Around The Way Girl: Victoria Maya

“If it doesn’t scare you, it’s not worth doing,” is the advice 26-year-old, Chicago native, Victoria Maya aka Vicky has for young women trying to launch their own business or do anything outside of the norm.  She attended the prestigious University of Chicago, where she started off as an Economics major. After her sophomore year she decided to switch her degree to Art. Upon graduation with no real job that she loved, she began baking as a hobby. Vicky opened her Bucktown bakery, Golden Brown Delicious earlier this year after two years of baking in her home kitchen. Last month, Vicky and Golden Brown Delicious were featured in Chicago Magazine for her horchacta cupcakes. Yes, you read that right. We went to her bakery on a Tuesday afternoon where we got to tour her space and learned how she launched her own business.

Vicky in her bakery, which is heavily decorated in pink and polka dots

1. What made you decide to open Golden Brown Delicious?

 It was something that snuck up on me. A combination of not having any direction after graduating college and figuring out what I was good at that I can turn into a business. I always wanted to start my business, but I didn’t know what. I even considered cosmetology. After baking some cupcakes for a family party and posting the pictures to Facebook, a friend of mine reached out to me and wanted me to bake some for a party she was having. She paid me and kept telling her friends about my cupcakes and it just kind of snowballed. I spent two years baking cupcakes from home when I realized this is going somewhere and I need to move forward. My mother was very supportive of the idea and she enrolled in pastry school so we could develop more techniques and know what we were doing. My uncle helped us with finding locations.

2. What was your biggest challenge with starting your own business?  

First, finding the location, it took over six months. Once we found the location it was dealing with city and the zoning laws and bringing the building up to code. That process took over a year since we bought an office space that we had to convert into a kitchen. It was one of those things we learned after we bought the space. Nobody told us to find a space that already had a kitchen.

3. You graduated from one of the top universities in the country. How did your parents feel about you opening a bakery as opposed to a 9-5 office job?

My parents were very supportive as well as my friends. I never received “that’s what you’re doing?” I guess some people may see it as a step backwards since I attended school that was heavily academic focused. I never looked at it that way. I looked at it as a skill that I needed to tone and as something that I enjoyed doing. That was the most important thing. I think my parents were more concerned when I switched from an Economics to an Art major. However, my art degree helps with the designs of the cakes. After graduation I taught, worked in museums and galleries,  but it wasn’t for me. This is the best use of what I learned in college.

4. What inspires your cake and designs?

My culture. Being Mexican there are colors, imagery, and flavors that stand out.  My mother and I try to incorporate flavors we grew up with. I also follow popular bakers and pastry decorators to see what they are doing. The baking community is really friendly. Everyone share tips and tries to inspire one another.

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5. How do you promote your business?

 Social media is awesome. Clients are also referred by word of month. I work a lot with the neighborhood. I’m participating in the Bucktown Pie Contest as well as a Day of the Dead showcase in Pilsen later this month. Local comedian Mickey O. had my treats at The Latino Film Festival and he is constantly sharing photos and posts on his Facebook page as well.

6. At 26, you obviously like to go out, attend concerts, Netflix binge watch. How do you balance owning your business as well as a personal life/sanity?

It is hard!  REALLY hard! It’s a lot of sacrificing. I have to prioritize and work around the bakery schedule.  I’m late to a lot of functions, which is very unlike me. My friends and guys I have dated understand, this is just something I have to do. I do try make time because it is important and I need to keep my sanity.

7. What advice would you give to young women hoping to start their own business?

 If it doesn’t scare you, it’s not worth doing.  I mean, it’s a scary thought. It involves a lot of time, money, hard work, and dedication. When you see your business take off though, it really is one of the most rewarding feelings.

8. Where do you see Golden Brown Delicious five years from now?

Open and I am only decorating cakes. I’m here everyday–so a medium-sized staff. I also hope to have another location that is more of a cafe.

9. Lastly, you were born and raised in Chicago, stayed here for college, and decided to open your bakery in the city. What is your favorite thing about the city? How does living in and being from Chicago motivate your work?

 Aside from it being home and the only home I’ve known, it’s a busy city and there is always something to do. There are so many great people to meet and not as overwhelming as New York. I’ve been to New York. There are just so many people and you feel lost there. My favorite thing about Chicago are the festivals, definitely summer, which is coming to an end.

After our interview Vicky surprised us with a delicious cake to take home! Golden Brown Delicious is located at 2039 N. Western Ave and opened Tuesday-Friday 12 pm- 7pm and  Sunday 12pm-5pm. Vicky bakes customizable cakes, wedding cakes, cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts, and more! Be sure to check her out for your next event or sweet tooth.

Xo,

Ariel

{Know an Around The Way Girl we need to to get in touch with? Let us know in the comment section below!}

5 thoughts on “Around The Way Girl: Victoria Maya

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