Have you ever had a passion to do something or follow a path, but you were unsure of how it would turn out? It could be something as small as choosing this degree over that one. Or maybe even as big as following a dream that you’ve wanted to chase for so long. Most of us have and the crazy thing is it’s never too late. Sometimes life has a funny way of coming full circle. And it’s in those moments you realize this is what I should have been doing all along. This dream I am living, was the dream I was born to live it. All of this is true for Katina Sims, owner of Sweetfixx Dessert Shop. Obtaining a degree in Accounting and starting up two other businesses, Katina now realizes she was destined to become a pastry chef after all. As we chatted in her newly purchased shop in the Grove, she shared with me her journey to blocking out the nervous voices and following her dreams. With a business that started out of her home kitchen, she found herself in the hearts and tummies of people throughout the Lou one dessert at a time. As an avid follower of hers on Instagram, I couldn’t wait to hear how three and a half years later, following her dreams had finally paid off.
DELUX: When did you decide to become a pastry chef?
KATINA: I always baked and cooked everything. Growing up my sister and I had turns when it came to cooking dinner. My mother would write out everything and that’s what we would follow. I would probably say I’ve been cooking since I was about eight or nine. At that point, it progressed and as I got older I started watching the Food Network. I got hooked on how they baked and presented the cakes. Next thing you know, I was subscribing and researching how to do it everything. After researching everything I ended up opening a dog boutique and then a ladies’ boutique. I knew I wanted to do cupcake shop, but I got nervous and went a few other routes before finally finding myself here.
DELUX: How did Sweetfixx become the phenomenon it is?
KATINA: Well, originally once I decided to finally do this I took a few classes, flew out to L.A., Miami, and Chicago to watch various people’s techniques and really taught myself how to do it. After that I started selling desserts out of my house. It started off small and then from there I gain more exposure. What really got me out there was I baked something for a guy who posted it on his page and Mocha Latte saw it. From there, we messaged one another back and forth before finally meeting up. After meeting up with her, she encouraged me to put my work out there more. I gave her sample and after that she asked to post pictures of my work. Once she started posting, my phone started blowing up. It was then I realized I was truly in business (laughs).
DELUX: Okay so you’re in business now and things are taking off for you. Was this when you knew you should go full steam ahead?
KATINA: Honestly, I was still like okay whatever. Part of me felt like okay, maybe this was what God wanted me to do. On the other hand, I was still trying to relocate to Houston. I was determined to move out of St. Louis. I can’t tell you why I wanted to move to Houston, but my heart was there, and I was like I don’t want to bake anymore. It just so happens I received my final denial letter in November and I was finally like okay guess I’m not leaving anymore. From there, I contacted my son’s father about a business location. Some phone calls were made and then I end up here at this place. Funny thing is, I had drove by this place two years ago when I was looking for a location. The owner’s number was still in my phone and before I knew it I was moving towards getting this place fixed up.
DELUX: We all have a first time or moment we eventually present our work to the world. Tell me about your first time presenting your desserts? What was the experience like for you?
KATINA: It was amazing! I had already been baking for work and things like that, but it really didn’t set in until I had that first paying customer pick up their order from my house. I cried because I was so outdone at how she was so happy with what I did for her. She was appreciative of how I took my time with her order. That was the moment it set in how I can really make an impact on someone’s event.
DELUX: Every business has a niche or special touch that keeps people coming back. What would you say yours is?
KATINA: My customer service. I treat every order like it’s my own. And I offer personable follow ups after each order/event. I always try to make sure I contact each client after they have picked up their order to make sure they enjoyed it. That’s what has won a lot of my customers over. Word of mouth has really built up my business; therefore, maintaining my customer service is imperative. To me, I feel like you can spend your money anywhere, but you choose to spend it with me. It’s that very philosophy that pushes me to give each customer my all.
To read the rest of the interview, click here to download our Eat+Drink Issue.