grace and honey Maria Nicoletti

It all started when…

I had this overwhelming desire to find a more fulfilling career path, one I would actually enjoy and be passionate about everyday. I’ve always loved baking as a hobby and sharing my delectable treats with friends and family. I am a self taught baker, influenced heavily by my mother with whom I always enjoyed baking traditional Greek desserts since an early age.  Layering sheets of phylo between pools of butter, crushed nuts, and honey, baklava was always my favorite as a child,

Believe it or not, I had an epiphany watching a food network cupcake competition in 2011 and shouted out to my husband, “I can do that!!!!!” I began researching home-based baking businesses in CA and learned it was illegal at the time so I needed to find the right way to start my fantasy job. I began renting a commercial kitchen and started selling gluten free and vegan cupcakes at the Irvine Great Park Farmer’s Market on Sunday mornings. Determined to stand out from the masses, I didn’t want to just pull recipes off the internet so I studied the scientific formulas for cake recipe development and set out to perfect my own creations. The cupcakes were a hit and very soon patrons started contacting me directly for their own party needs. More and more inquiries started coming in, and clients also started asking for custom cakes. My little business was starting to gain momentum. Once the Cottage Law passed, I started working from my home and starting taking on as many orders as I can handle, while still doing my 9 to 5 job and enduring a lengthy commute to LA. Going to bed around 1am nightly quickly became a regular occurrence.

Fast forward to the end of 2015, I finally felt the business was at a strong enough position to quit my day job and focus on it full-time! 21 months after that, I had reached a plateau with my business and had grown it as much as I could out of the house and knew it was time to take the next big leap! I found my dream spot in Costa Mesa! After months of negotiating terms and trying to secure a loan, I finally signed the lease 5 months after that and began to furnish my new space with equipment and supplies. I officially moved into the studio May 2018 and its been a dream come true.

I want to thank my incredible husband Bret of 18+ wonderful years!  Without his love, support, and undying patience, this would not be possible.  Also much love and kisses to my adorable 11 year old Boston Terrier Rooney, whom this bakeshop was originally named after.

Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.
— René Magritte