By Amira Van Leeuwen
BUDA – What started out as a hobby is now a dream come true for Dolores Diaz.
Sweet Cakes 4 U, located in the heart of Buda, is a family-owned and women-owned cake shop that sells an assortment of cakes, cupcakes, bars and cookies.
Diaz has lived in the city of Buda for 30 years and started baking during her time working for the State of Texas in workers’ compensation.
“I would take stuff to work, and then my coworkers started asking if I could bake cakes for them for their special occasions, so I started doing that,” Diaz said.
Baking for her coworkers, plus working a full-time job, kept Diaz very busy. After five years of working for the state, she decided to quit her job and open her own business.
But what inspired Diaz was her two daughters.
“I wanted to be with [my daughters]more, and I felt that if I had my own business, they could be with me here, and I could set my own hours,” Diaz said.
Diaz said she looked around for places to rent and found a building on Main Street, but the facility had already been leased out to a boutique for the following six months.
After patiently waiting, Diaz was en route to owning her own business – which later opened in February 2013.
As a growing business, Sweet Cakes 4 U has faced multiple challenges, including figuring out how to make the most out of its small building space and retaining employees.
Diaz said the building space was enough initially, but as her business grew, she had to get more refrigeration and bakery cases.
However, unlike many other small businesses across the country, Diaz said the COVID-19 pandemic positively impacted Sweet Cakes 4 U, despite temporarily closing.
In March 2020, Diaz said the bakery temporarily closed for five weeks because it was “hard to come by supplies.” Although she has multiple vendors, finding some of the local items Diaz would need to purchase was challenging
“We were going all over the place looking for stuff, and I just felt that it was too much,” Diaz said.
After five weeks, Diaz said Sweet Cakes 4 U reopened with a drive-thru window that attracted a lot of attention.
“We had lines from our front of the store out to the entrance going into Nate’s,” Diaz said. “It was nice to see, again, the community supporting us [by]coming back,” she said.
Despite not living in Buda, customer Amanda Loredo-Reyes is more than happy to make a short drive to purchase Sweet Cakes 4 U cakes. Once the bakery reopened after closing due to COVID-19, Reyes and her wife would drive from the New Braunfels area with their infant to get out of the house.
“This place is amazing,” Reyes said. Reyes recommends trying anything with strawberries.
Sweet Cakes 4 U’s most popular product is cakes by the slice, but Diaz’s favorite product to make is the layered cakes because she likes the way it comes together.
“It’s an art,” Diaz said. “We bake the layers, we make the fillings, we build the cakes and then they get frosted and decorated.”
Although unsure of Sweet Cakes 4 U’s future, Diaz said she would like to have the opportunity to expand her business.
“I don’t really know what our future is right now, but it gives me joy when I leave the shop, sometimes a little early, and see a line of people out there, and I’m like, ‘That’s why I’m in business, that’s why I keep going,’” Diaz said.