Dessert Affairs: Started Small, Now In Three Locations

Dessert Affairs: Started Small, Now In Three Locations

Wilde Lake’s Freshman Mila de Souza and her family opened their own bakery, Dessert Affairs, in June of 2011 after Mila had the idea to bake and sell her popular pastries.

Dessert Affairs is a custom bakery with a humble beginning. Tanika de Souza, Mila’s mother, the head baker, remembers the beginning of the business, which began in their own home and traveled quickly by word of mouth .

“We started after Mila wanted to create a bakery to pay for her toys,” said Tanika.

The de Souzas started with a few simple cake pops. “We used to make things that looked like hamburgers and french fries,” said Tanika. “The french fries were made of sugar cookies, the burger was brownie and there was an un-iced cupcake as a bun. We made small desserts.”

At first, they made these desserts by hand in their own kitchen taking the desserts as gifts to parties. As Tanika explained, people began to ask for the desserts for their parties.

By word of mouth, the business grew until their small home kitchen could not hold their bursting business. They moved the business into a commercial kitchen which Mila’s grandmother bought for the business.

The de Souza family built up the bakery slowly but surely. “As we needed things, we did the appropriate research,” said Tanika. “We got the right types of ovens, refrigerators and other supplies. As our inventory started building up, we moved towards custom cupcakes and character-themed cakes.”

The kiosk in the Columbia Mall is truly special. The desserts that they have created include a pink cake on which a perfectly frosted Minnie Mouse waves a miniscule, delicate paw beside a waxy candle, scarlet flowers perched on top of vanilla cupcakes in alternating white and black cupcake liners, and even tiny turquoise cupcakes disguised as presents garnished with sugary white ribbons. It was in these fine details that Dessert Affairs found its voice.

Dessert Affairs boasts three branches throughout Maryland. There is one in the Columbia Mall, one in Rockville and a recently opened third branch in Waldorf.

For the past few years, Dessert Affairs has found online fame impressing professional cupcake blogger Deidre Turner with both the selection and the taste of the different treats it has to offer.

“They’re pretty well stocked. Their frosting was superior! Not too much and not too sweet,” wrote Turner on her blog, Cupcake Crusaders. “The chocolate cake was moist, which is an absolute must in my book. The texture was surprisingly smooth. Final analysis: well done Dessert Affairs, well done.”

Each of the family members has a different eye for where the business may go. Mila’s father, manager and business owner Atiba de Souza hopes for more franchising opportunities. Mila is excited for taking over the business and building the business up as she gets older. Tanika just wants the business to be able to stand on its own so she can spend more time with her family.

Dessert Affairs has done more than to just provide yummy treats to people all over Maryland, it has brought joy. According to Atiba, that’s the most rewarding thing about owning the business.

“It’s hard to be in this business and not bring joy to people. You’re seeing people at times when they want to celebrate, when they want to be happy and dessert is the centerpiece,” said Atiba. We look forward to seeing Dessert Affairs continuing to bring joy (and cupcakes) to people for years to come.