Know Your Neighbors: Mayra McEvoy of Chubby Love Bake Shop

Think about all of the times you’ve celebrated a big milestone or achievement. What do all of those occasions have in common? Hard work, determination and a dash of luck? Nope, more likely it was cake. Cake can also make an ordinary day special. Similarly, it’s hard to be blue there’s a plate of freshly baked, beautiful cookies on the counter. Or when a friend surprises you with a gorgeous cupcake.

This week’s ‘neighbor’ recognizes the importance of celebrating special moments with family and friends and has built her own business – Chubby Love Bake Shop – around just that. Read on to learn more about Oak Park (by way of London, by way of Miami) resident Mayra McEvoy’s journey from corporate to founder and Chief Baker of a custom bakery, how she spends her free time, her three tips for other new business owners and even her opinion of Justin Bieber.

Around Oak Park
We’d love to learn a little bit about you – tell us about yourself!

Mayra McEvoy
I am the founder and Chief Baker at Chubby Love Bake Shop, a custom bakery.

I do not have a storefront, but through my website and word of mouth from my brilliant Oak Park/River Forest customer base, I help families craft unique and memorable desserts as a centerpiece to mark their special celebrations.

Up to a few years ago, I was a Project Manager with Accenture which was so interesting, but then when I had my kids I decided that I needed more of a work/life balance. So I said goodbye to life as a road warrior and hello to Mom’s taxi service. I said goodbye to managing large IT implementations, and instead hello to managing lunches, play dates and navigating Costco!

As a new Mom, I started to emulate family life and celebrations as I had learned from my own mother and grandmother. From one day to the next, I went from baking my children’s birthday cakes to baking cakes and cookies for my friends every weekend. This soon blossomed into my current business. It all happened quite organically, but I’m overjoyed with the results.

Today, I think of my clients as friends and their events as my events. That has created some magical moments which are exciting and fulfilling, and that is why I now do what I do.

AOP
And when you’re not busy creating confectionary masterpieces, what do you enjoy doing? Who are you with?

Mayra
Having been born in the Dominican Republic and then growing up in Miami, Florida I am all about family and celebration…especially the cake! I grew up surrounded by my extended family and every birthday, wedding, and celebration always required a party.

So nowadays when I’m not busy in the kitchen, it’s important for me to spend time with my own family, and at the center of my world are my wonderful kids. We love spending time in Oak Park taking advantage of the great parks, facilities, and seasonal activities.

On one of the few evenings where I have time with my husband, we really enjoy visiting new restaurants (strictly for research of course!). Throw in a good movie, and then I’m a happy camper!

AOP
What brought you to Oak Park?

Mayra
We relocated here from London in 2009 because of our jobs. We haven’t looked back since! Oak Park has the nicest people in the world. We came because of work but the people, the city, and Oak Park is why we stay. We feel at home here, and the way my business has been embraced only reaffirms that decision.

AOP
What does the perfect day in OP/RF/FP look like for you?

Mayra
Waking up on a beautiful, fresh Fall day and taking a stroll up to Mills Park and then onto breakfast at Delia’s or Marion Street Cheese Market. Then taking a walk to the Oak Park Farmer’s Market for some shopping and doughnuts. We’d then catch a movie and round out the day with dinner at Francesca’s and ice cream at Brown Cow. We love our food!!

AOP
I would not be able to resist eating the merchandise. What are your personal favorites from your menu?

Mayra
I truly love everything, but if I had to decide, for the cake it’s a tie between vanilla bean cake with chocolate frosting or dulce de leche frosting. Oh and our carrot cake is amazing too. For cookies, it’s our vanilla-almond sugar cookies – they’re mouthwatering.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

AOP
What question are you asked most often?

Mayra
“Where are you located?” At first, customers find it confusing that we don’t have a physical store. We have design consultations in person, over the phone or via email. We then work out of two commercial kitchens to bake our products. Orders are then available for pick-up in Oak Park or delivery. Delivery is complimentary within Oak Park, River Forest, and Forest Park.

AOP
What has been the most difficult part of starting your own business?

Mayra
Starting out, I underestimated how physically demanding this job would be. Given how intricate and custom each event is, the preparation and execution of each product requires a multitude of steps that span several days.

AOP
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned while running Chubby Love Bake Shop?

Mayra
To value my time! Starting a new business can be all absorbing and it can be tricky to balance family time with business demands. It’s a challenge I face every day, but I’ve been successful because I’m lucky to have a supportive husband and team. It took a while, but I’ve finally found a formula that works for me.

AOP
In your opinion, what are the top three things someone should consider before starting their own business?

Mayra
1) Be prepared to work hard and make sacrifices
2) Understand the power of social media and how it can benefit your business. This one is huge for us.
3) LOVE what you do! You’ll probably hit many bumps in the road and loving what you do helps one to stay dedicated.

AOP
If you were magically given three more hours per day, what would you do with them?

Mayra
I would take more orders! We’re a small team and demand is such that we can’t accept every request. We’re usually booked out 2-3 weeks in advance. Oh and I’d definitely sleep more.

AOP
What did you want to be when you were a kid?

Mayra
When I was 10, my Mom said that I used to read and study cookbooks like they were novels. So I was always captivated by baking and creating, even at an early age. Today, nothing has changed. I still love to sit down with a cup of tea and pore through a new cookbook.

AOP
What is your favorite season?

Mayra
Fall, Fall, and Fall! Being from Miami, I never experienced seasonal change and Fall has stolen my heart. I adore the perfect temperature, the changing of the leaves, and the zillion fun Fall activities.

AOP
What is your favorite song right now?

Mayra
I love ALL music, but my current obsession is pop. Please don’t judge me, but I can’t get enough of Justin Bieber’s “What do you mean?” My kiddos love it too, it’s always on repeat in the car.
My husband often asks when I’m going to outgrow my pop phase. My answer to him is always, ‘Never!’

AOP
How would you describe yourself in three words? How would your friends/family describe you?

Mayra
I would describe myself as devoted, fun-loving, and detailed-obsessed. As my customers often say when we’re discussing the designs, “I trust you because you’ll obsess about the cake design a lot more than I will?”

I think my family and friends top 3 words would be loyal, caring, and talented.


For more information on Chubby Love Bake Shop and/or to get in touch with Mayra, visit:
Mayra McEvoy
www.chubbylovebakeshop.com
Email: mayra@chubbylovebakeshop.com
Phone: 708-613-7442
www.facebook.com/chubbylovebakeshop
https://www.instagram.com/chubbylovebakeshop/

Twitter: @ChubbyLoveBakes

About

Kelli is a contributor for Around Media Group. She also (intermittently) writes about the restoration of her 100 year old Oak Park house (and other stuff) at downwithop.com. In her ‘real life’ she works as a Marketing Research Director. And in her free time she loves hanging out with her husband/friends/family, wine, comedy, design, biking, organizing, traveling, meeting new people, taking classes and exploring OP/RF/FP – not necessarily in that order.

4 thoughts on “Know Your Neighbors: Mayra McEvoy of Chubby Love Bake Shop

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *