“How are you going to make a store that only sells Bundt cakes work in the healthy San Diego market? Are you crazy?”

Owner, Mara Fortin, heard this comment frequently in 2007 when she opened the first franchise location of this now hugely popular chain, in Poway. Unfazed and slightly naïve, Mara and her business partner JP did not hesitate to make the required sacrifices. Mara quit her successful law practice of eight years and moved herself and their two daughters, nine months and two at the time, from Las Vegas to Mara’s hometown of San Diego.

“My mom and sisters thought that I had lost my mind,” Mara tells Giving Back Magazine. “But I always believed.” Mara acknowledges that the first few years were rough and candidly admits that she did not know what she was doing at times. However, she always believed in the superior product. Even with the economic downturn and the 2007 fires, sales steadily increased and a second location was opened in 2009 in Del Mar. “The Del Mar bakery was an instant success. I knew then that our plan for global cake domination was a go,” Mara recounts with a smile.

And the plans are marching forward! A third highly successful bakery opened in November 2011 in Mission Valley. The fourth and fifth are scheduled to open by this Thanksgiving; one in Carlsbad off of Palomar Airport Road in the Costco Center and another in Chula Vista in the Village Walk at EastLake. A sixth will open next year in San Marcos!

“We are successful because we believe in maintaining high quality standards, especially with the product and guest experience. We have a great team who believes in ongoing excellence,” comments Mara. “When all is said and done, each morning I wake up and just feel so very thankful.”