Today we’d like to introduce you to Milissa Takashima.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Milissa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I never thought I’d have my own business! For years, I was an executive/vice president of marketing and PR for an apparel company in San Diego. It was a wonderful career. Once my husband and I had my daughter, we decided that I would stay at home, for my best and hardest job of taking care of home and the kids.. It was a dream! When our son came around, and he developed severe allergies to peanuts and tree nuts as a baby, (before mandatory labeling was a thing) I started baking and making everything at home. I wasn’t able to order a birthday cake for him since there was no such thing as a nut-free bakery and we all really enjoyed what I created for him. That fueled a passion for baking and I got the courage, with the support of my family and friends, to start Mili’s Sweets. In 2010, I became a dessert caterer and dessert table stylist, and for the last eight years, I have worked to create my own recipes that are handcrafted and small batch. Everything I make is free of peanuts and tree nuts and I have developed my work to also include gluten-free and vegan offerings. My most-popular items ordered are custom cakes and cupcakes, but I have a long menu of desserts that include pastries, parfaits, cookies and more.
Has it been a smooth road?
I think of doing this as a community service, because I care a lot about my work and it’s truly personal. The end result is so satisfying, and this is my art. but what I do is hard work, and time consuming, and there really is no glamour in the background. Passion and a dedication to offering my best, drives me to keep at it. I know what it’s like to be a mom who has a precious child that requires special attention when it comes to food. It’s not easy at all, especially when they are little. I have been embarrassed many times and so has my child. I live this life every day and it’s a joy to be able to make desserts for those who don’t want to have to worry about nuts. or other ingredients that they simply can’t have, or have personal preferences for living without them.
The toughest part of my work is time. I can’t bake/cater at home and I don’t unless it’s for my family or a personal donation. Right now, I enjoy working at the MiaBella in Vista as my kitchen facility and I’m thinking about the future and me how I’d like to continue to grow my business. I need to take the time to plan and that can be hard since my most important and best jobs surround my life as a mom and wife. I literally can’t do this without the support of my husband, kids, and mom. My most difficult struggle was in 2016 when my dad was dying of cancer and I was working and managed to be at his bedside almost every day. He played a very big part in getting me to where I am with my business, and to lose one of my best friends and someone who believed in me and loved my work so much, was a heart-breaker. He is still in my heart and know he is super proud, makes me feel even more driven and loved.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I think what sets me apart from other businesses is the time and dedication I take to providing my customers with exactly what they would like to enjoy, according to my recipes and my artistry. If I can’t work it out for them, because I’m booked or they need something I can’t provide, I always offer to refer them elsewhere. It sets me apart to offer customized recipes that are all free of peanuts and tree nuts and that I have options for gluten-free and vegan. I love the old-fashioned idea of being a true local baker who is part of the community, being accessible and of service – handcrafting my own recipes with fine ingredients and in small batches. This allows for another level of quality and care and a true interaction with my customers. Some of the customers have been coming to me since my beginning and it means that they have ordered from me for their wedding, anniversaries, their showers, kids’ birthdays and even graduations. I love it when a new customer finds me through their friend or because their boss likes to bring my treats to the office. It’s awesome! I truly have the best friends and customers.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think there is plenty of room for everyone who wants to start a business like mine. Someone starting out should definitely keep at it. If you live here, and this is your life, you have to go for it. San Diego County is expensive, but there are opportunities. There should be super strict guidelines for anyone who is preparing food for others and I totally respect what San Diego County provides as far as services and standards go. I love my hometown! I think improvements come with experience and every individual has to start somewhere.
- Website: www.milissweetstogo.com
- Phone: (760) 571-9876
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @milis_sweets
- Facebook: @milissweets