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Cakes as ‘Sweet as Love’
Pastry Chef Elevates Her Career in Dana Point
By Breeana Greenburg
Business is booming for Pastry Chef Natalie Soto’s bakery, Sweet as Love, after she placed second in the Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship earlier this year.
“It was definitely the most stressful thing I’ve ever done,” Soto said. “But I really think it paid off for me just because it was broadcast nationwide. The outpour of love from the community here was just really great. I just feel like I’ve really made my name out here, and being able to do this full-time has been a real blessing.”
Soto went to culinary school for a professional chef and pastry chef program. She first started working for the St. Regis Monarch Beach (now Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club) in Dana Point, and after two years, Soto joined the pastry department. She says she loved the creativity involved in baking pastries. After a few years in the pastry department, she began baking wedding cakes for the resort, where she discovered her passion for baking cakes.
“When you go to a wedding, the wedding cake is the showpiece,” Soto said. “It’s the focal point of the room. I just love it when guests will come and pick up their birthday cakes from me, or when I’m delivering the wedding cake and just the awe on people’s faces of what you can create out of cake and how you can make it just look incredible.”
After leaving St. Regis, Soto spent the next four years honing her craft at a boutique bakery. Then, she ventured out on her own in 2016.
Soto runs Sweet as Love out of her house in Capistrano Beach. She takes all of her orders through her website or social media and creates cakes for all occasions.
“Birthdays, bar mitzvahs, baptisms, weddings, whatever the event, even if you just want cake … you can just get it for a Tuesday night,” Soto said.
Sweet as Love can be found at sweetaslove.com or on the Instagram account @sweetasloveoc.