We had the good fortune of connecting with Marian Lopez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marian, what role has risk played in your life or career?
For me taking risk has always taken me to a better place, I feel it’s truly what they say, “no risk, no gain”! You must put yourself out there and take chances even if you might lose because if you do not you will always wonder “what if”. If I hadn’t taken the chances that I did; I would not be the person I am today, I would not have attended college in Oklahoma, nor lived in Europe for three years, or on an island for two years (hey I was a kid born and raised in East LA). I would not have had two of the best children who have given me the best family. I would have never pitched a business to a group that in turn lead me to my current business! I would not have had the opportunity to speak to groups of over 1,000 people about business, about life and the direction of my business. Risk can be scary; it sometimes could be misconstrued as dumb and foolish. However, for me and many others it is about life; about not just settling for what you are dealt with but about making your own path; not worrying about the outcome or being stuck on a certain outcome!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
You know I love talking about Mama Cheesecake! It started off as a way to generate funds for my two kids extracurricular school activity and the original recipe was developed over 25 years ago. Right around high school, I left it behind. However, after 14 years in another career I realized it was time to get back to what truly made me happy and that was baking and creating incredible cheesecakes. I once baked them and sold them for the love of my kids now I bake them for everyone and they are still made with love, of course! I think what sets me apart is I handcraft the desserts verses massed produced. I also handcraft my plant based with no soy or nuts, I feel this is important to both taste and health! I handcraft my own gluten free for the same reason.
Another thing that sets me apart (and I am really proud of) is the fact that I have been able help out with donations whether it be time or money on a yearly basis with such organizations as Cancer Support Community of Redondo Beach, The AltaMed Foundation, as well as several organizations in support of Veterans! This past Mother’s Day I was able to serve desserts for a battered women and children’s shelter. Supporting these organizations has always been a huge part of this business, giving back is very important to me. Since Covid-19 many of the events have been cancelled but I will find another way to support them all. We all need to do our part to help our communities! Especially now, with Covid-19.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh now I love doing this… hmm I would start off with dinner in my own neighborhood for dinner at Green Leaf Thai Cuisine. Afterwards we would go over to Costa for a great drink and to listen to music. On one or two mornings we would go into Montebello to Canela Bakery for a great Mexican breakfast. Then off to Long Beach for some sun and fun. We would go into Pasadena to walk down Colorado maybe stop in at Bodega Wine bar for some great wine and a brownie (they have this insane brownie made by me). On one of the nights we would drive over to Laguna Hills to Villa Roma for dinner, their food is insanely delicious and if we are lucky, we will catch one of their salsa nights. On another day we would take a drive to Sunset to Vanilla Black and have a super yummy cappuccino they are the best! We would have to take a drive to Highland Park to check out all the great places there as well. Also, on another day a trip to DTLA and surrounding fun stops such as… Olvera Street, Grand central Market and perhaps as the day cools down up to Griffith Observatory to see the amazing views. I would finish it all up with a great get together with family & friends, music and cheesecake bites of course!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh there are some top individuals who have given me support they are family and close friends. They have cheered me on, helped me with pop ups, at farmers markets, baking in the kitchen, washing dishes, doing paperwork, working with me on business finances, website building, social media. Not to mention the thousands of delicious cheesecake bites passed out at events all over LA and LA County. Helping me to keep on laughing no matter what! They have also celebrated and cheered me on with different success in my life and in business. Mama Cheesecake would not be here without them! They are my kids, my two sisters, my cousins (Marcus, William, Linda, Suzan, Acacia, Maureen, Susanne), my aunt Ofelia and my uncle Andrew. My good friends Kiki, Rachel, Karla, Lori, Regina, Erica, Dennis. They all have played a huge role in supporting and helping Mama Cheesecake! I have been lucky enough to have major coaching & support from Alicia Marie and her staff at People Biz! I’ve had support & coaching from Angelica Gonzalez, Deborah Deras and Gilbert Buchanan who have all played a part in my business and/or life development. Regarding books there has been many but of late it would be Rise and Grind and Power Shift by Daymond John that stands out, if you haven’t read either one you should! Every person in business needs a community of support, and coaching. these people are all my community that have helped me over the years!