Hi! Oftentimes, people want to know who the face behind a business is, so I want to share a little bit about myself and how Sweet Realities came to be.
My name is Alexis Collins. I am 26 years young and the owner of Sweet Realities.
One day I really wanted some chocolate chip cookies and didn’t feel like heading to the grocery store to buy any and decided to bake them instead (in hindsight, it totally would’ve been much easier to take the 6 minute drive to Publix). While measuring out the baking soda, the salt, the flour and watching the butter and sugar cream using a hand mixer, a sudden wave of calm and happiness came over me. It just felt right.
After waiting “at least” two hours for my cookie dough to chill (again, Nestle cookie dough was less than a mile away!) I finally got to scoop my dough and watch them bake.
To my surprise, I ended up creating hockey pucks. Not soft, chewy cookies with the perfectly crispy edges. I’d created hard, flavorless and dry hockey pucks.
This didn’t stop me. It motivated me. It made me want to keep trying recipes to make that perfect cookie. Eventually, I moved on to cupcake and cake recipes. I started formulating all kinds of recipes. It was something that brought me pure bliss. My family served as taste testers for months; helping me figure out what needed tweaking and what recipes needed to completely be trashed. It was then that Sweet Realities was born.
A year later, in 2017, with the push from my mom, I made the decision to go to a culinary program at my local technical college. Now, I’ve always known how to cook because of my Jamaican background, and by then, I had perfected over 15 different cupcake recipes, but I was hungry to learn more. The biggest thing I took away from culinary school was that you can do anything you set your mind to. My Hot Foods instructor, Chef Peter Babcock, was the best instructor and person I’ve ever met. Any questions or concerns I had, he never failed to answer. I still have the piece of parchment paper he wrote on about how to fill and stack a cake. He also gave me my first set of French Pastry books and professional baking pans. I could not thank him enough.
Sweet Realities has always been in me. It took me almost going through school for a career that was not meant for me before I found my calling. Some people are stuck in careers that don’t make them happy. I have been fortunate to find out at 19 years old what I wanted to do in life. For most people, they may or may not ever truly go after what they were meant to do or even know what it is, but when and if they do, it is the best feeling ever.
Fast forward to a few years later, I am now basking in the greatness of Sweet Realities. I graduated with a degree in Culinary Management and certification as a Business Specialist June of 2018. On August 15, 2020, I realized my dream of opening my store front.