By Daniela Degrassi

 

 

Ámame means ‘love me’ in Spanish. And there’s nothing not to love about Anna Castellanos, the San Diego based cake designer behind Ámame Desserts. Full of life and passion she’s as sweet as her beautiful creations! I had a chance to connect with Anna when listing her business in the California Vegan Wedding Directory Cake and Desserts page and we kept the conversation ongoing while in lockdown. What I love about her approach is that she wants to master every recipe before making it available to the public so she keeps testing until her palate is satisfied, that’s why you will only find a few options on her website, but you can be sure that each of her creations are total crowd pleasers. When she mentioned she was doing virtual cake tastings I couldn’t resist from learning more! Here’s my chat with Anna about how she started her company and how she’s holding up during the pandemic.

Anna, when did your vegan journey start and how it inspired your business? 
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My journey began when I turned Vegan 5 years ago. Baking vegan didn’t start until my third year in but did not make our business into it until late last year. When I went Vegan, I did not see cakes that were appealing to the eye. What I saw was small tarts, cookies, and little desserts here and there (not saying those aren’t, I just wanted to see more cakes that had the “WOW” factor). Therefore, when we decided to make Ámame Desserts full Vegan, we wanted to make cakes that you see on tv, with all the beautiful colors, decorations, appeal & so on. We truly believe that you can have a cake of your dreams and eat it too!
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What areas do you serve?
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Ámame Desserts is based in Chula Vista, CA. But we do serve San Diego County.
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What are your most popular desserts? 
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Our most popular desserts are our cakes. Most customers that order with us are mostly themed  birthday cakes which are really fun to make! But when people want something on a smaller scale, people do order our cookies and they are pretty delicious if you ask me.
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While in lockdown, you’ve been doing virtual tastings, can you tell us how that works?
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During lockdown, we have had a couple virtual wedding cake tastings. When someone calls us, we set up a to go box of our  mini cakes, deliver them, then set up a time to do a zoom call and chat with the happy couple for a good 30-45 minutes. On our chat, we guide them on how to taste the cakes, talk about their design, budget, what they like in a wedding cake and what they don’t like, their concerns, questions and so on. It definitely helps couples have a professional relationship with their wedding cake designer and helps us better serve our clients too.
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Have you had time to experiment new recipes while in lockdown? How are you spending time otherwise?
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We haven’t really done new recipes  for cakes but we did practice baking biscuits haha I know it isn’t cake related but it’s something we wanted to do and came out great! But when we aren’t baking, we normally watch cake videos on Youtube, Netflix, or just be in the quiet, the quiet was nice too!
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Would you like to have a brick and mortar shop one day? 
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I would love to have a cake studio one day, that’s one of our goals. We want to have a place of our own and work our sweet magic in there. Hopefully in the next year or two I want to have a cake studio for Ámame Desserts.
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What’s your favorite dessert?
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My favorite dessert would have to be what most people like to enjoy, chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. We are always making desserts but when a customer orders a chocolate cake, we always make sure to double the recipe and make a small cake for us to enjoy.
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To get in touch with Anna, visit her website and follow her on Instagram for more swooning dessert pics!
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An incurable enthusiast and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California. Currently splitting her time between SF Bay Area and her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.