We had the good fortune of connecting with Ana Mendoza and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ana, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When it comes to baking, it is something that I have always enjoyed since I was a little girl. Through out my high school years, my “side hustle” was selling tres leches cakes to my moms friends. I did take culinary arts in high school for a couple of years and my favorite part of the course was definitely the baking. I got to compete in the county fair and won second place my first year and my second year my cake won first place and best in show. My cake was then auctioned off for $400. Despite loving to bake and wanting to attend culinary school, I opted to receiving my Bachelors degree in marketing. Fast forward to 2018, I had my daughter Aaliyah and because of the lack of reliable child care I had to become a stay at home mom. For those who know me, know that I’m very independent and being a stay at home mom was the last thing on my mind. Aaliyah’s first birthday was coming up and I was determined to go all out on her dessert table. With the help of Instagram and YouTube I learned to perfect my French macarons and slowly started to practice making cakes and other desserts. That’s when I decided that I was actually pretty good at this baking thing and slowly started taking orders. It was very word of mouth at first, but thanks to Instagram I got to launch “Sweet Dough creations by Ana” in 2020. Despite being in the middle of a global pandemic I managed to be a bit busy and keep the new business afloat. I was now able to create a job for myself and at the same time stay at home with my toddler.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The thing that sets Sweet Dough apart from other bakery businesses is the fact that everything is made to order and is customized to your liking. My desserts are made with quality ingredients and when I made my menu I made sure that my desserts aren’t overly sweet, but still delicious. I would say the thing I’m most proud of is the fact that I started this business all on my own. Not only have I created work for myself, but I’ve done it to where I can still be a stay at home mom and be very involved with my daughter. Getting to where I am today has definitely not been easy. There’s a lot of pressure all the time. There’s plenty of competition and in order to stay afloat in this industry I always have to know the newest and hottest trends when it comes to cakes and other desserts. The main lesson that I have learned is to learn to say “no”. To give my self more of a break, especially when I get this “burnt out” feeling, there’s always the pressure to get everything done and take every order. Now days I’m not afraid to put my foot down and say no. The one thing I would like the world to know about my brand and story is that this is a “one woman show” I’m the person behind everything. I create the cakes, I run my social media accounts, I create content, I’m in charge of inventory and at the same time I’m a full time mom so please be kind. Small business owners are humans just like you.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had a friend coming to visit Houston, the places I would definitely take them would be to Chef Hugo’s restaurants! My favorite would definitely have to be Caracol for the seafood, the grilled oysters in particular and their margaritas. I’m more of a home body now days, so I’m not up to date on clubs or bars but I know Washington or midtown are good spots to grab a drink. I love every Houston sport team so depending on the season, I would take them to catch a game! Now if it’s something child friendly I would visit the Houston Zoo or make a trip to the Kemah board walk!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The people who definitely deserve a shout out are my loved ones. My mom for always instilling in me to be hard working and independent and leading by example. As a migrant single mother of 3 she never gave up and worked extremely hard to provide for my brothers and I. Also, to my partner and pain in my butt Kevin. There are times when I get discouraged and think I don’t do enough, but he’s there to remind me how much of a great mother I am to our daughter and how much I actually do for our family despite having my business. My friends for sure, like I always say “quality over quantity” I don’t have many friends but the ones I have are sure to always support me in any way they can. Whether is by purchasing my products, referring me or simply sharing my posts. Lastly to my awesome customers/ “regulars” y’all are the ones who keep this business floating and I appreciate you guys more than you know it!

Website: Under construction.

Instagram: https://instagram.com/sweet_dough.htx?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Facebook: Sweet Dough htx

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.