Dolores Diaz had no formal training as a pastry chef when she decided to trade in her day job to open Sweet Cakes 4 U in 2013—at the time making cakes was a hobby.
“I started baking and decorating in my home, and then I started just providing it for friends and family,” Diaz said. “And then I just felt like, ‘I could probably do something with this.’”
Diaz, a Buda resident for 30 years, hoped that opening her own store would allow her to be near her three children.
“My main reason was so I could spend more time with my children,” Diaz said. “I could be on my own time—just spend more time with them even if they were here with me, here at the store.”
And they were often there. When she opened the shop, Diaz had only herself to rely on and acted as baker, decorator, supplier and clerk, but after school, her then-teenage daughter Victoria would run the cash register.
Today, Victoria, now 22 and a student at Austin Community College, still works at the store and handles all the Sweet Cakes 4 U social media. Business has grown, and Diaz now also employs two bakers, two decorators, a store manager and kitchen assistants who help her keep up with the growing business.
The shop specializes in cake by the slice, and at any given time it has up to a dozen flavors, including classics such as Italian cream, German chocolate, carrot and vanilla cream along with a “cake of the day” and “cake of the week” that are sometimes more unusual options.
“It’s all tried-and-true recipes. If I don’t like it, it doesn’t get sold,” Diaz said.
In addition, the store sells whole ready-made cakes and takes a limited number of special orders. Diaz has also added cupcakes, bars and other goodies to the menu. One of the newest additions is the mini key lime pies, which Diaz said “can’t stay on the shelf long enough.”
Sweet Cakes 4 U now also serves hot and iced coffee along with breakfast pastries, such as scones, muffins and coffee cake.
“Sometimes in the future we probably are going to get an espresso machine,” she said. “My next goal is to open early in the morning.”
Diaz has seen some of her most loyal customers grow up over the years, and she plans to stick around for more—she just signed a five-year lease.
“We’re seeing customers from Day 1 still coming in, and now their little kids are big now, and we’re actually doing baby showers, and we’re doing weddings for their kids.”
Sweet Cakes 4 U
302 S. Main St., Ste. 101, Buda
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.