cakes cupcakes so special? The cupcakes speak for themselves. “We believe in using high quality ingredients and we really don’t scrimp, everything is baked right on site and we’re consistent,” she said.
Jimenez also has a cupcake guarantee. “Our menu is our promise, if you see a cupcake listed on our menu, you’ll be able to have that cupcake,” she said noting that the stores bake until 90 minutes before close.
Nadia Cakes is in the process of opening a third, undisclosed location and might even have another TV show opportunity in the works. Things are going well for this mom run business and Jimenez explains it the best way, “people just love cupcakes!”
Nadia Cakes is located in the Fountains of Arbor Lakes and offers a variety of cupcakes every single day besides Christmas Day.