We had the good fortune of connecting with Belkys Perez and Valeria Sanchez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Belkys, Valeria, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
We strongly believe La Dolce Madness has been all about taking that leap of faith and a lot of risks. It all started as a desire of being our own bosses and taking control of our destiny through something we are passionate about; which is sweets. We are self-taught, have no previous experience on how to run a business and we pretty much have figured things out along the way; as we go. When we decided to develop our business, which began in Puerto Rico, here in Atl we didn’t know anybody. So we took the risk of putting ourselves out there to show the community what our products are all about; not knowing what the response would be. Reaching out and feeling confident was definitely tough. In our journey, we crossed paths with the founder and head chef of My Abuelas Food, Luis Martinez, and we took the chance to collab with him in his puerto rican food pop ups. The bigger risk we have taken so far is to finally have a front store inside The Spindle with My Abuelas Food. To incorporate a puerto rican food/ dessert operation in the heart of the metro Atl area, without having a remote idea of the outcome…that was definitely risky, but so far, it’s been worth it!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
“I’ve always been interested in food and the culinary arts. I enjoy cooking, trying new recipes and experiment with flavors and textures. I research on a regular basis about new techniques and ideas to improve the way we make our desserts. I’ve had a lot of practice throughout my life as a mother of three! I always made sure we had home-cooked meals every day, and desserts were a huge part of it as well. I feel like my biggest talent is making everything taste deliciously on point! Trying to make a formal business out of my passion has been challenging yet fun. Everything me and my daughter do comes from a place of love, family and tradition…and that’s the most important aspect of our brand. We are passionate latinas, hardworkers and strong”. – Belkys Perez “Sometimes I feel like I’m a very complex human being. I studied Counseling Psychology, but now I run a bakery business with my mom and sing in a punk rock band, Ladrones. I don’t think this is something that has made everyone around me particularly happy, but I’ve proved over and over again that I know what I want and that I’m willing to work hard for it. I’ve learned to respect my desires, my points of view and to understand that it is okay to feel different. I’m definitely lucky because I get to work the bakery business with my mom, and lead a band with my partner, Jose. Everything is possible!” – Valeria Sanchez
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
“I’m all about the food. So my favorite restaurants so far are The Porter, The Sun Dial, The Green Manor and Frank’s at the Old Mill…nothing too fancy but always spot on! I love historical places and museums, so the Martin Luther King site and The High Museum of Art are a must. I love farmers markets on the weekends, specially The Green Market at Piedmont Park. For a tacky yet fun out of town adventure, I would take my gang to Helen”. – Belkys Perez “I’m down for a food trip and I love nightlife, so Little Five Points and East Atlanta Village are a must. I would eat at The Porter, and have a couple of drinks at Star Bar. In EAV, I would definitely hit Gaja for amazing Korean food and drinks and then go to The Earl for more booze and live bands. During the day, I would go to farmers markets and museums.” – Valeria Sanchez
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We sure want to give a shoutout to our family and friends in Puerto Rico. They’ve been very supportive in our decisions and are our biggest cheerleaders. Another special shoutout to our partners, who help us a lot in a daily basis to tackle every single mission that comes our way! Last but not least, a huge shoutout to our extended family of My Abuelas Food who have trust in us so much we now share and run a space together.