Bella Ella Cakes interview with Orlando Voyager
Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Castellanos.
Hi Diana, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
My name is Diana Castellanos and I am your baker and dessert table decorator at Bella Ella Cakes. Most people usually have a vision of what they would want to become one day while being driven by passion and motivation. As for me, I actually never envisioned becoming the baker that I am today, never mind turning it into a business. In fact, it was never really a part of the plan. Most of my life revolved around working a full time job and raising my 3 sons. Those 3 gave me a run for the money day in and day out. Around the house, there was really nothing girly. Everything was about sports and horse playing. Boy moms know exactly what I mean by that. That all changed the moment I found out that I was having a baby girl. The thought of having a girl struck an inspiration within me to become creative. For baby Ella, I did my own baby shower and created all of the party decor of silver and purple butterflies. Then, for Ella’s 1st birthday, I struggled to find the perfect cake at a reasonable price. I thought to myself, “children’s custom birthday cakes shouldn’t be so expensive”. I really had my heart set on a 3 tier cake, but after hearing that it would cost me over $600, I figured I might as well give it a shot and make it myself. And that’s where the journey began. I not only ended up making the perfect cake, I also came up with the party decor, made Ella a tutu skirt and a birthday hat. When my coworkers at the Suffolk County Social Services saw my work, they were very impressed. It was at that moment when I realized that I could turn my new passion into a business. I couldn’t believe that I could actually make income from doing something that I loved to do. In the beginning, I would just bake for my coworkers and my family and friends up in New York. In 2018, we moved to Florida and decided I was going to pursue my dreams of creating affordable beautiful children’s cakes and dessert tables. And that’s when Bella Ella Cakes was created.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My biggest challenge had always been juggling between a full time job, baking cakes and being a mother to my four children. It was very exhausting for me. But like everyone else, I had bills to pay. Unfortunately, when the Covid pandemic began, I lost my full time job. I remember telling myself, “enough of this”. I knew then that I had to turn my passion into an actual business. It was a blessing from God. One year after the pandemic, the business is doing very well.
What makes you happy?
Spending time with my family is what makes me happy and keeps me grounded. I love watching my kids grow and enjoying life. They are my everything. I love when we do little things like sitting together and eating cake. They love mommies cakes. Their favorite ones are Pistachio, Almond Strawberry and Cookies and Cream Crumb Cake. It’s not only their favorite, they also seem to be my customers favorites too. The greatest feeling in the world is watching people dancing in place while enjoying a piece of cake from Bella Ella. When the customers are happy, we are happy.
We’ve been impressed with Bella Ella Cakes, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
At Bella Ella Cakes, we not only pride ourselves in making children’s theme cakes, we also create many celebration cakes as well. Aside from cakes, we love creating beautiful dessert tables along with our custom cakes and treats. Our customers get the best of both worlds. Not only are they able to enjoy their choice of cake, we also provide our customers with an amazing decorated cake table, party services with decorations, photographers, caterer, and a DJ all at a reasonable price. And that’s where we differ from other bakers. To date, we have never had a dissatisfied customer. In fact, we get a lot of “you’ve exceeded my expectations” compliments. There’s nothing better than knowing that all of the positive things that customers have said about Bella Ella is what keeps them coming to us. We treat all customers like family. And that’s what we strive and aim for everyday.