Reporting Jason DeRusha
MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (WCCO) – Nadia Cakes in Maple Grove has people lining up for their delicious cupcakes. And the story of how the shop’s owner ended up in Minnesota is perfect for Mother’s Day weekend.
Abby Jimenez won The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars with an absolutely incredible Triple Berry Cheesecake Cupcake.
“There’s the graham cracker crust, New York-style vanilla bean cheesecake,” Jimenez explains. “It’s got a sour cream glaze, whipped cream, graham cracker, and triple berry compote.”
Jimenez has zero official training as a chef. She took a cake decorating class and started experimenting. Her first Nadia Cakes store was in California.
“My husband and I wanted to open a second store,” she said. “We took a 23-state, cross-country trip, and landed in Minnesota. The three kids are in public school, which is fantastic here. They have all their friends in the neighborhood, and the people here are very welcoming.”
The children’s family portrait hangs in the bakery at Nadia Cakes — and yes, Nadia is the middle child.
“Nadia lets it go to her head,” Jimenez said. “She comes into the shop and tells people it’s her shop.”
Nadia Cakes use a little pudding in the batter, and a magical extract that costs $145 per bottle.
Every day there are at least 14 different flavors up for sale.
“Yesterday, we had 24 flavors in the case, today we have about 18,” Jimenez said.
Valentine’s Day is the biggest week for the store, but Mother’s Day is a close second.
“It’s all about our kids,” Jimenez said. “This is a family-run business. My husband I both work the business. It’s family first. We did it for the kids.”
Jimenez still has her Nadia Cakes store in California — she and her husband take turns flying back to check on it.