Beyond Decadence

A mobile/pop-up bakery 
serving the Lake Norman 
area of North Carolina 


view:  full / summary

Soft opening on Monday, 7/31!

Posted on July 25, 2017 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I finally clicked “Publish” after the gazillionth round of changes to the website! The Order Online store is now active and functioning, but I'll be ready to soft open on Monday, July 31!

As you browse the menu, I’m certain a couple of questions may come to mind…

How did she select THIS menu?

Excellent question! The menu definitely caused many sleepless nights. My ultimate goal was to strike a balance between the American, gluten-free, and French desserts that were wildly popular in Illinois while staying within the NC Dept of Agriculture rules. The menu will evolve, so only time will tell which will become my signature desserts in North Carolina!

It all LOOKS delicious, but I’m not sure I want a 1/2 dozen to start? How do I REALLY know that her desserts are good?

I too would be hesitant to purchase a 1/2 dozen of anything without trying it first.   So I have a created an option to alleviate any hesitation. Please use the Contact Us/Decadence Break link to schedule a dessert break at your place of business (Lake Norman area). I will bring an assortment of individually packaged desserts (as seen on the website) for you and your co-workers to purchase.  I'm confident your tastebuds will be tantalized and you will then be able to order online without any reservations!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Our "Grand Opening" will be celebrated with an official Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony.  At this time the ceremony details are TBD.

Decadently yours,

Chef Maria

28 days later....

Posted on July 16, 2017 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I can hardly believe I arrived in Huntersville just shy of 1 month ago. To say “it’s been a 28 day whirlwind” seems like the understatement of the century! First, there were a sea of boxes to unpack, things to discard/donate (that never should have left Illinois), services to transition, endless items to purchase, and numerous trips to Charlotte! I detest my home looking like a “box factory”, so everything is in place and all my moving boxes are long gone! My kitchen is all setup, supplies are arriving daily, and new business relationships are continually being formed. I even managed to install the required shatter-resistant light bulbs in my kitchen ceiling lights without falling off the step ladder and hang pictures without hitting my thumb!

Last Friday, July 14, I passed my home inspection conducted by the North Carolina Dept of Agriculture with flying colors! The inspector was very impressed with the detail my application contained, my well-thought-out kitchen and storeroom, cleanliness, and professionalism. She said that they don’t give out grades, but if they did I earned an A+!  I said a big “Thank you Jesus!” and then celebrated with ice cream after she left!

I must admit hearing her complimentary words validated all the time and detail I put into my application and planning was time very-well spent. I was elated to pass the inspection with no modifications required and received my approval on the spot!

All the transitional moving tasks are finally winding down!  Later this week, I can finally test my recipes in my new oven and get acclimated to a new production flow.

I’m still planning on a July opening date, so please encourage your friends to follow my FB page so you’ll be in “the know” when I announce the grand opening details!

Decadently yours,

Chef Maria

....leaving at WHAT time?!

Posted on June 27, 2017 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

3:30am CST Father’s Day (June 18) morning, I quietly said “goodbye” to nearly 2 decades of memories as my car cut through the darkness across the Illinois interstate for the final time. It rained a little during the trip with lightening off ahead in the distance and I thought to myself “God, I hope THAT’S not what I’m driving into!” Gentle raindrops kept me company through part of Indiana and Ohio. By 9:06am EST, I crossed into Kentucky then twisted through the foothills of Tennessee around noon. I recall the beautiful sunny sky dancing off the scenery and marveled over businesses that appeared to be carved out of the side of a mountain. Then finally at 2:34pm ~ “Welcome to North Carolina”!  I MADE IT!!!! My journey ended when I arrived in Huntersville at 5:30pm ~ 750+ miles from Illinois. Praise the Lord for a safe journey, no car issues, beautiful weather, no accidents, no road rage drivers, surviving a 6% grade for 4 miles in Asheville, and Facebook to read during gas stops that friends were continuing to cover me in prayer the entire trip! 

It’s been a long road to get here but, I’m finally home! I quickly unpacked the car load and took pride in getting those items in place. Well, you know what they say about pride? “It comes before a fall!” The “fall” in this case was the 4,700+ lbs of my possessions the movers delivered a few days later. You know, all those things you FORGOT about because they’ve been in storage for months while you were waiting to move! OMGoodness, where did all those boxes come from? “Are you sure that’s mine? Is the truck empty yet? Did you leave me a path around the boxes?” I’m sure we all remember "the move" that left us feeling overwhelmed yet excited when you find random essentials like a trash can, paper towels, and silverware.


It’s only been 9 days, but I’ve managed to get over half of it all unpacked already. I still need to find a “home” for everything, but just getting the boxes and packing paper out of the way makes a huge difference. As “riveting” as unpacking is, I’ve taken breaks to continue to get the business up and running in NC. I was able to do a lot of prep work in advance, but there are still some key pieces I needed to do once I actually got here. Initially, I thought I’d be operational in June, but now I know July is much more realistic. Feel free to “Share” the website and Facebook page ~ July is just around the corner and I'll announce everything via my social media pages!


This weekend I’ll be pouring through my recipes to make sure I haven’t overlooked something phenomenal, so be sure to bookmark the Order Online page to see what makes the initial menu.  I’m very excited to bring my niche/specialty bakery to the Lake Norman area!

Decadently yours,

Chef Maria

In my mind I'm going to Carolina

Posted on June 10, 2017 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (1)

I'd like to think my journey has gone full circle, but in actuality I think it's just entering the next phase.  Perhaps you've read my story on the "About Us" tab and are still wondering "Who is this lady and what brought her to North Carolina?"   Well, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and let me fill in the missing pieces.

It's often said that "life is what happens while you are making plans” or the way to make God laugh is to tell Him your plans and ask Him to bless them!  After the last 6+ years of life experiences, I now believe those old adages without hesitation.

The year is 2010 ~ 224 Amtrak trips were over, the ink on my pastry school certificate was dry, and all my sweat equity was just beginning to pay off as my 2 year old store-front bakery's star was on the rise.  My reputation for superior products/service opened doors to doing business with the local country club, radio and TV interviews, awards and recognition.  I was planning to establish wholesale relationships with some local coffee shops and more. Then the phone rang…

Being on the receiving end of a phone call that delivers life-altering news is something you can’t even brace yourself for.  "Your mother is down and the ambulance is already here" were words that took my breath away.  My mother had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke that relegated her to nursing home care for the remainder of her life.  I made the decision to close my one-woman bakery and return to the structure of a corporate job in order to be her advocate, stand by her side during rehabilitation, or whatever was ahead.  6 years, 7 months, 1 day later, my sweet little mama left her partially paralyzed weakened earthly body to go be with Jesus.

As I grieved her passing in the months that followed, I was flooded with peace that my promise to be by her side until her final breath had been fulfilled.  I was constantly by her side through multiple nursing homes, countless hospitalizations, endless infections, and doctor’s appointments.  My mother was my heart.  Now for the first time in years, it was OK to think about me and where did I want to go.  I started preparing my longtime home to go on the market and simply see where the Lord was leading.  How would I decide where to go and which state(s) to even explore?!   I started with prayer and a blank map of the United States.   Next, I researched the food laws in EVERY state to determine which states even allowed bakeries to operate from home.   That alone efficiently narrowed my choices down to Arizona, Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina. I immediately eliminated Arizona and Georgia.

When my house went on the market, I had no idea I would receive an offer which I accepted in a mere 9 days!   I was hoping to first squeeze in a visit to Texas and North Carolina, but there was no time to visit both with a house to pack and the closing clock ticking.  So I managed to take a quick trip to Texas which in turn allowed me to add it to my list of eliminated states.

Once the sale of my house closed, I seized the opportunity to visit a longtime friend who had recently relocated to North Carolina. As soon as I left the Charlotte airport parking garage, I felt like I was at home!  I found the people of North Carolina to be friendly, helpful, and welcoming. I felt God’s peace, happiness, and felt alive!  Once I found a place to live I breathed a huge sigh of relief.


Since I still had some time before I could complete my move, I seized the opportunity to visit with friends in various states and explore bakeries in new cities.  I was surprised to find that cupcakes are still very much IN across the various cities.  My bakery research ultimately underscored my desire to strike a delicate balance between what's in and other decadent possibilities.  However, my goal remains unchanged ~ to tantalize your tastebuds and exceed your expectations!  

My Order Online page will be completely activated once my transition to North Carolina is complete.  Please subscribe to my blog and Facebook page to see where and when I will pop-up in in the Lake Norman area starting in July.  

Decadently yours,

Chef Maria