Hello friendly faces! It’s that time of the week! We’re back with a new CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom spotlight brought to you in part by Mary Gifford of Gifford Law. This week we’re introducing a Highwood mama of three cuties and the creator and owner of Sugar and Spice home bakery in Highwood, Andrea Castellanos! Sugar and Spice all started back in January 2021 right when the hot cocoa bomb craze started. Having a hard time finding them, Andrea set out on a mission to recreate them herself and the rest is history! Enjoy getting to know Andrea, her business and a few of her favorite things. Welcome, Andrea!
Please introduce yourself. Where are you from originally? What city do you live in now? What brought you here?
My name is Andrea Castellanos, I was born and grew up most of my childhood in Chicago. My family moved up to Highwood when I was in my early teens, and I have stuck around since then. I’ve stayed in Highwood because I absolutely love the strong knit community vibe and having my family close. I actually live two doors down from my parents!
You’re a mama! How many kiddos do you have and how old are they? Feel free to brag here.
I have three wonderful and amazing kids! My 12 year old is in middle school and aspires to be an entrepreneur and loves to debate on current events. My 5 year old is in kindergarten. She loves to bake with me in our free time and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. My 4 year old is in preschool. He is the sweetest and very energetic! He loves dinosaurs, superheroes, and anything that has wheels.
What are one or two things people would be surprised to know about you?
Everyone and anyone who gets to know me is always surprised by the fact that I DON’T like strawberries. I can eat literally anything and love to try out new foods but I cannot take in strawberries. Another fun fact most people are surprised to hear is that my favorite go-to comfort-binge TV show is Game of Thrones. Most people don’t take me for a GOT gal and I’ve replayed every episode too many times to count!
What are your favorite local places to spend with the family?
I love to support local businesses. Our favorite place to order take-out is Backyard Grill! My kids love their pasta and I love their chicken caesar wraps and gyros! We can also never go wrong with la Plancha Loca and Washington Gardens both in Highwood! In the summer we are at the Highwood Farmers Market every Wednesday. There are so many local businesses to support and the kids have so much fun meeting up with their friends.
We love to support local, too! Speaking of which, please introduce Sugar and Spice.
Sugar and Spice all started back in January 2021 right when the hot cocoa bomb craze started. I was searching high and low for hot cocoa bombs because my kids went crazy for them after they had their first ones. So, after having a difficult time finding them, I went where I knew best. Pinterest! I researched how to make them at home, ordered my supplies and got to molding! My kids loved them! Family and friends enjoyed them, and very quickly my inbox was filling up with requests. My mother, also my biggest supporter, kept pushing for so many years to open my own little business. She always saw my talent. Being the awesome mom that she is, she purchased/invested in a ton of supplies to get me started and going. Hot cocoa bombs turned into smash hearts and those turned into cakesicles. Cakesicles are definitely the new cake pop and popular with everyone!
What did you do before becoming a baker?
Before becoming a baker, I was a stay-at-home mom and a student. My kids are my life and soul and the best times with them are when we are all in the kitchen together. If we were baking or cooking together or enjoying something we all made up, we were all bonding and making memories. I was and am still working on obtaining my business degree.
Who are your life’s influencers and mentors?
I have to say my mother, grandmother, and aunts are my biggest influencers. Although they weren’t big bakers they all cooked amazing traditional meals. Since I was little, I always saw them in the kitchen and it was like magic. They created these wonderful meals that brought the family all together. I love to make the same meals they do, but baking was something more special to me. My mother will always show me something she saw online and ask me to recreate it.
What advice can you give other mamas out there who are looking to start a small business?
The best advice I can give to other moms out there looking to start their own business is don’t be scared. Don’t be scared to try something new. Don’t be scared of what people will think. Don’t be scared to press on that button to create your business page. There’s so much room to learn and grow. There is also so much more room for women!
What’s on the horizon for you both personally and professionally?
In the next few years I hope to have my business degree and I have made it my goal to travel more with my kids. I also am working on growing my business even more when it comes to more items on my menu, more flavors and designs for the cakesicles, and even a storefront.
How can we find you to place an order for Sugar and Spice yummies?
To place an order anyone can message our Facebook or Instagram pages. I can also be reached by phone or text at (847)-660-3090. I look forward to hearing from you!