Maiya Paiya Bakery & Bows
By: Jamie Durante
“Our biggest goal is to help the youth in the Inland Empire know there are better ways of eating cupcakes and cakes. We offer all allergen-free cupcakes and cakes for families who need the option, but also we want to make these available to kids without allergies so they can have a healthier option.” Ashlei, Owner of Maiya Paiya Bakery & Bows
The Inland Empire Cupcake Fair & Baking Expo is our favorite time of year at IEShineOn.com. It gives us a chance to watch live demos, enjoy music, network with vendors in our community, and of course, try Southern California’s tastiest cupcakes!
We all love sweets, and Maiya Paiya Bakery & Bows is offering cupcakes that are completely unique AND delicious at the 2015 IE Cupcake Fair & Baking Expo. In 2012, Ashlei and her husband started their bakery with two goals in mind. First and foremost, their goal is to give kids and families in the Inland Empire healthier, allergen-free options for cupcakes and cakes, while still maintaining scrumptious, quality products that have one-of-a-kind flavors. Their second goal stems from the family’s altruism, and for every event Maiya Paiya Bakery & Bows participates in, they give 10% of their proceeds back to a local charity.
Maiya Paiya Bakery & Bows continues to grow, as they launched their cupcake truck just this last weekend. We were able to catch up with Ashlei to learn more about Maiya Paiya Bakery’s stellar cupcakes, as well as her aspirations for the company’s sweet future.
Q. Tell me about yourself and your business.
Ashlei: I’m 24 years old. I was born and raised in Southern California, and I’m the owner and founder of Maiya Paiya Bakery & Bows.
Q. What inspired you to start your business?
I have a five-year-old daughter named Maiya. That’s how I also came up with the name of our business. She inspired me. I’ve always been a baker. I enjoyed it as a hobby, and I would bake cakes for friends and family. Then one day someone said, “You should do this for a living. They’re delicious.” And it went from there. So, I’ve been baking for years now.
Q. What are your aspirations for your business?
I hope to see the business reach kids worldwide. We specialize in a non-GMO, gluten free, soy free and dairy free cupcake. My daughter has a problem with gluten and her hyper activity, so it really helps. We started messing around with different recipes, and finding what works, so my aspiration would be to see this reach all through Southern California for families to be able to try our cupcakes. They’ll see that kids can have their cake and eat it too, and they will not see them running around crazy from it. All of our ingredients are children safe, and that’s our biggest motto.
Is it a challenge to find ingredients that are GMO free?
Definitely, and it’s very expensive for our small family. That’s what we put on our truck as well. We want to inform families and inner city communities. People don’t even have any idea of what GMO [Genetically Modified Organism] is.
Q. Where are you located, and why did you choose the Inland Empire?
We are located in Riverside, California, right by Downtown Riverside. We chose the Inland Empire because this is where we are from. This is our backyard, our neighborhood, and this is where we felt best suited to be.
Q. Where do you bake?
We do our baking in a commercial kitchen space in Redlands.
Q. Do you take requests or do you give your clients options to choose from?
We take requests—any picture, any idea. If you can dream it, we can make it a reality, whatever it is.
Q. What are you most popular flavors?
We have 12 signature flavors. Eight of those are non-GMO and gluten free. Our most popular flavor at this moment would have to be our Honey Bunny Cupcake. That is a gluten free, non-GMO cupcake. It’s a yellow vanilla cake with a organic honey buttercream, sprinkled on top with little Teddy Grams. That’s our most popular cupcake at the moment. Our Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcake is another favorite. That’s a non-GMO as well, and it has organic peanut butter and organic strawberry jelly frosting.
Q. What other unique flavors do you have, and how do you come up with them?
Another unique cupcake we have is our Shelby Cupcake. It’s like a neapolitan almost. It has triple chocolate cake at the bottom, then strawberry cake in the middle, then topped with vanilla buttercream and a chocolate covered strawberry on top. It’s five layers. That’s a really unique one. Then we have our Cocoa Dream, it’s a non-GMO cupcake. It’s a chocolate truffle cake with a peanut butter frosting. It tastes like a Reeses Pieces cupcake. My husband (the co-owner) and I mess around with different flavors. We’re at local farmers markets, so we’ll try fruits or different varieties. We’re trying to find more gluten free options as we go along, but a lot of the community isn’t very open to it yet.
Q. What is your daughter’s favorite flavor of cupcake?
Maiya’s favorite is the Red Velvet with buttercream vanilla frosting, topped with a white chocolate square.
Q. Where can we find more information about your business?
We actually have an app for Android and Apple. To download it, simply search "Maiya Paiya." We have different scratcher deals, coupons, discounts, and it will tell customers where we are in the Inland Empire that day.
Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
We also have cookies that you can order through Etsy. We have four different flavors that are gluten free, soy free dairy free, everything. You get a huge cookie for only $2.50, and it ships everywhere in the U.S.
Maiya Paiya Bakery & Bows is offering a healthier option in the IE that tastes so buttery and perfect, you won’t even notice the difference! Consider it an upgrade. Don’t take it from us—taste the epicene for yourself at the IE Cupcake Fair.
To find out more about Maiya Paiya Bakery & Bows, you can visit them and try their delicious cupcakes at the Inland Empire Cupcake Fair 2015 at the Riverside Convention Center! You can also visit their website, “like” them on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram.