Cakery Filling A Need In Mercedes
Any startup business is looking for a niche to fill in its community and market.
In Mercedes, Jacob Carrizales and his family saw a need for a cake specialty shop. There are fine bakeries in the city, he said, but not one focused on cakes as is Chepe’s Cakery.
“Cake is our specialty and we thought this was a good spot for us,’’ said Carrizales, a young entrepreneur with plans. “In cakes, you need to specialize in it to be really good at it.’’
His family has a solid baking background. Jacob’s mother, Maria Elena Garza, worked for years in the bakeries of Sam’s Club stores. She is now putting that bakery knowledge into Chepe’s. A look through Chepe’s Facebook page displays a wide variety of beautiful cakes, from the wedding variety to those for birthday parties for children.
The reception to the cakery since it recently opened on 302 W. 3rd in Mercedes has been positive, Carrizales said, noting community leaders from City Hall have come in to place their orders.
“The city has been very welcoming,’’ he said. “We think this (business) is something good for the city.’’
Getting A Business Going
Chepe’s opened in early summer 2021. The cake shop is named after Jacob’s grandfather – Chepe Moreno – who recently passed away.
An added family element is that Chepe’s is located next door to his aunt’s flower shop. The two businesses compliment each other well, Carrizales said. He lives in Edinburg, and his mother does the baking in Alamo, driving over fresh product daily.
Carrizales said his family opted to start their business in Mercedes rather than the cluttered markets and cities in the upper Rio Grande Valley.
“McAllen, Edinburg, all those areas are being developed so hard,’’ he said. “We thought we could do something here, (Mercedes), and use it as a platform to build.’’
Business has been good, he said, as weddings, engagement and birthday parties, quinceaneras, and other traditional celebrations are getting back to normal.
“We think we’re contributing to something good,’’ Carrizales said. “People are getting back to normal routines. What we do here is helping them do that.’’
Carrizales calls himself “a typical working kid from the Valley.’’ He avidly reads business books and has already tried his hand in various fields, including welding and working for a regional homebuilder. He’s taken a liking to the latter and plans to pursue a construction certificate via a program at a local college.
Looking ahead at Chepe’s, he sees expanding opportunities in operating from the heart of the Valley.
“We eventually want to go into full-service catering services,’’ Carrizales said. “Events create wealth.’’
- Ricardo D. Cavazos