On Friday, January 30th, the doors to MiaBella Yogurt & Desserts opened to the public in Vista, California, and our new baby was born. Mili’s Sweets is the “Desserts” portion of the shop. My sweet friend Amy, is the owner of MiaBella.
The best part was seeing some familiar faces. Our family, friends and my wonderful customers from my catering-days made us feel so incredibly special!
It has been a lot of work and a very personal journey. The moments in the first couple weeks were beautiful and special, somewhat like holding a newborn in your arms, with the same stayed-up most-of-the-night-pain that comes with it. I’m not going to lie, I cried on more than one occasion, because of the drastic transition I was facing from being with my kids most of the time, to coordinating a full-time work schedule. Eventually, I will completely forget what I went through and have already gotten into the swing of things with more assurance and sleep. It’s all good stuff and part of the process.
To have your own business that is open daily via retail has to be a labor of love. It cannot compare to what I have done in the last five years since starting Mili’s Sweets. You put your heart and soul into a room, for people to walk in and out of. You put a ton of passion and care into everything in the room, especially your products, so that your best can shine through. Each time our doorbell rings, we feel happy, excited and grateful to welcome anyone who has chosen to come into MiaBella for a treat.
I do feel like I’m living the dream. When I see that simple decal of my logo on the front window, I still pinch myself. I can’t believe it. I’m so thankful. I work so hard and it feels so good to be here.
With my new adventure, I have hired employees for the first time in my life. It’s exciting and wonderful. My mom was my first official employee but she is a part-time volunteer. I hope that in the near future, she can retire from her job, but in the mean time, she will be with me when she can and I have a small staff to help me get to the place where I’m suppose to be.
Here she was with me in the kitchen, the morning after we opened. To have her by my side is such a joy. No one loves me the way she does or would be so excited to help me wash dishes! To see the video of Maria Rosaria, a 71 year old Nonna, dancing in the kitchen, please click on this link: Mili’s Sweets – Dancing Momma video
A couple weeks later, we threw our grand opening celebration. It was President’s Day and it also just so happened to be my son’s birthday. We couldn’t wait to celebrate!
When I say we, I mean my family. I cannot be myself, or who I am without my team. I simply cannot do my job without them. My family and faith are my life. They hold me up. They are my cheering section. They have to be incredibly patient and understanding. They see through my walls and know exactly what I’m all about. They are why I am doing this.
What’s even more amazing, is how proud they are of me. They want to do anything at all to help me and to share what Mili’s Sweets is about. To be so loved and supported is an incredible feeling. I feel like I can accomplish anything when I have my husband as my other half and our kids by our side.
Then there are the incredible family and friends in the background. Many of them were able to attend our grand opening and it was such a treat to be with them! We started the morning with a blessing of the shop from Fr. Patrick, who has provided me with unforgettable spiritual direction and guidance. I’m forever grateful! As the day went on, more and more wonderful people joined us. They were responsible for making the day the best it could be. I love them for it.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I will again. I could not have moved forward with this next chapter of Mili’s Sweets at retail without the help of my dad. He’s the sweetheart in the wheelchair, with his service dog and my son by his side. He is such a great dad and loves me so much. It was his investment that helped me to get just about everything I needed to start-up.
(Believe me when I tell you that everything, absolutely everything happens for a reason – no matter how painful. It was the horrible accident that caused him to eventually loose his leg, that gave him the ability to help me financially. It was this same accident that brought the two of us closer together than ever before. It is a pretty amazing story, to save for another time, if I have the courage to do so. Let’s just say, I’m so very proud of him too. xox)
One of my favorite moments was singing ‘happy birthday’ to our son, Nikko. This kid is such a blessing and a joy. If it weren’t for him and his allergies to peanuts and tree nuts, I would have never started baking as a professional in the first place.
Celebrating and cherishing these precious moments together is what a good life is all about. THIS is the real dream that I’m living. To have the opportunity to love one another and to be together is our greatest gift.
Needless to say, with his awesome balloon-jet pack and one of his mom’s cupcakes, he had one of the best days of his life. (So he says and I believe him.) We won’t soon forget it!
Thank you for being here. Take care.