Photos by Rebecca Ruth Photography
Okay, let’s meet Suga Mama. The woman behind Suga Mama’s Bakery. The fire behind the grind, baker, mama, and businesswoman.
Q. Alright, give me the basics. Name, age, where you’re from, etc… people want to know I promise.
Alexis Armenteros- VanAssche (but not really)
26 years old
I moved here from MN but I’m from Florida, my parents moved to MN right before my Junior year in the middle of a mid-life crisis.
2 kiddos, and a man-child
Mom of two fur babies
Q. What brought you to St Thomas?
It was the furthest away from home I could get without a passport, and my job was paying for it. Why wouldn’t I?
Q. What’s your baking background?
My mom has had me baking since I was a kid, in the kitchen she’s in the zone. Literally, anything she can recreate. She is a French-trained pastry chef but only recently. She had always wanted to “go to school, become legit” turns out she already knew everything they taught and just racked up a ton of debt.
So, I fake it till I make it, I fail A LOT but it doesn’t stop me from trying again. I love food, dessert especially and I love that fact that people are typically happy to see a lady with a cake show up. Whenever I get the itch to “become legit” I call my Mom and ask how much she owes in her loan and reality hits. Then I continue practicing how to make something for the hundredth time.
Q. How did suga mamas come about? Why a bakery?
My husband was going to kill me. I was baking out of the house for family and friends, and a friend had recently bought a coffee shop, while she knew how to make coffee baking was not her cup of jo (🙄 I know), so she asked if I wanted to help, and I did. So that kept me baking every day rather than every other week. Fast forward to all the closets and cupboards being booby-trapped with baking shit. My husband told me either do it or move on. While he drives me nuts he really is my biggest supporter and driving force.
So I did it. And he will never let me live it down! He suggested Suga Mama’s as a total joke, little did he know how serious I was.
Q. Who inspires you as a baker?
Every god damn mom who attempts to make something, even if it’s from a box. It’s a real leap of faith to put yourself out there and try.
Taylor Neumeister, not only an amazing cake artist, Harry Potter fan, and auntie but the best friend a girl can ask for. She’s always around for my middle of the night breakdowns and calls about flavor combinations.
Lizzio Marek the Suga Mama herself, she’s one badass lady and I LOvE that. She’s a mom first which 🙌🏻 I get, some people think you can’t do it all. They obviously don’t know us.
Michelle Green, not only a Baker, and Mom but she’s a business lady. This lady inspires me for more reasons then I can count but my biggest reason is she’s real. Some days it fucking sucks and it’s okay to say that. She puts it all in perspective and keeps it 💯
Collette Divittio’s drive keeps me going. After being turned away from multiple bakeries she said fuck it (well maybe not but I like to think so) and started her own bakery.
Q. What’s your favorite thing to bake?
Cookies 🍪 there’s nothing like a warm cookie
Q. Tell me your go-to technique?
Fake it till you make it
Q. Any trends that you’re loving right now?
I’m really digging the modern “cement” cake, and marbling. I’m a softy for neutrals
Q. If you could only bake one flavor of cake for the rest of your life, what would it be.
Q. So, do you actually have cake for breakfast?
All the time, but if you slather it in jam it’s basically a muffin.
See that wasn’t so hard… now, let’s have some cake.