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

Hi Mariana, what do you attribute your success to?
The story and the connection I have with all my customers. The inspiration they get from my failures and successes made me realized that the first and most important value of a business is to understand the market. The goal should be to ultimately connect with them and change the mentality from sales driven to market driven.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business was born out of a necessity. My oldest son Luke had a dairy allergy and I had a lot of trouble finding a cake for him. I also needed the cake to be egg free, so I needed a vegan cake. When I realized there were no options I decided to start making vegan mini cupcakes because selling them will be a great starting point for a business. Also I though the name Bunnie Cakes was cute, also the domain was available ! so I bought it. I started as a wholesale bakery…baking out of my home oven. I used to sell in different coffee shops, juice bars, and literally everywhere where I could go or sell. Its was a great discovery for me to see that there were people that like me were looking for vegan bakery items, so I started making other products like cakes, brownies and cookies. In 2012 I found a great space on NE 2nd ave in what later turned to be “Edgewater – Wynwood”. We opened our first retail store in February 2013 and we were so well received by the community, thank you! We have been able to expand our product to national shipping, work with national retailers like Whole foods and Starbucks. We were the first vegan gluten free concept in South Florida also the first vegan and gluten free pastry item in Starbucks at a global scale. I worked very hard, I made a lot mistakes, but each of them taught me a great business lesson. My advice is very simple. There 3 key traits that every entrepreneur possesses or should cultivate and those are: 1- Resilience 2- Strategy 3- Passion And many other that can adorn your personal profile, but those 3 are for me the ones that have helped me the most in my business. I want the world to know that I and extremely grateful of all the love we receive every day and it is a pleasure for us to serve you! We want our brand to feel real, passionate and brave, and I want my customers to get that type of tone and message from our product. We are: inspiring, compassionate, inclusive and fun!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I will take them to Downtown Doral. This new spot that just opened his second phase is super familiar and have so many options ! We are also scheduled to open our retail store here at the end of the year. So I will probably check out Bachour as a breakfast spot or coffee, and I will definitely go for a drink and enjoy live music at the Doral Yard,

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
so many people!!! but first on my list right now: my mom, my husband, my kids, and my customers! You have been there for me one way or the other in every way… inspiring me, pushing me and getting into the magical chaos that produces change! Also always grateful to the The Bayside Foundation for believing in me and my business when it was just a startup.

Website: www.bunniecakes.com
Instagram: msbunniecakes
Linkedin: Mariana Cortez
Twitter: maribunniecakes
Facebook: Bunnie Cakes
Yelp: Bunnie Cakes
Youtube: Bunnie Cakes Channel

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